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Konstantin Zatulin's "A matter of principle" discussion programme on Moscow city government controlled Centre TV on 28 April focused on how Russia could regain its influence in Eastern Europe. The issue was discussed by three studio guests and six panellists.
The host of the programme, Konstantin Zatulin, who is first deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs and Relations with Compatriots, started the programme by saying: "'Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland,' this formula was voiced back in 1920s by English geopolitics expert Halford Mackinder. Many world powers have been fighting for influence in this region. The collapse of the Soviet Union predetermined the loss of our positions in Eastern Europe, where countries have joined NATO or are actively aspiring towards it. We ended up by being surrounded by a barrier of countries which have extremely negative attitude towards us. Russia and new Europe is the subject of our today's programme."
The first studio guest Konstantin Sivkov, the first vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, started the discussion by saying: "The accession of majority of countries of the former Warsaw Pact and socialist camp to NATO bloc signifies a most severe geopolitical defeat for the Russian civilization. The main factor that led to this effect was the overtly anti-Soviet and anti-Russian actions of the top political elite of the Soviet Union at that …