“Rossotrudnichestvo: At the cutting edge of humanitarian work on the exterior”

11 August 2020

On August 11, the Alexander Gorchakov Pubic Diplomacy Fund hosted an online lecture by Head of the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation Yevgeny Primakov “Rossotrudnichestvo: At the cutting edge of humanitarian work on the exterior”.

“Before, humanitarian presence was mostly defined as something contrary to science. However, for me a different interpretation, which is associated with access to human rights and benefits and includes arts, culture, education, science and basic human values and needs, is more appropriate. We should switch to a broader interpretation in order not to limit ourselves in regards to the toolset of that policy”, believes the head of the federal agency.

The main principle is transition to humanitarian influence in the countries where Russian centers of science and culture (RCSCs) are present. “That access to rights, benefits and development, certainly, does not exclude cultural and educational projects”, emphasized the speaker.

Yevgeny Primakov paid special attention to cooperation with the non-governmental sector, specifically with NGOs and businesses, which will allow improve efficiency of Rossotrudnichestvo: “There are RCSCs in that form or another in 81 countries. It is a huge network, which can be offered to the non-governmental sector as their embassies”.

The speaker announced rebranding of the name “Rossotrudnichestvo” and the “RCSC” abbreviation and expressed a desire to hold an open contest, which allow creating a bright and sound slogan for the external brand with the help of the expert community. “If we want to become a symbol of good nature, friendship and openness, we have to be more friendly, at least, in the name”, mentioned the speaker.

According to him, negotiations about opening the centers in several countries are currently taking place.

Yevgeny Primakov mentioned a need to create a well-functioning network of clubs that will provide welcoming and friendly atmosphere for the people, who want to be in touch with Russia.

According to the speaker, priority areas of activities of Rossotrudnichestvo comply with the foreign policy of Russia: the first priority is given to the CIS and former USSR space and integration associations, such as SCO, CSTO and EAEU.

During the discussion, the expert answered questions from the audience on a broad range of topics – from education to peacekeeping humanitarian projects.