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LOS ANGELES, May 1 (Itar-Tass) - Support for international security and cooperation between Russia and the United States in various areas dominated Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs and Ties with Compatriots Leonid Slutsky’s speech at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council (LAWAC) on Tuesday, April 30.
In the wake of the latest bombings at the Boston Marathon, those present, including members of the local media, asked many questions about Chechnya. But Slutsky cautioned them against using stereotyped thinking with regard to Chechnya and Chechens. He invited them to visit this North Caucasian republic and see how its people live having made a conscious choice in favour of staying within Russia.
As chairman of the relevant committee in the Russian parliament, Slutsky works professionally on the creation of the Eurasian Union. He stressed in his presentation that “European integration is not the antithesis to Eurasian integration but its inalienable part just as Europe is a part of Eurasia.”
LAWAC President Terry McCarthy thanked Slutsky and stressed the need for continued dialogue between Russia and the United States.
Federation Council member Vitaly Ignatenko noted the Californians’ contribution to bilateral dialogue. “Today’s event vividly shows the importance of this venue for conveying first-hand information about Russia’s policy especially at times when complications and misunderstandings occur in bilateral relations,” he said.
Slutsky belongs to the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and is also chair of the Russian Peace Foundation, the biggest NGO in Russia focusing on foreign policy and peacekeeping. During his time in parliament Slutsky has become deeply engaged in Russian foreign policy and its ties with other countries. Slutsky is an expert on the Eurasian integration processes and the Eurasian Economic Union that is to be established by 2015. He is also an expert on geopolitical issues and building of the global political architecture of the 21st century.
Relations between the U.S. and Russia have become strained recently, following a period of warming early in President Barack Obama’s first term under his “reset” policy, which led to the signing of a nuclear arms treaty with then-President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010. But since Vladimir Putin took over as President again, Washington and Moscow have clashed over issues like Syria, Iran and human rights. A U.S. law passed last December that was critical of human rights in Russia prompted President Putin to ban adoptions by Americans of Russian children, the LAWAC said.
The Los Angeles World Affairs Council is non-partisan and non-profit. It does not endorse or promote any specific view, and does not espouse an official position on any issue or topic. As a non-partisan organisation, the Council does not endorse any point of view or take any institutional stand on issues of public debate. It welcomes a wide variety of opinions from its speakers and its members. As an institution dedicated to furthering global understanding, the LAWAC also endeavors to represent as many nations as possible in our programme offerings.
Public programmes of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council feature major figures from the field of international relations delivering a speech. These remarks are followed by question-and-answer sessions which allow guests to directly interact with speakers.
Speakers at Los Angeles World Affairs Council events typically include top representatives of foreign governments (primarily presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, and ambassadors), major figures in American politics, business leaders, journalists and authors, public intellectuals and other notable individuals from fields as diverse as religion, arts and entertainment, science and technology.
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Its members include significant figures from the worlds of business, philanthropy, education, medicine, the arts, government, the non-profit sector, aerospace, entertainment and technology, amongst others.
They represent all ages, races, religions, and walks of life -- a microcosm of the cultural diversity to be found in Los Angeles. What binds them together is a common interest in world affairs, a shared desire to examine every facet of the important issues we face, and a willingness to hear opposing points of view with grace and civility, the Council said.