On July 27-30, the first Reunion of the Meeting Russia alumni was held in Ulyanovsk, Russia
On July 27-30, the first meeting of the Meeting Russia program alumni was held in Ulyanovsk. More than 20 international experts from Europe, the USA, and Canada took part in it. Young experts from India, China, and South Africa also joined the program.
During the first day, the program participants had meetings with Russian experts in the field of international relations and conversations with the representatives of state authorities. The Meeting Russia Reunion began with a discussion about the new features of the system of international relations, entitled "A War of Worldviews as a Basis of the Cold War 2.0."

The invited experts were Eleonora Tafuro, Research Fellow at Russia, Caucasus, and Central Asia Centre, Institute for International Political Studies, and Sergey Utkin, Head of Strategic Assessment Section at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO RAS). Andrey Kortunov from RIAC and Yulia Nikitina from MGIMO joined the conference as online speakers.

During the second session of the Meeting Russia Reunion, Konstantin Kosachev, a Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council, held a lively discussion with foreign participants on the most urgent issues of Russia's current foreign policy.

The first day of the Meeting Russia Reunion included a business lunch with Alexander Smekalin, Acting Chairman of the Government of the Ulyanovsk Region. Also, the participants had a productive conversation with Alexander Kostomarov, First Deputy Governor of the Ulyanovsk Region, and Tatyana Ivshina, Executive Director of the "Ulyanovsk - Capital of Culture" Foundation.
The second day of the international project in Ulyanovsk opened with a discussion on the topic "International humanitarian cooperation and political games: the experience of Russia and other countries in the period of a global pandemic". The session was moderated by Oleg Shakirov, Senior Expert at the Center for Advanced Governance, and Mikhail Petrosyan, a founder of the Humanitarian Monitor project. Alexander Konkov, Director of the Rethinking Russia analytical center, and Uliana Artamonova, Junior Researcher Fellow in the US Foreign and Domestic Policy Sector of the IMEMO RAS, took part in the discussion both online and offline. Zhang He, Vice Chairman of the Youth Exchange Association of Chinese Students in Russia, paid special attention to the recent Chinese experience of humanitarian cooperation. Answering questions, the speakers also discussed Russia's vaccine diplomacy and the impact of the pandemic on the United States and the countries of the Balkan region.

Then the foreign delegation got acquainted with the special economic zone of the Ulyanovsk region, which is an industrial park of several international industrial enterprises. The participants also visited the ULNANOTECH nano center, where they were told about the development of alternative energy sources, the promotion of new technologies, and the prospects of local wind energy.

A special point of the program was the discussion of "Investments in Russia in the Context of Sanctions: Expectations and Reality". Ivan Kiseev, Executive Director of the Creative Diplomacy Center and Development Director of Marriott Development (Russia and the CIS countries), and Ivan Timofeev, Program Director of the Russian International Affairs Council, spoke to the participants in an online format. Igor Ryabikov, Executive Director of the Ulyanovsk Region Development Corporation, became the invited expert from the Ulyanovsk side. Parv Aggarwal, the head of the Russia-USA direction in the Russian-American Youth Alliance, took part in the discussion as a foreign speaker.
After two intense intellectual days of Meeting Russia Reunion, the participants enjoyed an informal part of the program, where they were introduced to the culture and history of the Ulyanovsk region. Creative Diplomacy chose the Ulyanovsk region for the program in order to show foreigners another, deep Russia, to acquaint them with the diversity of culture and the multifaceted nature of Russian history. Reunion hosted participants of the Meeting Russia programs since 2017, including participants of the last year's online format. For many colleagues, this meeting was the first offline international event since the start of the pandemic.