Vladimir Putin is widely expected to be re-elected president this year after his only serious challenger, Alexei Navalny was refused permission to run. Russia is also preparing to host the World Cup in 2018.
Russia's Vladimir Putin and Hungary's Viktor Orban are to meet on Tuesday. They both are nationalistic strongmen with a dislike for western liberalism. But the ties between the two are both deeper and more complicated.
Russia's Vladimir Putin has taken a more conciliatory tone, after his Defense Ministry held Israel "completely" accountable for a jet shot down over Syria. Putin spoke of "a chain of tragic accidental circumstances."
A dispute over islands in the Kuril archipelago has strained Japanese-Russian ties since the World War II. Japanese PM Abe and Russian President Putin have held numerous meetings over the past few years to resolve it.
The poisoning of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter earlier this year prompted a diplomatic fallout between Russia and the UK. The EU has also accused the Russian government of involvement in the attack.
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