Russian Primaries: The Road to More Competitive Elections?

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Russia goes to the polls on 18 September 2016. Not only will the seventh convocation of the State Duma be chosen, but 38 regional legislatures and eight regional governors will also be selected, and there will also be municipal elections. The 2011-12 electoral cycle provoked a tumultuous period of contentious politics, but it is unlikely that the forthcoming elections will be accompanied by anything like as much controversy.

Could the EU Division on the Extension of Sanctions Lead to Their Lifting?

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A far more contentious decision than two years ago is due to be made in July on whether to leave target economic sanctions against Russia in place. Compared with the full unanimity expressed by all the 28 EU members since their introduction, the latest decision on the automatic extension of sanctions came with a major debate paving the way to an internal division within the EU.

Putin’s Call-In Show Transforming From an Attribute of the Individual Style to a Political Institution

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The public channels and radio stations broadcast the 14th televised call-in show with Vladimir Putin. The head of state managed to answer 80 various questions concerning the population and the country. This time, he interacted with Russians for 3 hours 40 minutes. Experts note that the call-in show is developing from an element of Putin’s personal style into a political institution.

NGOs Should Be Strictly Regulated as It Is Done Worldwide

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The draft law on defining “political activities” for nonprofit organizations has been introduced to the State Duma. The amendments have been designed to avert wrongful acts towards non-profit organizations. The new definition ensures refined and better attuned legal steps to identify foreign agents in a clear and transparent way.

Lessons to Learn from the Referendum in the Netherlands

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A specter is haunting the European Union: This time it is neither socialism nor communism. These political forces simply do not exist anymore as they withered away after the demise of the USSR in most European countries. This time the specter can be identified as a revolt against the system of anonymous rule of supranational Eurocrats in Brussels and as a protest against elitist power groups in the political spectrum of most countries that are detached from every day experiences and life of their own people.

Does America Need Russia?

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It’s impossible to analyze contemporary US-Russian relations and their future without answering the following question: does the United States need cooperation with Russia? Taking into account the lack of knowledge of Russia among American experts and, put it mildly, wariness towards Russia, it’s highly tempting to answer the question in the negative. However, one shouldn’t hurry to answer.

Constant Western Attempts to Smear Putin Are Ultimately Futile

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The constant attempts to smear Putin as some kind of kleptomaniac totalitarian are largely laughed at in Russia. While they may make some Western activists feel all warm and gooey inside, they are ultimately futile. In fact, they only serve to intensify a siege mentality in Russia that actually heightens support for Putin.

Europe Fights Windmills as Terrorists Strike It at Its Heart

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While the European Union was fighting against “the Russian hybrid war”, the terrorists hit us in “the heart of Europe” – as a slogan at the Brussels Airport, one of the terrorists’ targets, calls the city. Meanwhile the EU political elite in Brussels as well as in many national capitals throughout Europe behaves like Don Quixote.