Four Russian opposition parties have recently initiated a political cooperation. It is expected to have a common presidential candidate in the 2012 elections. Two of the party leaders participated in the annual round table conference on developments in Eastern Europe organized by the Hjalmarson Foundation. In addition the upcoming elections in Belarus were discussed. As developments in Ukraine.

Each autumn, a number of top politicians and analysts from countries in Eastern Europe gathered over the weekend in Visby on Gotland. The discussions at these conferences is always informal, and should not be quoted elsewhere. This creates an open and constructive debate climate, which is appreciated by the participants. (more…)

On May 7, 2010 the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged Spring School, i.e. a youth conference on ideology based on the book “Principles for a free society” by Dr. Nigel Ashford. The participants came from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia and Sweden. The conference took place on the island of Muskö in the Stockholm Archipelago.

Dr. Nigel Ashford spoke on the subject of freedom and democracy. Guest speakers from the Moderate Party ran sessions based on further chapters in Dr. Ashford’s book. Gustav Blix and Walburga Habsburg Douglas, both Members of Parliament from the Moderate Party, spoke with reference to globalization and the Eastern Partnership.

The participants were very engaged in the discussions – topics ranging from tolerance and human rights to free enterprise – and were also in charge of presentations of the political situation in their own countries. The participants agreed that they learned a lot from the classes at the conference, and expressed appreciation regarding the possibility to make friends with people from the other countries.

The world joins the Polish nation in mourning those 100 people, including the Polish President and the military command, deceased in the flight accident in Russia. 

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt issued a statement:

“I have been dismayed to learn that the President of Poland, Lech Kaczynski, and his wife, together with a large delegation of representatives of Polish society, have died in an air crash today. What has happened is a great disaster for our neighbour country, and our thoughts today go to the families and friends of those who have died and to the whole Polish nation.” (more…)

The Russian economist and reform politician Yegor Gaidar suddenly passed away on December 16, at the age of 53. The son of an admiral entered Russian history and world politics in the early nineties, as the brief prime minister of the Yeltsin government that was about to get the post Soviet economy back on its feet after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

 This granted him the admiration of the world but hardly the love of the people. The so called shock therapy, associated with the visiting economist and colleagues Anders Åslund and Jeffrey Sachs, implied a necessary but brutal transition from the waste of the planned economy to market economic principles. However, contrary to the common belief among senior Soviet officials and the aims of Mikhail Gorbachev, it soon turned out that the Soviet economy was so dysfunctional that reform was beyond reach. 

The break from the old was crucial to the rescue team. However, the immediate positive effects were scarce. In addition, the liberalization was further restrained by the still communistically dominated political establishment around Yeltsin. Due to the long dictatorship there was an imminent lack of entrepreneurs who could have been able to shoulder a renewal. Instead, Oligarchs and corruption flourished. (more…)

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