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Russia and Eastern Europe

Stories under this heading cover Russia, as well as countries in the eastern part of the European continent, such as Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova.

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Georgian Church irritates Kiev by hosting pro Moscow faction of Ukrainian Church

Georgian Church irritates Kiev by hosting pro Moscow faction of Ukrainian Church

In a move that is likely to cause considerable irritation in Kiev, the Georgian Orthodox Church on Monday (7 June) hosted a delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate. Ilia II, the Georgian Orthodox Church Patriarch, and his locum tenens, Metropolitan Shio met the delegation led by Bishop Antony on Monday (7 June).
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Kazakhstan rebuffs talk of joint EAEU response to Western sanctions

Kazakhstan rebuffs talk of joint EAEU response to Western sanctions

The government of Kazakhstan, in a statement issued on Saturday (5 June) rebuffed the idea of such a joint response raised last week by Russian deputy foreign minister Alexander Pankin who said that the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which brings together Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, was working on a “consolidated response” to Western sanctions against some of its members.

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Putin marks Orthodox Christmas

Putin marks Orthodox Christmas

President Putin said that it is important that the Russian Orthodox Church and other Christian confessions pay tireless attention to issues of moral health of society, strengthening the institution of the family, educating the younger generation, and sincerely care about maintaining interethnic and interreligious dialogue
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Outrage in Kazakhstan after Russian politicians appear to question the country's territorial integrity

Outrage in Kazakhstan after Russian politicians appear to question the country's territorial integrity

Kazakhs are outraged by comments by Russian politicians questioning their country's territorial integrity. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev rejected the assertion that any Kazakh territory was  a "gift from Russia", and said that such "provocative" comments were intended to "spoil" relations between the two neighbours.
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Is the Kremlin creating an illusion of political plurality in Russia?

Is the Kremlin creating an illusion of political plurality in Russia?

In a recent story published by the Russian newspaper Kommersant, it has been suggested that new political parties are being created by the Kremlin, to satisfy the tastes of those Russians who seek a different kind of politics than that provided by United Russia or other parties currently represented in the Duma.
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Transnistria ready for negotiations with new Moldovan president

Transnistria ready for negotiations with new Moldovan president

Following last week's swearing-in of the new president of Moldova, Maia Sandu, speculation has increased about the future of talks with the country's break-away region of Transnistria. Sandu is expected to discuss the issue with the Ukrainian leadership when she pays her first official visit overseas as president, visiting Kiev.
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Cancelled Summit reflects underlying strains in India-Russia relations

Cancelled Summit reflects underlying strains in India-Russia relations

The annual India-Russia summit will not take place this year for the first time in twenty years amid speculation of tensions in the relationship. Whilst Russian and Indian diplomats have been emphasising that it is business as usual, others are pointing at a new geo-political reality that is straining the long historical friendship between the two countries.