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Russia’s policy in the Middle East is part of a broader strategy aimed at creating an international order in which Russia would be protected against Western interference in its internal affairs and stand on an equal footing with the United States.
Russia’s Cossacks evoke extreme opinions among observers: some see them as a marginal social phenomenon, a kind of political folklore; others as a morally and physically healthy part of the nation, a pillar of the modern paramilitary formations which defend the national and cultural borders of the Russian Federation.
2017 has seen a wave of dismissals of the heads of Russia’s regions – the largest in the past five years. This is linked primarily to the preparations for the presidential election.
On 15 December, the district court in Moscow found Alexey Ulyukaev, the former Russian minister for economic development, guilty of accepting a bribe of US$2 million.
On 7th – 9th December the SPD held its convention in Berlin. Delegates reelected Martin Schulz as the party’s leader (with support at 82%).
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Greece on 6–7 December. This was the first visit of a Turkish president to this country since 1952.
Vladimir Putin visited Cairo on 11 December. The main effect of the visit was the signing of four contracts linked to the construction of the El Dabaa nuclear power plant.
On 6 December Vladimir Putin announced that he will run in the presidential election to be held on 18 March 2018.
On 30th November the German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, met with the leaders of the CDU, CSU and SPD and urged them to form a grand coalition government.
On 30th November the Danish parliament amended the law on the continental shelf in the section which concerns consent to lay pipelines and cables in Danish territorial sea.