Over the past three decades, real estate has gained a new significance on the world stage, as many states have relaxed laws to open up national property markets to international buyers. This has not only intensified international business activities: it's also offered states a new way of pursuing their global political ambitions. 

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was welcomed at the Russian Exhibition Centre ahead of his address at the Friends of India conclave with Sanskrit shlokas by a local singer on Thursday, it signalled that the two sides were keen to push soft diplomacy. 

The American Center at Moscow’s Rudomino All-Russia State Library of Foreign Literature has become the latest in a long line of American cultural institutions to be shut down as the political confrontation between Russia and the West widens.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called for dialogue based on equal treatment and mutual respect with the United States on Saturday in a congratulatory message to President Barack Obama marking U.S. Independence Day. Putin said U.S.-Russian relations remained important for solving global crises.

Saturday’s Victory Day parade in Moscow was a compelling demonstration of Russian military might. More than 100 planes, 16,000 troops and 200,000 civilians carrying portraits of relatives who fought in the Second World War were involved. New weaponry on display included the Armata tank and a new intercontinental ballistic missile launcher that was developed in response to Nato anti-missile systems. 

The rising tensions between Russia and the West, especially the United States, over Ukraine provide a constant reminder of the Cold War, when the two superpowers fought proxy conflicts for spheres of influence. A key question in the current game of great power politics is whether China and Russia will form an alliance against the United States?

On January 21, Andrew Lack, the media titan who at different times has headed Bloomberg, Sony, and NBC News, was sworn in as CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the federal agency that oversees the five official US government-supported broadcasters, including the Voice of America. (...) In recent years, the BBG has devolved into a widely acknowledged mess: bloated, demoralized, and inefficient. Reviving this tool of public diplomacy will be a major challenge for Lack.