The pro-Kremlin United Russia Party has assigned 1,500 of its members to promote the People’s Front, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s new political movement. Russia’s state postal operator Pochta Rossyia, which has 400,000 employees, has already expressed its intention to join the Front.
Leaders of Russia’s Party of People’s Freedom, known as PARNAS, have vowed to turn to the West for support after Russian authorities refused to register the party ahead of the parliamentary elections in December. The European Union has already expressed its concern over the issue.
(Kommersant, Moskovskiye Novosti)
The situation with the PARNAS party may lead to the radicalization of Russia’s political life.
Obama’s plans to withdraw 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year reflect his domestic policy concerns, independent observers say. The peak of the U.S. withdrawal is scheduled for 2012, the year of the U.S. presidential elections, while more than 80 percent of U.S. citizens have supported the soonest pullout, according to public polls.
As the Russian authorities have moved to liberalize the country’s economy and create a free market in Russia, only nine percent of the citizens support such plans, while the majority favor a stronger state control of the economy, a new research has found. Two-thirds of Russians said they lack political and social freedom – the same figure as in the early 1990s.
(Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moskovskiye Novosti)
Prominent Russian opposition blogger Alexei Navalny said he had found many violations of Russian laws by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s new People’s Front movement and sent a request to the Russian Prosecutor’s Office and Justice Ministry to examine his findings.
Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders will meet on Friday in the Russian city of Kazan to discuss the issue of Nagorny Karabakh, a long-standing sticking point in the two countries relations. Officials have hinted that a breakthrough is possible during the talks, which will also involve Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
Officials have discussed potential sites in the Moscow region where federal state institutions could be moved to clear the way for President Dmitry Medvedev’s ambitious plans to turn Moscow into an international financial center. The existence of a well-developed transport infrastructure in the area where the state institutions would eventually move should play the main role in the final decision, experts say.
When the country’s GDP rises to $10,000 per capita, its democracy becomes inviolable, experts from Russian investment bank Renaissance Capital concluded after analyzing the experience of 150 countries. Russia, with its GDP of $14,000 per capita, remains an exception.
Russian state companies have been “invited” by the Russian government to invest in a special Far East development fund created by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
As the U.S. Congress is preparing to consider a major bill on cyber crimes submitted by President Barack Obama following a series of attacks on U.S. government websites, Russian experts suggest that Washington is reaping the fruits of its own short-sighted policies towards hackers.
Russian cinemas are losing their audience due to high prices on 3D movies and a lack of blockbusters, while more and more cinemas open across the country.
More than 12,500 Russian tourists managed to travel to Egypt in February and March, when the sale of tours to the country hit by violent protests against President Hosni Mubarak was officially banned.
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