Diplomats and top experts from two countries gathered together at the Russian-Slovak Forum held at the Gorchakov Fund

26 September 2017

On September 26, the Russian-Slovak Discussion Forum took place in Moscow. Diplomats, public figures and top experts gathered together on the expert platform to discuss major issues of bilateral cooperation. Honorary guests of the forum included Ambassador of Slovakia in Moscow Peter Priputen and Ambassador of Russia in Bratislava Alexey Fedotov.

The attendees were warmly welcomed by Executive Director of the Gorchakov Fund Leonid Drachevsky.

According to him, today we have to speak about mediacracy, the power of mass media. It is them, who dictate political fashion acting based on the principle “whoever screamed louder is right”. However, it is important to study the other point of view as well.

In this regard, cooperation among civil societies, even though their opinion does not end up in the newspapers, took on particular importance. In the end, of all others, intellectuals of different countries prompt the world how to continue living, how to overcome disagreements and confront common challenges.

The head of the Gorchakov Fund stressed significance of participation of youth in such a discussion. Young people suggest new interesting ideas and it is them, who will have to define how the world of the future will look like.

Head of Research Center of the Slovak Association for Foreign Policy Alexander Duleba started his speech with the following acknowledgement: “We are here because we want to understand each other better”.

The expert recognized that it was hard to see a constructive agenda under the sanctions. However, he believes that there is normal understanding that Russia is a country closely associated with Slovakia. One just needs to understand what the difference is and where the problems are.

Deputy Head of the Third European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andrey Sharashkin mentioned that a direct dialogue between Moscow and Bratislava was quite in demand considering the situation in Europe and in the world.

Friendly relations, inspired with mutual sympathy and based on historical alliance of the nations from the two countries, are valued in Russia. We preserve respectful and trustworthy nature of those relation and try to develop them.

Regular contacts are maintained between the leadership of Russia and Slovakia, ministries of foreign affairs of both states. Interparliamentary relations are expanded. Slovakia is an important trade and economic partner of Russia.

It is rewarding that citizens of the two countries still have an interest in culture and art of each other.

Ambassador Peter Priputen highly appreciated the Russian-Slovak Forum. According to him, the organizers were able to involve respected experts, well-known scientists and public figures into the discussion.

The diplomat believes that we were always able to find common points. Also, extended bilateral contacts support positive relations.

Peter Priputen stressed that special importance in Slovakia was given to cooperation between the regions, establishing direct contacts between the municipalities. It is pleasant to see how new sister-cities emerge and communication between citizens of our countries expands.

His Russian colleague Alexey Fedotov urged the attending experts to openly discuss issues of bilateral relations from the perspective of searching ways to strengthen those relations and provide their stable development.

He gave a positive assessment of the activities of the groups of friendship in the parliaments of both countries, reminded about the interest of Slovak entrepreneurs in the EEU and possible cooperation of that integration project with the EU.

The participants of the forum discussed prospects and challenges of developing the bilateral relations, assessed plans of cooperation between Russia and the Visegrad Group.

One of important topics of the dialogue was dedicated to status and potential for cooperation of Russia and the EEU with the EU.

The experts also discussed problems of security in relations of Russia and CSTO with NATO having evaluated current state and prospects for cooperation.

A full text of the article in Russian can be found here