URI scholar to meet with Russian President Putin

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, political and religious leaders in Moscow, Sept. 10-14

Nicolai Petro selected for prestigious Valdai Club meetings

WHO: University of Rhode Island Political Science Professor Nicolai N. Petro, a scholar of Russian politics and culture, along with 40 other academics, international political analysts, and foreign journalists. Petro has served as an advisor to the U.S. State Department and to local governments in Russia. He has been awarded a Senior Fulbright Lectureship to Russia, an International Affairs Fellowship by the Council on Foreign Relations, and research awards by the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

WHAT: Petro and his colleagues will participate in a series of informal high level meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Speaker of the Russian Parliament Boris Gryzlov, leaders of the country�s major political parties, the chairman of the Russian Central Election Committee, and national religious leaders. The theme of the meeting is �Russia at the Crossroads: the Search for Self-Identity.� The meeting is organized by the Valdai Club, established in 2004 to organize this annual gathering, and jointly sponsored by the Russian state news agency, RIA Novosti, and the independent Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.

WHEN: Sept. 10 through 14

WHERE: Kazan, the center of Russia�s Muslim community (Sept. 10-11) and Moscow (Sept. 12-14)

HOW: Interview Petro about his expectations for the meeting prior to his departure Sept. 6, contact him while he is in Russia, or interview him about his impressions and experiences upon his return to Rhode Island Sept. 16. To make coverage arrangements, contact Todd McLeish or Dave Lavallee in the URI Communications & Marketing office at 401-874-2116 or tmcleish@uri.edu. Or contact Petro nnpetro@gmail.com.