Fellows of the InteRussia programme in international relations meet Yevgeny Primakov

International Relations
On 9 November, the Fund’s hall hosted a meeting between the participants of a new round of fellowship programme in international relations and Yevgeny Primakov, Head of Rossotrudnichestvo.

The event was dedicated to the activities of this federal agency. Its head told the audience about the difficulties associated with the residence of compatriots abroad, international social cooperation, and the role of public diplomacy in political communication.

According to Yevgeny Primakov, the Agency is currently implementing educational programmes and projects in many countries:
"Rossotrudnichestvo was recently sanctioned by the European Union, and several cultural centres have been closed down by local authorities. We are trying to find a way to establish relations with local NGOs using the social or expert track. At the moment we are generally oriented towards the states of the former USSR, as well as Asia and Africa. This breaks the old Russian and Soviet tradition, because our country’s foreign policy has always been aimed mainly at cooperation with the West. Nevertheless, we are very happy to witness this shift."
In addition, the head of the agency told the fellows about another important area of Rossotrudnichestvo’s activities: maintaining contacts with compatriots abroad. Yevgeny Primakov noted that now the Agency is providing them with details on opportunities to return to Russia. This is a complex issue, and besides, part of the Russian-speaking diaspora ended up abroad not by choice:
"The collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in a separation of peoples. Someone lived in one state and then found themselves outside Russia. Each of these groups has its own hopes, demands and interests. Therefore, the Agency’s main idea is that we need a mass repatriation of Russian-speaking residents back to Russia. The Russian community is assimilating, but our main interest is that they retain their identity."
The meeting attendees were also interested in the agency’s information strategy, the activities of Russian educational institutions, and the prospects for the fellows to cooperate with Russian Houses in the implementation of their research projects.

InteRussia fellowship programmes are a unique opportunity to get to know the Russian agenda first-hand, attend lectures and workshops organised by leading media agencies, take part in partner events in the field of public diplomacy, and exchange experience with colleagues from different countries.

The topic of the current programme is called New Global Challenges and Threats. It is organised by the Gorchakov Fund and MGIMO Institute for International Studies with the support of Rossotrudnichestvo.

The current round of the programme is attended by 11 researchers from Armenia, Belarus, Brazil, Cambodia, Cuba, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Mongolia, and Serbia. Most of them came to Russia under the New Generation programme.