“Balkan Dialogue – 2015”. The first day. How Balkan people can jointly assert their own vision of the world

19 June 2015

One of the leading research-to-practice conferences of the Gorchakov Fund “Balkan Dialogue – 2015” is held for the fourth time in the Serbian city of Novi Sad. About a hundred of young professionals, experts in foreign affairs, political scientists and journalists from 15 countries came to the picturesque shores of the Danube.


Such a wide delegation represents acknowledgement of the achievements of the Gorchakov Fund in the field of establishing contacts among young experts from the countries of the region. The communication platform, launched three years ago, is becoming increasingly attractive to Balkan public diplomats. “Javni diplomati”, as it sounds in Serbian.


Ambassador of Russia to Serbia Alexander Chepurin called such experts in foreign affairs outstanding. He mentioned that the Gorchakov Fund is becoming progressively active year after year in the Balkans devoting more attention to Serbia.


The diplomat hopes that the dialogue will be developing in the future.


Alexander Chepurin provided one the most important topics for discussion, which he called a burning issue. According to him, we live in the period of grandeur geopolitical breakage. Efforts to create a unipolar world are in the past.


Sympathies of the diplomat in regards to the country of his residence are understandable. The ambassador talked about Serbia and its place in the modern world with good cheer. Russia had always believed that strong Serbia was an important element of the prosperous Balkans, he said.


Alexander Chepurin believes that the contribution by Serbian people into the history of Europe can be easily called outstanding. That is why nobody can succeed in morals suppression of Serbia. And it is not Serbians who need to repent though they are always urged to do so, summarized the diplomat.


Deputy Executive Director of the Gorchakov Fund Roman Grishenin agreed with the statement that Russia and Serbia had been tired of being angry and apologizing. This message reminds us of immortal words of the Russian Chancellor: “Russia is not sulking, she is composing herself”.


Moscow and Belgrade understand actions of each other as international politics players very well. And the “Balkan Dialogue” in this regard is an excellent place to present the Russian position to the Serbian civil society in the most general sense of this word. According to Roman Grishenin, “soft power” of our country is precisely in presenting Russia as an attractive civilized project. And the steps taken by Moscow in foreign policy coincide with the motto of the Gorchakov Fund “Peace and justice”.


By all means, study of the Balkans is a subject of academic interest for many experts in Russia. It is gratifying that in the republics of former Yugoslavia many experts have chosen the Russian Federation and its foreign policy as a topic of their research.


Founder of the organization “Serbian Code”, which had actively participated in preparation of the “Balkan Dialogue – 2015”, Mladjan Djordjevic acknowledged how difficult it can be to gather people of the regions at one table for an open discussion. This being said, only united those people can become reliable allies for Russia. Falsification of history presents a serious threat to that fragile cooperation.


A speech, made by co-founder of the Fund “Dignity” and well-known Serbian politician Miroslav Parovic, was emotional. He called the Balkans a point of cooperation for the East and the West, the North and the South, Europe and Russia.


According to the speaker, we can see how slowly the iron curtain is falling down. That is why the dialogue, held in Serbia, is an excellent chance to try to find solutions, which are important to the whole Europe.


Miroslav Parovic believes that current instability and efforts to create chaos in the life of Balkan people have their own stakeholders. Here and now a question whether the Balkans will become a trade route between the East and the West or will remain a backwater district of the continent is being solved. An important role is given here to a part of the elite, which has not sold itself to the West, said the politician. It will be able to stand for its right to remain itself and preserve its values and traditions.


“We are fighting for our way of life, our right to understand the world on our own. We protect our Balkan positions, self-identity and, finally, key values of Europe”, stressed the speaker.

Miroslav Parovic touched upon the Crimean problem. He called annexation of the Crimea to Russia the most important event in global politics from the times of fall of the Berlin Wall. The politician sees that pressure in regards to that issue has been put by mass media all over Europe. That is why solidarity and closer cooperation with Russia are important, he believes.