About the Program
Meeting Russia is a unique independently-run public diplomacy program for young leaders. The program brings together young representatives of academia, governmental institutions, parliaments, think-tanks, media and private sector from the US and European countries, as well as Russia.

The three-day program held in Moscow focuses on Russia's foreign policy and its relations with the West. Through meetings with senior Russian officials, top experts and exchange of ideas with their peers, participants have great opportunity to address critical issues related to Russia's role in world affairs and to connect with a diverse professional community.

Meeting Russia seeks to facilitate dialogue between rising leaders interested in Russia and contribute to the discussion about Russia–West relations.

Next round of Meeting Russia will be announced in 2020.

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Voices of Meeting Russia
Voices of Meeting Russia - Reid Standish (USA)
Voices of Meeting Russia - Miriam Hinthorn (USA)
Voices of Meeting Russia - Lisa Gurth (Germany)
Voice of Meeting Russia - Lauren Rogers (USA)
Voices of Meeting Russia - Dale Bass (USA)
Voices of Meeting Russia - Oliver Roy Pelletier (Canada)
The program is organized and promoted by Creative Diplomacy, a Russian NGO founded in 2010 and working in the fields of soft power and public diplomacy.

Creative Diplomacy runs public diplomacy training programs for young Russian professionals, hosts public events and helps raise awareness of Russia's stance on international relations.

In 2019, as well as in 2018, the program Meeting Russia will be funded with a grant of the Presidential Grant Foundation. The 2017 program was funded with a Presidential grant provided through the Russian National Charity Fund.
Past Programs
Meeting Russia was first held in February 2017 with 19 participants from eight countries (Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Serbia, Spain, and the United States).

In fall 2017, Creative Diplomacy promoted the program in New York, Washington, D.C., Brussels, and Berlin.

In March 2018 the program was held for the second time and brought together 24 participants from 10 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States).

In March 2019 Meeting Russia, a three-day program for young leaders from Western countries, was held in Moscow for the third time. Twenty-one participants from the United States, EU countries, Canada, and China visited Moscow to learn about Russian perspective on international affairs and to meet Russian foreign policy experts and practitioners.

The participants of the program visited the government and some research organizations including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Moscow, the State Duma, the Valdai Club and the Russian International Affairs Council, where a series of discussions on various aspects of Russian foreign policy were held. At the Eurasian Economic Commission they learned about the Eurasian integration project. Meeting Russia also featured visits to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center and to the Tretyakov Gallery that focuses on Russian society, culture, and arts.

On the last day of the program, the international participants were joined by their Russian peers for heated debate about Russia–U.S. relations, the crisis of political leadership and the new generation of leaders, and public diplomacy.
Participants' feedback
"I originally applied to this program as a way to expand my horizons and challenge myself to learn about — and better understand — an often maligned country. Indeed this experience showed me a different side of Russia, one where its citizens — like in any other country — want to thrive and advance the progress of its nation. The speakers were of diverse views and came with a great wealth of knowledge. I would highly recommend Meeting Russia for any young professional aiming to learn more about Russia and their geopolitical views.

