Despite current tensions between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin—and opposition to the bill from groups like the Holocaust Art Restitution Project—the Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act could mean the renewing of cultural exchange between the US and Russia.
The President-elect's communication skills leave something to be desired, says Mark Dillen.
Prime Minister Benjamin spoke on the phone Saturday with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the conflict in Syria and “continued security cooperation,” his office said. The talks came as the 15-member UN Security Council unanimously voted to back a Russian-Turkish peace plan for a ceasefire in Syria and the launch of new peace talks for the war-wracked country.
The end of Cold war and dismantling of mighty Soviet Union along with dissolution of Socialist system in East Europe, Russia, having lost the Cold War to USA, was forced to lay down for years as its allies began dropping the Kremlin and joining the USA and Europe through NATO and EU. Further, dismantling of anti-West military alliance Warsaw Pact increasingly weakened Russia as it gradually lost its influence globally.
On the eve of Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union in 2007, the Russian Ambassador to Brussels, Vladimir Chizhov, declared that “Bulgaria would be Russia’s Trojan horse in the EU.” Though he added that he meant this “in a good sense,” his words ended up being disturbingly prophetic. Over the last ten years, all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have felt the chill wind from the East.
An amendment quietly inserted into the annual National Defense Authorization Act by Republican House leaders would abolish the broadcasting board and place VOA, RFE/RL and other international news and information operations under the direct control of a chief executive appointed by the president. The new executive would hire and fire senior media personnel and manage their budgets.