The Gorchakov Fund took part in a meeting of Sergey Lavrov with Russian regional non-profit organizations
When speaking to the audience, the head of the Russian Foreign service said:
Welcome to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. We are happy to receive representatives of non-profits who have come to the capital from a great many regions of the Russian Federation.
We have maintained an ongoing dialogue with Russian non-profits for 15 years, and it has become an integral part of the Ministry’s work; the feedback we receive from the regions helps us to form our views regarding topics on the international agenda.
We have a special event today because for the first time ever we are meeting exclusively with representatives of regional non-profit organizations.
It is in our interest for civil society institutions to be actively, energetically engaged in international activities. We are ready to help these organizations reach various foreign platforms and establish contacts with foreign colleagues. It is obvious that a broad-based dialogue with the public invariably helps maintain trust and mutual understanding, helps different peoples to learn more about each other.
Cultivating such ties and understanding at the level of civil society is especially important today. The global situation remains rather tense. There are constant attempts to aggravate it, while distorting the real reasons for pursuing the policy that our Western colleagues have started to implement. President Putin has said – at the plenary session of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum, in his recent interviews and in the context of Direct Line – that the reasons for the behaviour of Western colleagues are quite clear. The US, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, came to believe in “the end of history,” it got accustomed to ensuring its well-being at the expense of others, and is trying by all means to secure sole leadership in the global arena. To achieve that, attempts are being made to impede the objective processes leading to the emergence of a polycentric, more just and democratic system of international relations, to constrain the processes leading to the emergence of new global centres of economic growth, financial power and political influence. Various tools are used for that - from outright blackmail and military pressure to demonizing competitors in the global information space and restricting access to markets and advanced technologies. Attempts are being made to replace universal formats, like the UN or the G20 that solve all key issues of global politics by consensus, with close-knit “get-togethers” where decisions are taken by the participants which are subsequently imposed on all the rest as the ultimate truth. In place of universally recognized international law as enshrined in the UN Charter, our Western colleagues started inventing certain rules in the past several years, which are changed each time, including retroactively, for the sake of political expediency by the US and its allies.
A special place in this collection of ill-conceived policies is reserved, of course, for unilateral economic sanctions, “trade wars” and the extraterritorial application of the national laws of the United States.
All of these tools are also used against Russia, which is treated by Washington as a major obstacle to their goal of dominating in all things in the world. Our independent domestic and foreign policy addressing legitimate national interests is increasingly a cause of irritation overseas as well as in some European capitals. This is the source of the insidious attempts to “punish” us, to make us follow the Western line. To achieve this, various ridiculous pretexts are used, such as accusations of interfering in the internal affairs of virtually the entire Western world or in whom the Western world chooses as leaders.
It is clear that the attempts to tarnish Russia by these means are destined to fail. We are a country with a thousand year history and unique geostrategic position; we are a permanent member of the UN Security Council. We will never blindly follow anyone whatsoever, but rather formulate our own policies. The sad experience of our neighbour Ukraine clearly shows what blindly following advice and cues from abroad can lead to. Under Poroshenko, who relied on radical nationalists, this country of great potential was relegated to the status of a seeker of international assistance, lost its industrial base and is still suffering from a colossal outflow of labour force, not to mention its internal conflict and the spiritual and civilizational divisions in society. It is clear that it will take many years to overcome this.
Another example of the consequences of geopolitical engineering that our Western colleagues engage in is Georgia, where Western curators are willing to turn a blind eye to ultranationalist acts of violence and anti-Russian sentiment just to sever the entire Georgian people’s ties with our country and re-write our common history."
A full text of the speech in Russian can be found here
Executive Director of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund Leonid Drachevsky told about main areas of work of the Fund and spoke in detail about grant support of the projects targeting development of public diplomacy.
“We are very attentive to those projects, which can provide new approaches and mechanisms of implementation of soft power of Russia - mentioned Leonid Drachevsky. – The Fund, on average, provides up to forty grants per year. Besides, one third of them goes to foreign organizations. A list of priority areas of the Fund is approved annually at the meeting of the Board of Trustees. The full list is available on our website."