A new federal program to support the Russian language abroad will appear in 2011, the head of the Agency for the CIS Affairs and Compatriots Living Abroad Farit Mukhametshin told Russia’s prime minister Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Moscow.

On the margins of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, I joined John Beyrle, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, for a meeting with a dynamic group of about 20 young Russian entrepreneurs to discuss their role in and expectations for Russia's economic transformation and modernization.

President Dmitry Medvedev was in California two weeks ago drumming up support for creating a version of Silicon Valley in Skolkovo, just outside Moscow. At the heart of the president’s push into the technology sector is the need to diversify Russia’s economy by developing new, innovation-based sectors.

Numerous young people, mostly university students in their 20s from diverse countries, including the United States, Germany and Pakistan, accepted invitations to the retreat and bought plane tickets, eager to explore Russia and to meet their Russian counterparts.

In the post-Soviet period, the social networks within Russia’s Muslim community have become increasingly intense and diverse, reflecting both broader social and political changes and efforts by various groups within Islam to unite believers for one or another purpose, according to an analysis posted on the portal.

June 29, 2010

The arrest of the ten deep cover agents of Russia at the end of the G-8 and G-20 summits carries with it a significance far beyond the immediate fact of the counterintelligence action. The Obama administration had just wound up a lengthy and complicated courting of President Medvedev of Russia in conjunction with an aggressive effort along the same line as Germany.

The Russian Press Agency inferred that international relations between Russia and the United States grew cold following the arrest of 11 suspected spies in the US on Friday. Referred to as 'burger diplomacy', Medvedev's meeting with Obama may be his last.

It was all a far cry from the bleak old days of the Cold War. No one pounded a table with a shoe; no one threatened to bury anyone. The focus was on economic modernization, but it didn't feel especially dramatic. Maybe that's a good thing.