The Role of NGOs in Russia's Public Diplomacy in the New Geopolitical Environment
On November, 22, the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) held seminar "The Role of NGOs in Russia's Public Diplomacy in the New Geopolitical Environment".

President of Creative Diplomacy Natalia Burlinova prepared a report on the topic and summarized it for the audience. Her talking points dealt with the work of Russian NGOs abroad.
The Role of NGOs in Russia's Public Diplomacy in the New Geopolitical Environment
Here are some of the points:
  • "Today all Russian soft power is rendered illegal in the West."
  • "NGOs are the main public diplomacy instruments, and people who have worked hard to build effective NGOs require the support of the Russian state, although we realize that today other problems are prioritized".
  • "The Ukrainian example shows how important the role of NGOs is in forming a civil society and keeping it tuned to a certain political wave."
  • "We should think of the ways to improve the legal conditions of Russian NGOs abroad and expedite their functioning."
  • "The numerous problems of the Russian compatriots willing to be granted the Russian citizenship can be solved very quickly – if there is political will and functioning mechanisms, and once red tape is cut."
Other speakers:
Ivan Timofeyev, Program Director of RIAC:
  • "The Russian public diplomacy should be intensified in all directions."
  • "Our soft power efforts need to be carefully segmentized according to target audiences in different countries."
Dmitry Polikanov, Deputy Head of Rossotrudnichestvo:
  • "The Russian public diplomacy is about broadening the Russian humanitarian influence abroad."
  • "We should work more with NGOs doing socially-oriented projects."
Victoria Karslieva, Deputy Head of the Gorchakov Fund:
  • "The Gorchakov Fund would like to work with NGOs that specialize in certain regions and subjects, and that do not 'drift off' their course to suit a grant-giver'."
  • "In the new international conditions we have prioritized the directions of Latin America, ASEAN and the Near East in our work."
  • "InteRussia continues functioning despite the geopolitical changes."
Anna Velikaya, Lecturer at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration:
  • "According to the USAID guidelines, their organization is "a bridge between civil societies in other countries and the U.S. Department of Defense". The Pentagon finances USAID. So, civil societies in other countries receive money from the Pentagon and promote the interests of the U.S."
  • "It is important to strengthen the role of Russian representatives in international organizations."
  • "Russian children abroad are being denied access to education in the Russian language. It is high time our official structures and NGOs stepped in."