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The independent expert support for Russia and the West

The independent expert support for Russia and the West:

Overcoming isolation through dialogue.

 

Today, a strategically important task is to create a public platform for intellectual discussion and development of socio-economic models to overcome the current political and economic crisis, thereby avoiding social collapse, and the creation of the country's development program for the period for another five -ten years. The independent expert society should be represent by prepared to take up this task in cooperation with well-known, high reputable Russian, American and European institutions. 

It seems logical and necessary to create a structure that would provide intellectual support for such processes. The members of the expert society could be all leading Russian and Western experts, universities, think tanks and other organizations interested in providing professional support, as well as facilitating a dialogue between the major social players in the country and a civilized dialogue between Russia and foreign countries and with international institutions. Such activities may be carried out through various forums (international conferences, preparation of analytical materials, forecasts, programs and recommendations, research policy papers, etc.).   The expert society work should be financed from public Russian and foreign sources strictly within the limits of the law, also funding will not be carried out using political party sources.

Priorities for such activity will be a creation of a discussion in one or more of the following agendas: political, legal, economic, international, involving serious professionals in a particular field. The goal is to find legitimate and economically sound solutions to conflicts - bridging Russia and the West through civilized, mutually agreed and legally supported forms of activity of the expert community.

Recent years have all too often seen mutual isolation of Russia and the West, the increasing use of sanctions in relation to each other, the lack of effective dialogue between the parties. As a result the most important international issues, including inter-state conflicts and wars, both in traditional and in hybrid forms, remain unresolved. There is a further alienation of Russia and the West, ongoing immigration crisis in the EU, an increase of the number of casualties, not only in the military but also among the civilian population.

Neither Russia nor the West is prepared to resolve these problems under the current conditions of their political relations. In these circumstances, the old rules of engagement are not effective, including the fact that each party has changed qualitatively, and there is a necessity for constant monitoring and examination of each other's conduct.

Now there is a phase of exacerbation of international relations, in particular, all the formats of possible resolution of the Ukrainian crisis, both legal and political have proven ineffective (the Helsinki process, the Minsk process, Norman format, the Hague Tribunal, the United Nations, including the Security Council and others). There has been a tendency towards conflict in the dialogue between Russia and Western countries on major international issues (international terrorism, massive influx of refugees in Europe, war in Syria).

 All of Russia’s existing relations with foreign NGOs (and foreign funding) have been disrupted, new formats are needed to work with professional structures, which have extremely limited or completely stopped their activities in Russia due to the requirements of the law on foreign agents. Instead of searching for legal alternatives, the majority of foreign partners have ceased their activities. As a result, cooperation, which was built over decades, was destroyed. This occurred because the level of misunderstanding abroad of the situation existing today in Russia was extremely high, causing not always adequate (or belated) steps and lack of hope to improve the situation.

Imitation of activities of some previously successful organizations in the new environment has no practical meaning, and was successfully integrated in the current Russian propaganda. Russian experts, who represent the official position, are included in international and foreign institutions as "independent experts", but their actions often only exacerbate the mutual misunderstanding and mistrust, and do not contribute to the search for new opportunities for dialogue.

Experts cooperation with the Heinrich Boell and Konrad Adenauer Foundations, as well discussion of possibilities of a dialogue through well-known mediators from Harvard, MIT and the Salzburg Global Seminar confirmed our views that it is inappropriate to build a model of current and future relations based solely on ways to “combat” Russia (without understanding it in its current state). Another words if all Parties will continue   to build relations only on the confrontation it will led each of them to losses. The lack of an effective dialogue leads to obvious costs for all parties involved in international and interstate conflicts. The refusal of a number of foreign countries from a permanent dialogue with Russia, aiming at its isolation is, in fact, is a political sponsorship of the forces within Russia that offer the country a model of existence based only on "available resources" in which economic activity is largely confined to energy and arms trade. The international position of the country is not based on economic development, but only on military capabilities, the use of military force abroad is regarded as an effective advertising campaign for the sale of arms.

Mutual Interest of the parties- Russia and the West (in addition to of weapons control) include at  least:

- limiting and resolving the problems of illegal migration,

- joint fight against international terrorism,

- returning the cooperation in many areas back to normal,

- gaining access to the huge market of goods and technologies, as well as the market of raw materials - a variety of natural resources,

- cuts in defense spending,

- recognizing, legitimizing borders. 

- energy security. 

 

In connection with the above, the various forms of expert activities and support in the search for the conflict settlement  includes at  least:

• Monitoring the state of the problem,

• Analytics, forecasts,

• Round tables, conferences;

• Creating proposals, roadmaps, development programs, mediation.

 

The future expert activities will be based on :

1. Legal and economic reforms in transit conditions.

2. Reform of state policy in the sphere of criminal prosecution, justifying and implementing the principles of the rule of law in the economic sphere.

3. Issues of international energy security.

4. Conditions of a favorable investment climate.

5. Substantial contributions to the settlement process (in the form of mediation, etc.) as in the case of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.

 

Dr. Elena Novikova,

Director, Center for Legal and Economic Studies

December, 2016

 

 
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