Meeting the Russians in Germany

30 April 2009
By Veni MarkovskiVeni Markovski

Since signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute for Information Security Issues (IISI) last year, the relationship between ICANN and Russia continues to strengthen.

Soldatov,Twomey,Sherstyuk,BelokurovAt a meeting in Garmisch, Germany, Russian high-level officials dedicated a whole day to relations with ICANN. The Third International Partnership Among State, Business Community and Civil Society in Ensuring Information Security conference brought together about 120 people, among them Deputy Minister of Communications Alexei A. Soldatov, Head of Bureau K of the Ministry of Interior, Col. Gen. B.N.Miroshnikov, representatives from the Foreign Ministry, other governmental agencies, private companies, as well as the .ru ccTLD Coordination Center, represented by the newly appointed CEO Andrei Kolesnikov and Chairman of the Board Michael Yakushev.

The conference opened with speeches from V.P.Sherstyuk, head of the IISI, Professor V.Belokurov, Deputy Rector of the Moscow State University and Paul Twomey, ICANN’s President and CEO.

Twomey talked about the state of the Internet, ICANN’s role, and the future of the domain name system. There were also a number of well-attended and lively sessions dedicated to internationalization of the Internet governance model, and to DNS security. ICANN was represented by John Crain, Jaap Akkerhuis, and myself, Veni Markovski.

Paul Twomey had also face to face meetings with the Deputy Minister, and with .ru ccTLD where they discussed, among other things, the Fast Track for IDN ccTLDs and continuing to improve communication between ICANN and the Russian Internet community, government, and private business – noting that relations between Russian Federation and ICANN have improved tremendously in just a year (since the previous IISI conference).

There have been on average a dozen Russians participants in the ICANN meetings, including an observer to the GAC. The development of the IDN ccTLD have marked an increased interest within Russia towards ICANN. Only last month, Russia’s Minister of Telecommunications and Mass Media Igor Schegolev noted interview that the government has a “positive dialog with ICANN” on the issue of IDN ccTLDs.

We look forward to seeing what we will have achieved by this time next year.


Veni Markovski

Veni Markovski

VP, UN Engagement - New York
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