PICREADI on NIICE International Studies Convention 2021: discussion on soft power
The session was moderated by representatives of PICREADI - Natalia Burlinova and Viktoriia Ivanchenko. At the beginning of the session, the President of PICREADI Natalia Burlinova told foreign participants about the activities of PICREADI and our main project - Meeting Russia.

The editor-in-chief of the Creative Diplomacy website Viktoriia Ivanchenko made a presentation on the Russian understanding of "soft power", specifically when and why the concept became popular, on what main pillars it is based in the understanding of Russian officials and scientists. Victoria also spoke about the main ideas of Russian "soft power": justice, peace, strong diplomacy. She mentioned that the most important aspect of Russian "soft power" is the educational component. Against the backdrop of the covid epidemic, Russia has managed to strengthen its position in the field of vaccine diplomacy. In the future, Russian "soft power" faces reforms, but education and science will play one of the key roles.
The session was also attended by two alumni of the Meeting Russia program - Michael Lambert, Ph.D. in History of Europe&International Relations from Sorbonne University, and Peter Flew, a postgraduate researcher (doctoral candidate) at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University College London.

Michael Lambert focused on an analysis of the soft power of the European Union and the weakness of European institutions that were demonstrated during the pandemic. At the same time, Lambert considers the tactics of integrating refugees and providing them with educational services to be the correct strategy of the EU.

Peter Flew in his report spoke about Orthodoxy as an instrument of "soft power" and communities of Orthodox people in other countries. He spoke about the activity of representatives of Russian Orthodoxy who emigrated to the West during the Cold War.

Young scientists from India also spoke at the session. They talked about "soft power" in the context of the Chinese concept of "One Belt - One Road", the "soft power" of Buddhism in China and India, as well as the future of Indian "soft power".

A recording of the session can be viewed on the NIICE Facebook page and our YouTube channel.