Russia / by Alistair Galloway

Despite record low turnouts of 47.8 per cent voter participation, Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party secured a massive majority in parliament holding 343 seats in the 450 member parliament with 54.2 per cent of total ballots being for the party. Concerns following the results of the parliamentary election have caused strife among Russian and Ukrainian citizens, some of whom are calling voter fraud. United States (US) Secretary of State John F. Kerry and senior officials of over two dozen nations met in New York on 20 September to declare that the Syria cease-fire is not dead, though they did point to Russia as to the cause of bombings of a humanitarian aid convoy earlier in the month. War crimes accusations centred on the widespread use of bunker-busting and incendiary bombs on the 275,000 civilians living in the rebel-held east of the city were made by United Kingdom (UK) ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Matthew Rycroft at the most recent UN Security Council session. A nationwide ceasefire in Syria brokered by the US and Russia began at sundown on Monday 12 September, coinciding with the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, but there are concerns throughout the international community about whether it will hold. Following a meeting of the G20, President Vladimir Putin announced a cooperative partnership on oil between Russia and the oil superpower Saudi Arabia. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich asserted that another round of US sanctions against Russia would not have any serious effect on Russia’s economy and business. 

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