Looking for opportunities of dialog Russia - Europe (VIDEO)
Within the first day of the 10th Gaidar Forum, experts tried to answer the question, whether Russia is a part of Europe. According to speakers, such answer will define the nature of relations between Russia and EU in the context of the existing strained political situation in the world.
Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, was the first to present his view on the problem of charged relations between Brussels and Moscow. According to the speaker, the stagnation in the political dialog is influenced by the lack of any communication between the countries. He reminded that, even at the apex of the Cold War, the countries were ready to sit down at the negotiating table. Solutions regarding nuclear weapon and disarmament were reached exactly in the dialog. Today, the long-drawn silence resulted in full mistrust of the parties to each other.
According to Wolfgang Ischinger, Russia and EU must remedy the situation, until it critically impacts the economic indicators of countries. One of the steps toward cooperation could be renewal of summits prepared in a quality manner. The key topic should be the ways to resolve local issues, i.e. Nagorno-Karabakh, Ukraine and Georgia. ‘The mechanism of diplomacy should be launched to prove that we are able to work in a partnership. Dmitry Medvedev pitched such idea yet when he was President. That is why, I took this opportunity to invite him today to the Munich Conference,’ the speaker noted.
‘Russia both is and is not a part of Europe. Europeans consider Russia as a European country, and Russia has to build its opinion to this effect by itself,’ Markus Ederer, Ambassador of the European Union to Russia, began his speech. The Ambassador noted that, when visiting Vladivostok, he gained a clear understanding that absolutely European culture prevails there, and he is ready to agree with the famous point that ‘Europe stretches from Lisbon to Vladivostok’. The speaker supported what was said by the previous speaker on the loss of trust and the need for negotiations: ‘Otherwise, we put ourselves in jeopardy to get into the armament race again.’ A good asset to renew the cooperation might be discussions of the project of gas transit to Europe and settlement of the Syrian conflict.
Alexander Grushko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, reminded his EU colleagues on the reasons that disrupted the balance in the relations. They include the EU refusal to establish visa-free regime for Russia and constant fear to find Russian armed forces in its territory, although such concerned should be directed to the USA. It would not be easy to recover the relations, Alexander Grushko expressed his opinion, however he supported the idea to renew summits.
Giles Merritt, Founder and Chairman of Friends of Europe; Director of Security and Defence Agenda, pointed out distressing realia of the both parties: ‘EU has lost its road map, soon we will have just two economically active persons per pensioner, we will get poorer. An the Russian economy depends on raw materials that now are regularly getting cheaper; in the context of such dynamics, the population may reduce to 111 million people. Heart-to-heart negotiations are the only reliable way to change the situation.’ The speaker called the Gaidar Forum an excellent starting point in this.
The self-isolation trend is also there on the Internet. Created to be free and to bring together people from different countries in a single communication field, the Internet now experiences a segmentation period. In our country, the state is also actively struggling against some resources, sometimes causing malfunctions of devices of ordinary people and companies. ‘Cybersecurity in the world is also a matter of cooperation,’ Ivan Begtin, Director of NGO Informational Culture, concluded.
Anzhela Lulikian, RANEPA
10th Gaidar Forum Organizers:
The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA);
The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute);
The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).
The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom and Gazprombank; strategic partners include Prosveshcheniye publishing house, Coca-Cola, Pharmstandard group, ACIG Group of Companies, the Russian Textbook Corporation, SANOFI, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Russian Railways, MSD, and Mastercard; EY, Cisco and Russian Direct Investment Fund are partners. This discussion’s partners are Philips, Cherkizovo and RVC.
The general information partners of the Gaidar Forum include the Rossiya 24 TV channel, Forbes global media company, RBC and TASS news agencies. The official information agency is Rossiya Segodnya. The general radio partner is Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishers, the RT TV channel, Interfax and Gazeta.RU. The main information partners are Profil weekly, FederalPress news agency, and Invest Foresight online magazine. The international information partners are Sputnik and Cision. Other media partners include PRIME news agency, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, RNS news agency, Radio Ekho Moskvy, News.Ru, Polit.ru, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, the PRO BUSINESS TV channel, Strategia magazine, AK&M, BRICS, Ekonomika i Zhizn weekly, National Banking Journal, Expert Tatarstan magazine, the Smart Country information platform, Financial One, Naans Media, and the Public Administration scientific political journal.