Diaries of InteRussia: humanitarian aspects of CIS development

International Relations
The first week of internship for foreign experts "InteRussia" has come to an end in Moscow. During that week, the participants talked about the humanitarian policy, public spirit and development of public diplomacy.

We would like to remind you that InteRussia is a unique project implemented by Gorchakov Fund, MGIMO University and Rossotrudnichestvo where young scholars will be working on their own research studies under the guidance of senior research fellows of MGIMO for the period of one month. In addition to that, the participants of the program will meet top representatives of the academic and expert community and governmental officials, visit educational and sociopolitical platforms and will also be able to attend public diplomacy events hosted by the partners.

During the first week of the program, the interns met with Head of Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) Evgeniy Primakov.

Mr. Primakov told the young scholars about historical and ideological foundation of the Russian humanitarian policy, modern approaches to understanding of that term, which is often interpreted in a narrow way – as a field exclusively related to culture, art, education, etc. The head of Rossotrudnichestvo mentioned that Russia was calling upon broader understanding of the humanitarian policy, which included a full scope of communications with partners, first of all, on foreign platforms. The United Nations is striving to bring back the understanding of "humanitarian" into the international community as, definitely, involving culture, science, education, but referring, above all, to development of humankind and society overall.

The attendees of the InteRussia program talked about trends of development of civil societies in Eurasia with Professor of the Department of Applied International Analysis at MGIMO University Andrey Bezrukov. According to the professor, despite significant differences bewteen socioeconomic indicators of certain countries on the continent, self-consciousness of the young generation was becoming a main tendency towards changes. The young scientists also discussed problems of existence and regulation of the information space, intersection of interests of transnational actors and sovereign countries.

At the end of the week, the participants of InteRussia met with Executive Director of the Gorchakov Fund Leonid Drachevsky. The conversation, which took place in an informal setting, allowed the attendees to most openly discuss the current state of relations between Russia and other countries, which they represented. Mr. Drachevsky emphasized that at present it was very important to listen to each other and accept another point of view. In this regard, a set of tools providing for a communication, including such projects as InteRussia, are becoming essential.

The participants of the meeting discussed a large number of problems in the area of modern international relations: the environmental agenda and the "greening" of world politics, energy problems, economic integration and other issues. The head of the Gorchakov Fund told the audience about the Fund's plans aimed at expanding the program of internship geographically and professionally by inviting not only foreign affairs experts to attend, but also technology professionals – programmers, engineers, doctors and others.

"Such professionals constitute an enormous number of people, who, perhaps, not that often access the media space, but also develop ideas changing our world and, thus, affect the course of history", mentioned Leonid Drachesvky.

The young scientists thanked Mr. Drachevsky for the unique opportunity to meet in person outstanding professionals and top experts in their areas and also discussed potential for further cooperation in order that make sure that the ties between academic institutions of Russia and foreign countries do not get broken, but grow and develop. They mentioned that the Russian experience of research and public diplomacy, which was only developing in many young countries in the post-Soviet space, was important.

Read more in Russian here.