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Commit, Act, Demand: we CAN end violence against women

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, December 2
On November 27 the presentation of the international research paper The Humanitarian Dimension of Russian Foreign Policy toward Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the Baltic States was held at the Sheraton Metechi Palace hotel.

The document has been compiled by researchers from the International Centre for Geopolitical Studies (Georgia), Centre for East European Policy Studies (Latvia), Centre for Geopolitical Studies (Lithuania), School for Policy Analysis at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine), Foreign Policy Association of Moldova (Moldova) and International Centre for Defence Studies (Estonia). The project was initiated and supervised by the Centre of East European Policy Studies (Estonia) and aims to increase awareness among policy makers and key groups in target countries of the need for a better understanding of, and more closely coordinated policy regarding, Russia’s policy towards Russians living abroad.

The seven-month long research has drawn important conclusions, which are presented in five chapters - Russian human rights practice, Russian policy towards citizens residing abroad, consular matters, partnerships in the cultural and scientific sectors and Russian media in the abovementioned countries. During the presentation, the researchers presented details of their conclusions, held discussions with the audience and made their own proposals on the topics under discussion. The presentation was supported by the Open Society Georgia Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Research into Russia’s foreign policy documents and their practical implementation has revealed that Russia claims the status of a superpower. Gaining the status of a regional power in the post-Soviet space is the first step towards making this a reality. This assumption is supported by both the official directions of Russia’s foreign policy and the arsenal of its foreign policy instruments, the research says.

Russia has not yet rejected the concept that its 'near abroad' is an exclusive zone of Russian interest. It increasingly demonstrates its intention to use so-called soft power in combination with other tools of influence with the aim of supporting pro-Kremlin groups in the CIS and Baltic countries. Russia’s policy towards its citizens residing abroad is based on developing moral and legal arguments to support more intensive Russian action designed to achieve pro- Russian changes in the adjacent countries’ domestic policies. On the international scene Russia declares its determination to fight against violations of human rights in the CIS and Baltic countries but in reality it is struggling to strengthen its influence in the post-Soviet space.

This conference proved very successful and such events should have a greater and bigger international impact. Many of the facts revealed in the research have either been ignored by international commentators or are not very well known.