On Monday evening, Deputy Presiding Officer Elaine Smith MSP hosted a reception and dinner for the 2012 John Smith Fellowship Programme.
The Fellowship, which was created in 1997, is aimed at the next generation of leaders in independent republics that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. The Fellows are from a variety of professional backgrounds including politics and law. This year there are 17 Fellows from Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan .
The Fellowship programme lasts for 5 weeks and takes place every year in June and July with the first week spent in Scotland, followed by two weeks' work experience in different locations throughout the UK, followed by a further two weeks spent in London.
The Fellows will visit the Parliament again on Thursday 14 June, where they will observe First Minister’s Questions and learn more about parliamentary procedures.
Former Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon George Reid, was a speaker at last night's event.