On November 16, research and educational program “Dialogue in the Name of the Future – 2017: Russia and the World Around a Century Later” opened in Moscow.
Executive Director of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund Leonid Drachevsky welcomed the participants from over 200 countries. After reminding that the current Dialogue in the Name of the Future was organized in the year of the 100th anniversary of the Revolution of 1917, the head of the Fund introduced outstanding politician and public figure, President of the Institute of Eurasian Studies, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy (2002-2004, 2008-2011) Franco Frattini to the audience.
In the beginning his speech the Italian diplomat thanked the Gorchakov Fund and the Primakov Center for Foreign Policy Cooperation for collaboration with the Institute of Eurasian Studies. “When coming to Moscow I always feel among friends”, he acknowledged. Franco Frattini shared his memories about his diplomatic work during hard times for Russia and Europe. He spoke about the initiative of Rome to bring Moscow into the club of superpowers, transformation of G7 into G8. According to the politician, during all these years Italy had been among the closest friends of Russia. Rome envisaged restoration of the foreign policy potential of Moscow and at various times stressed at the highest level that not a single important issue of the global politics could be resolved without Russia. Franco Frattini is confident that due to absence of Moscow in the “big seven” colossal opportunities have been missed to make the world a better and safer place. The guest of the Dialogue spoke a lot about what Russia could teach Europe. First of all, it is real unity – a powerful union of different people belonging to different ethnic groups and religions. It is obvious how the national pride of Russian citizens is reviving due to achievements in the foreign policy. This being said, Europe now is demonstrating deep lines of separation in various fields. The politician could not help mentioning the Ukrainian crisis. According to him, the biggest mistake was to offer Kiev a hard choice: to be with Moscow or with Europe. This resulted in the economic collapse and sufferings of the millions of people. Having stressed again that not a single complex issue could be resolved without Moscow, Franco Fratttini urged the Europeans and the Russian to restore strategic relations. This has to be done right away.
The first day of the Dialogue was dedicated to discussions of different aspects of the Russian history during the period of 1917-2017. Professor of Moscow State University Alexander Sagomonyan, Director of analytics center Rethinking Russia Alexander Konkov and Associate Professor of Moscow State University Alexey Fenenko presented to the audience.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov met the participants of the project.”We attach great importance to dialogue with members of the research and expert community, who represent a wide range of positions and views on the world politics. We believe that an open and free discussion in this format will enable researchers to familiarise themselves more profoundly with Russia’s approaches to the resolution of pressing international issues and will help allay the myths about our country that are being pushed forth by our opponents in the information space.” During the meeting, the Minister shared his assessments of the international situation, dwelled on priority fields of the Foreign Ministry’s work and answered questions from participants in the Gorchakov Fund’ programme.
Organizers of the project this year are the Primakov Center for Foreign Policy Cooperation and the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund. The event is also organized with the support of the grant of the President of the Russian Federation for development of the civil society provided by the Foundation of Presidential Grants.
****“Dialogue in the Name of the Future” is an annual research and educational program for young experts, whose professional interests are focused on foreign policy, international relations and public diplomacy. During five days of intensive intellectual activities, lectures and seminars 45 participants from over 20 countries will exchange opinions with their colleagues from other countries, analyze consequences of the revolution of 1917 for the modern system of foreign affairs and discuss the current international agenda with respected Russian and foreign analysts.