Image from: RIA Novosti
There are several major issues with this emerging picture:
by Vladimir V. Putin
Dear friends! Today in the morning, the representatives of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office arrived at the Free Thought University without any prior information, sealed the door and closed the office. We are trying to find out reasons at the moment. Because the office of AFU is shut down by the authorities, we are unable to continue our weekly lectures and other events. Therefore we have to postpone events at AFU for unknown period. The lecture about translation problems in Azerbaijani literature scheduled for tomorrow – 11 April has been postponed as well. We will update you on all new information. Please follow us for more news.
During the 1990s, an isolationist Congress, its understanding of the world singularly unsuited to the new realities of American power, challenged the idea that the United States should disseminate information through educational and cultural exchange. Foreign Service positions were cut, leaving many embassies with skeletal public-diplomacy staffs. American Centers, crucial organs of local outreach, shut their doors. The general sentiment in Washington was that the United States could afford to get out of the business of person-to-person interaction: in an age of mass electronic communication, so the thinking went, technology could do it all. ‘What do we need diplomats for?’ asked Ross Perot. ‘Just send a fax.’