Dmitry Medvedev together with a Finnish colleague Juha Sipilä opened in St. Petersburg Russian-Finnish cultural forum. Ordinary in the context of global policy development illustrates a new reality: not being able to increase economic cooperation, Russia and its European partners raise to a higher level of humanitarian and cultural ties, do not fall under the restrictions. Until the end of the year have held two major events — the Russian-German civic forum “St. Petersburg dialogue” and its French equivalent, the initiative for which was made by Emmanuel macron.
Growing thanks to the efforts of the administration of Donald trump’s anti-Russian sanctions affect while the defence industry, economy and trade, but do not concern humanitarian ties. It decided to use country historically have a special relationship with Russia and not willing to sacrifice them in spite of the political situation. As said German Chancellor Angela Merkel: no support the dialogue between Europe and Russia only more alienated from each other and come to an understanding. And this can have serious consequences in the future.
Canceling on the emotions of the Russian-German civil forum in 2014, Berlin quickly realized that making a mistake. The format in which participated the first persons of both States, was restored a year later, and while Merkel and Putin have so far only written greetings to the participants, contacts in the framework of “Petersburg dialogue” is restored in full. In 2017, under its aegis, it’s been about a dozen events, including a meeting of young civil society activists from the two countries. And increased funding allowed us to begin publishing its own newspaper. The forum organizers have not lost hope that a key meeting scheduled for late November in Berlin, will once again be able to visit the Russian President and the German Chancellor. But seriously discuss this question until after the elections to the Bundestag and the formation of the new composition of the German government.
Some optimistic members of the “Petersburg dialogue” inspires held in summer 2017 regular Russian-German conference of partner cities which first took under their patronage, the Ministers of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Germany. “In the current situation in Europe, when relations between States are experiencing not the best times, such depoliticized cooperation is an important aid for the atmosphere of trust and understanding between peoples and countries”, — said Sergey Lavrov. According to him, after three years of exclusion of Russian-German relations again began to wear a more constructive and pragmatic. In addition to the “Petersburg dialogue” community of the two countries can participate in the “Potsdam meetings”.
Example Angela Merkel openly supportive of “people’s diplomacy”, decided to follow the new President of France Emmanuel macron. During Putin’s visit to Paris in may this year, he took the initiative to establish the Russian-French equivalent of “Petersburg dialogue”. And even made up the name associated with the venue of the summit, “Dialogue Trianon” (Trianon is a marble Palace at Versailles, which at the time, Peter I stopped, Gorbachev and Yeltsin). Like Merkel, macron believes that the special relationship between the peoples of Russia and France should not be sacrificed to current political controversy. And the presence of authoritative communication platform in the future will help to restore broken links.
The details of the organization of the civil forum has twice been discussed by the foreign Ministers of the two countries. If the new structure will be created in the image and likeness of the “Petersburg dialogue”, the ability to communicate will get a variety of representatives of civil society from the clergy to the defenders. Now through diplomatic channels the possibility of a new meeting between the leaders of Russia and France (the Makron is the invitation of GDP). It is not excluded that to it will be timed and the first forum “Dialogue of Trianon”. In addition, 2018 is declared cross year of languages and literature: in March Russia will be the guest of honor of Paris book fair.
Another example of public diplomacy could serve Russian-Finnish cultural forum on September 21 was opened in St. Petersburg. Unlike colleagues in the European Union, the Finns even after the annexation of Crimea did not interrupt humanitarian connection with a neighbor. However, this year the forum for the first time bestowed the distinguished guests — Dmitry Medvedev and his Finnish colleague Juha Sipilä. It is noteworthy that the Russian Prime Minister did not even embarrassed by the theme of the event: the forum this year is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence. And independence it is known, in 1917, got it from Russia. However, the organizers this time not pedaling, emphasizing on the positive aspects. “The vast majority of Finns belong to the positive or very positive is a good Foundation for the development of relations between our countries”, — assured Mr. Sipilä, having thanked Medvedev for the congratulations and hospitality.
Before the cultural program of the premiere conducted business negotiations, confirming that recently the situation has improved not only in the humanitarian sphere: resumed work interstate government Commission, for the first time in 2014, increased trade, Finland has become the third most important trade partner of Russia. Dmitry Medvedev thanked his Finnish counterpart for the constructive and pragmatic approach to the project “Northern stream-2”, the implementation of which is subject to receipt of all approvals scheduled for the first quarter of 2018. However, according to him, plans for the construction of the pipeline to meet serious resistance from the United States, which hopes to “bury” the project and to replace Russia in European gas market have put unprecedented pressure on the European Union.
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