29 March 201712:18

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at a meeting of the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund Board of Trustees, Moscow, March 29, 2017

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Mr Drachevsky, colleagues, friends,

We are happy to welcome you to a regular meeting of the Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund Board of Trustees. Today we will discuss the Fund’s performance last year and its priority goals for the near future.

We highly value the Gorchakov Fund’s contribution to the implementation of the country’s foreign policy, especially in the current complicated situation. We appreciate the fund’s efforts to develop direct contacts with foreign public, political, business and expert communities. I believe that this informal dialogue is vitally important at the current stage, when many mechanisms of interaction with the West have been suspended by our Western partners. For example, the two sessions of the Potsdam Meetings, which the fund held in May last year in Berlin and in November in Moscow,  were used to exchange opinions on a wide range of issues pertaining to Russian-German relations. The participants expressed opinions about promoting the forward development of these relations based on the principles of equality, mutual benefit, respect and consideration for the interests of one’s own country and also for the interests of the partner.

The Gorchakov Fund is wisely focused on contacts with young people, including students, young politicians and government officials, journalists and public figures, that is, those who will form the future agenda in their countries or will be responsible for relations with other countries. We see that the fund is strengthening cooperation with foreign universities and maintains relations with over 20 partner universities. I believe that Dialogue in the Name of the Future is a highly successful format of the fund’s work with young professionals from around the world. It is of crucial significance that this programme is focused on the post-Soviet countries. It is rewarding that the Gorchakov Fund is conducting a systemic dialogue with the target audience and that a major role in this work belongs to the Club of Friends of the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund, which was created at public initiative. The club’s membership keeps growing and has exceeded 200.

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