Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are set to hold their first bilateral summit in Helsinki on July 16. The meeting takes place under a shadow of high tensions between the countries amid continued U.S. sanctions on Russia and an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has officially greeted Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in a ceremony to mark the start of membership talks, a development that drew an angry response from Moscow.
Animal rights activists say a traveling zoo is "like something out of medieval times" and are demanding Russia tighten laws on animal cruelty.
NATO's deployment of additional resources to the Baltic region despite Russia's opposition was a "necessary step" based on Moscow's "aggressive actions," the Western military alliance's supreme commander U.S. General Curtis Scaparrotti says.
Argentina's Foreign Ministry says it has asked Russia to arrest and extradite former Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati, citing his alleged role in a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires that targeted Argentina's Jewish population, killing 85 people. Velayati, who is now a top aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was visiting Moscow on July 12 for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has called the cup “the best in history,” and said the tournament has benefited every country’s perception of Russia, and that everyone who came to Russia discovered a “beautiful, hospitable country.” (in Russian, Current Time TV)
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has promised that a petition from the mother of imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov to free her son “will not be left without attention,” and will “certainly be considered.”Rights groups have condemned the terrorist charges against him as politically motivated. Sentsov is waging a hunger strike, and has refused to seek a pardon. (Russian Service)
Negotiations between Belarus and Ukraine over disputed borders moved forward in June, when parties adopted a roadmap for talks for the next eight years. In the near-term, they agreed to grant Belarus tens of hectares of disputed territory between Ukraine’s Volyn and Belarus’s Brest regions, and address the demarcation of the Chernobyl exclusion zone next year. (Belarus Service)
Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has told RFE/RL that his country can "commit to joining [NATO] today," saying that his country has "fulfilled basically every requirement" needed to become a member of the alliance.
Azerbaijani authorities say police have killed Rasad Boyukkisiyev, one of two suspects in the stabbing deaths of two police officers during a protest this week, in a special operation in the northwestern city of Shamkir after he resisted arrest.
Former Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian’s nephew has been charged with attempted murder in a case closed more than a decade ago.
Albek Ibraimov, the mayor of Kyrgyzstan’s capital city, was dismissed while on vacation after city council members decided unanimously to remove him in a no-confidence vote on July 13.
Every year, a small group of locals travels the 550 kilometers northwest from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Nazinsky Island, in the middle of the Ob River, a place in Stalin’s GULAG system so horrific that locals came to call it Cannibal Island or the Island of death.