Many hurdles remain ahead for US and Russia. Nonetheless, I think everyone would agree that a positive and respectful relationship is the most beneficial way moving forward, just not for these two nations, but the world at large."
Carlos Monteverde, MR2018
"I believe that the importance to keep and improve the dialogue between Russia and the West is now stronger than ever. It is so easy to judge when not knowing each other. Meeting Russia is an excellent program, which attacks exactly these issues by bringing together young leaders from Europe and the US to discuss foreign policy with Russian leaders. The results are new insights and a better understanding of the Russian perception of international issues."
Patricia Seige, MR2018
"I was very excited to participate in the 'Meeting Russia' program and I left with an experience that went far beyond my expectations. I feel that the coordinators did a great job on picking the participants and the speakers for the various events. I traveled around Moscow to various venues with an exceptional group of young professionals who were just as enlightening as the experts and government officials that we met. Not only did we discuss many different topics, but we also learned from different perspectives as the coordinators did very well in choosing speakers that often shared different views. Anyone who has an interest in Russia will greatly benefit from this program."
Jesse Metzger, MR2018
"Meeting Russia is a unique opportunity for young European and American professionals to get a sense of Russia's foreign policy from a first-hand experience. The discussions among a diverse group of participants, Russian officials, think tank experts and journalists create an intellectually stimulating environment to challenge one's views and perceptions of the world."
Denica Yotova, MR2018
"Meeting Russia was an outstanding opportunity to engage with other young professionals in interesting debates about Russia's foreign policy. The meetings were insightful and both the organising team and the group of participants were great. Plus, Moscow is always worth a visit!"
Eleonora Tafuro Ambrosetti, MR2018
"Le programme Meeting Russia est une opportunité unique de dialoguer avec plusieurs experts de haut-niveau qui travaillent sur le monde russe/eurasien et d'aborder des questions fondamentales. Bénéficier de la perspective russe est un moyen de rapprochement entre les USA/UE et la Russie/Chine et permet de comprendre les tensions entre les grandes puissances sous un angle unique et pragmatique."

"The Meeting Russia program is a unique opportunity to have a dialogue with many high-level experts specializing in Russia/Eurasia and to address fundamental issues. Knowing the Russian perspective can be beneficial when thinking about means for rapprochement between the United States/EU and Russia/China and it helps understand tensions between great powers in a unique and pragmatic way".
Michael Eric Lambert, MR2018
"This program provides an unparalleled opportunity to get rare and privileged access to institutions and experts inside Moscow that will help anyone further their understanding of Russian foreign policy issues, including those who have lived and worked in Russia before, as well as those who study and analyse the country's affairs from afar. The range of meetings, speakers and participants included in the program guarantees a lively and healthy dialogue around important geopolitical issues. I came away with clearer insight into topics I already had some knowledge of, and new insight into topics I should've known more about. An excellent and very valuable experience."
Rosanna Lockwood, MR2018
"Participating in this programme was a great experience since we were given an insight into a quite uncharted area of foreign policy — the Russian view of many highly debated issues and its argumentation.

Meeting Russia is a high — quality programme which is well — suited for academics, researchers, NGO's and other activists organisations which have an interest in diplomacy, politics and public policy. It is well — organized, nicely structured and gives you a unique opportunity to discuss burning public policy issues with relevant Russian decision and policymakers as well as international relations experts and analysts. I am definitely very grateful for being a participant in such a thought — provoking program!"
Darija Maric, MR2017
"At a time where the frosty rhetoric on a political level alienates Russia and 'the West', programmes and exchanges such as this are crucial to dispel mutual demonizations and stigmatizations. The political alienation must not jeopardize societal exchanges and people-to-people connections, the latter of which contribute to better understandings of each others' societies, histories, and viewpoints. Especially when we disagree on norms and policies: We better talk with each other than about each other".
Moritz Pieper, MR2017
"Meeting Russia program provides a unique opportunity to meet high-profile Russian experts, military officers and politicians one would otherwise not have the chance to talk to. Discussions have been open and frank. Such events are crucially important in order to cut through stereotypes and get to know Russian policy discussions".
Alexander Graef, MR2017
"I thought the agenda was excellent — the meetings presented a good variety of diverse positions in every sense: a balanced mix of governmental, NGO, academic, and commercial organizations and a broad spectrum of political viewpoints".
Emma Elizabeth Dorst, MR2017
"The Meeting Russia program provided us with highly thought-provoking sessions that allowed us to think more clearly and critically about world order and Russia's place in international politics — a highly informative insight into Russian foreign policy discourse and thought. At a time of rapid global geopolitical change, this program should prove invaluable to anyone who wishes to participate".
Zachary Paikin, MR2017
Follow-up Publications
During the program we introduce participants to the broad foreign policy community of Russia, including governmental officials, legislators and experts.

These organizations hosted Meeting Russia discussions in 2019.
Partners of Meeting Russia in 2017-2018