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Political analyst Nikolai Zlobin sets up global policy research centre in Washington

March 13, 2013, 13:32 UTC+3

The centre will deal with problems of global politics with emphasis on America, Russia and their bilateral relations

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WASHINGTON, March 13 (Itar-Tass) – A new research centre, which will deal with problems of global politics with emphasis on America, Russia and their bilateral relations has been established in the US capital. The Centre of Global Interests is the brainchild of political analyst Nikolai Zlobin who calls himself a Washingtonian with Russian passport.

He told Itar-Tass at the new centre’s presentation on Tuesday evening that he has long been working “for two countries,” feeling that he belongs to both and hoping that both countries will listen to him, the more so that he intends to place the emphasis on the things that not divide, but unite them.

According to Zlobin, undertaking this project he proceeded first of all from the assumption that “it is necessary to get rid of improvisation in politics,” because there is too much of it currently – “both in America, in Russia and in the European Union,” he believes. “There is no strategy, there is no strategic vision at all anywhere,” he said.

Zlobin in also certain that “in the new world order” with its characteristic economic, information, social aspects and globalisation “the role of a sovereign state is greatly changing,” and the “role of major powers,” including America and Russia, “is subsiding at all.” In his view, the international organisations and associations, including the G8, G20 and even the United Nations, so far do not quite come up to expectations in terms of their leadership. According to him, his centre intends to work on all these issues.

The first concrete project of the Centre of Global Interests, as it was said at its presentation, will be the study of the experience of Russia’s current presidency in the Group of Twenty. Former senior official at the US National Security Council and US Treasury Mark Medish is in charge of this work. The preliminary report is expected to be prepared by this summer.

In addition to Medish, taking part in the presentation that was held at the Brookings Institution in Washington, were prominent diplomats - Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak, US Ambassadors Thomas Pickering and Richard Burt, as well as political scientist Bruce Blair, under whom Zlobin previously worked. They all unanimously wished him success, but warned that in such a “city of think tanks” as Washington, it will be very hard to draw attention to his new organisation. Kislyak later told Itar-Tass that he considers the creation of the centre an “interesting idea,” but will judge about it on the concrete results.

Some of those present insistently wondered if Zlobin’s centre was going to deal with the problems of human rights protection in Russia. Kislyak responded said that such problems exist everywhere and that the Russian Embassy has been actively engaged in the protection of the rights of Russian children adopted by citizens of the United States.

Burt also took the floor and said that he knows from experience of the Republican administration of President Ronald Reagan that it is better to discuss such issues confidentially, and not publicly, because otherwise they generally become merely a pretext for mutual insults and accusations. He added that he believes that the annual publication in the United States of reports assessing the human rights situation around the world is “a great folly.”

Zlobin emphasised at the presentation that his centre will operate exclusively with private donations. He estimated its budget at about one million US dollars a year. According to him, for the next “year or two” the centre is provided with money.


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