As a new wave of non-Western countries strive to elevate their profiles and expand their global influence, Russia is taking steps to help secure its future as their leader.

Last March, as Russia annexed Crimea, the European Union, Canada and the United States imposed sanctions – travel bans and asset freezes against some of the Russian and Ukrainian officials.

A stronger EU-Russia partnership now looks like a pipe-dream, reflects former foreign minister Igor Ivanov. On the plus-side he sees less hypocrisy on both sides, and outlines five steps towards repairing the relationship…

In some ways the United States has played a very strange self-injurious game since 1991 when it comes to Russia. On the one hand, it expects that the former rival accepts a new stage after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in which there are no more fundamental ideological battles and that DEMOCRACY in big capital letters is the clear and undisputed victor.

If you spend some time listening to reputable news shows all across the West you will start to notice several recurring ‘interpretations’ that explain all things Russian and Vladimir Putin.

On March 24, 1999, Yevgeni Maximovich Primakov was heading to the United States for an official visit. Midway over the Atlantic Ocean, the Russian Prime Minister learned the combined forces of NATO had started bombing Serbia, a close ally. Primakov immediately ordered the plane to turn around, and returned to Moscow in a manoeuvre dubbed “Primakov’s Loop”.

A little over one year ago the world was given a foundational lesson in how an impartial press can unknowingly construct a partial opinion. The consequences of that lesson are still being heard today and much to the detriment of the Russian Federation.

Russia is not widely known for its outstanding abilities in soft power. That could be explained, albeit not justified, for the strong concision characteristic of the communist regime during the Soviet Union years, which resulted in East European countries in general – and Russia specifically - understanding and applying a stricter conduct when it comes to international relations.

Russia-Vietnam ties that seemed to be cooling after the end of the Cold War are warming up all over again. More than 20 years after Moscow abandoned its largest foreign base, Russian military aircraft are once again welcome visitors at Cam Ranh Bay.

Several days before the FIFA’s presidential elections, one of the biggest corruption scandals in the history of the organization has burst out.

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