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22 — 23 november 2014

Andrey Kortunov at RAND Business Leaders Forum


On November 22-23, New York hosted the 35th round of RAND Business Leaders Forum held twice every year since 1997. The event was traditionally attended by CEOs and owners of leading Russian and U.S. firms, investment funds, consultancies, think tanks and NGOs, representatives of ministries and agencies of the two countries, as well as European and Asian business leaders.

21 november 2014

Russia-Vietnam: Discussions in the Run-up to Top Visit


On November 21, 2014, RAS Institute for Oriental Studies held a research and practice seminar "Prospects for Russia-Vietnam Relations at a New Level" setting the stage for the November 24-26 visit to Russia of Nguyen Phu Trong, Secretary General of the Vietnamese Communist Party. Leading Russian experts discussed basic problems of the Russian-Vietnamese relationship, underlining that the emerging international environment gives rise to Moscow's drive to the East, with Vietnam having every opportunity to occupy a special place, although there are some problem areas including the relatively low trade volume and illegal migration.


20 — 22 november 2014

RIAC at International Conference “The Open Arctic”


During the November 18-22, 2014, festival “The Arctic Days in Moscow”, international academic conference “The Open Arctic” was held with the participation of representatives of the Russian Arctic-related ministries and agencies, academic and business communities, as well as experts from Russia and other circumpolar countries. The Russian International Affairs Council took part in the roundtable “The Arctic: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” moderated by Academician Vladimir Kotlyakov, Director of RAS Institute of Geography.

24 november 2014

Russian-Vietnamese Strategic Partnership: between the United States and China

Anton Tsvetov Media and Government Relations Manager at the Russian International Affairs Council


Although Moscow's official documents and statements consider Hanoi a key Asian partner, the reality of the bilateral relationship after the breakup of the USSR has actually been inertia, thereby opening opportunities for the U.S.A. and the People's Republic of China (PRC) to gain a strong foothold in Vietnam. With Russia once again intent on achieving a meaningful presence in Asia-Pacific, it appears appropriate to analyze the role of a strategic partnership with Vietnam within Russia’s regional strategy and a rapprochement as such in relation to Chinese and American interests.

21 november 2014

Russia and Ukraine: A Corridor of Opportunities

Alexander Gushchin PhD in History, Associate Professor, Department of Post-Soviet Countries, Russian State University for the Humanities, RIAC expert

Sergei Markedonov PhD in History, PhD in History, Associate Professor, Department of Regional Studies and Foreign Policy, Russian State University for the Humanities, RIAC Expert


The Ukrainian crisis presents the most serious and dangerous challenge to European security since the collapse of Yugoslavia and the series of ethnic conflicts it gave rise to in the Balkans. What we are witnessing is the combination of the largest confrontation between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War, growing animosities between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea and south-eastern Ukraine, and the transformation of the Ukrainian government project into something closer to hard line national statehood. Ukraine is the nexus where the interests of such key players as Russia, the European Union and the United States have clashed, making this purely domestic crisis turn into a regional and even global issue. There are several possible scenarios of how the crisis might unfold: military confrontation, “deep freeze” (or maintaining the status quo), and decentralization and compromise.

21 november 2014

CIS Heads of Government to Discuss Ukraine?


The agenda of the CIS Heads of Government Summit that will take place on 21 November 2014 features a wide range of economic, military-technical and humanitarian issues and the creation of the CIS Free Trade Zone. The Ukrainian crisis is not on the agenda, but it may be discussed on the fringes. How will the meeting proceed? What are the main items on the agenda? Here to comment is Oleg Alexandrov, Associate Professor at the MGIMO Department of International Relations and Foreign Policy of Russia and Yulia Yakusheva, Vice Director general, Head of Analytical department at the Moscow State University.

20 november 2014

Arctic Shipping: A Route to Russian-American Cooperation

Henry Huntington Senior Officer, International Arctic The Pew Charitable Trusts

Roger Rufe Vice Admiral, United States Coast Guard (retired)


Russia and the United States have a shared interest in keeping shipping routes open while also reducing uncertainty and risk. Arctic waters are no place for ill-equipped vessels that pose a hazard to themselves and others and may drain the search-and-rescue capabilities of Arctic coastal states. At the same time, Arctic routes promise economic efficiencies and opportunities, consistent with the principle of freedom of navigation on the seas.

18 november 2014

OSCE PA, German Marshall Fund and RIAC Discuss the Impact of Helsinki Act on Transatlantic Relations


On November 18, 2014 in Washington, DC, the German Marshall Fund of the United States held seminar “Helsinki+40: the Significance for Transatlantic Relations”, the second one in the series initiated by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly within project “Helsinki+40.” Last September, a similar event took place in Moscow. The Washington session was attended by GMF President Karen Donfreid, OSCE PA President Ilkka Kanerva, Cochairman of “Helsinki+40” project Joao Soares, former President of OSCE PA Xavier Ruperez, MGIMO-University Professor and RIAC expert Andrey Zagorsky, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and Representative Chris Smith, as well RIAC Program Manager Natalia Evtikhevich. The debate focused on preventing the neglect of the Helsinki Act principles, the need for a new Helsinki Act, and the role of lawmakers in these processes.

18 november 2014

In Search of Support Points: Iran in Central Asia

Irina Zviagelskaya Doctor of History, Professor of the Oriental Studies Department of the MGIMO University


Iran occupies an important place in Central Asia’s system of political and economic relations. It may not boast impressive resources such as those of Central Asian countries’ leading partners (China, Russia, the EU), and faces substantial political restraints due to the current sanctions regime, but despite this, Iran has managed to secure a prominent presence in the region.

17 november 2014

Great Minds Think Alike


2014 APEC Summit revealed strategic aspirations of all major regional players. Countries push and bid on different initiatives of regional free trade integration, thus creating a massive stumbling block – a choice between American TPP and Chinese FTAAP. RIAC team has asked experts from China and Singapore to comment on the recent summit and give their expert opinion.

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