December 3, 2009

Presentation of research results of an international comparative study on the impact of Russian foreign policy on its neighbouring countries

On Friday, November 20, a presentation was held in Tallinn to introduce a study titled The ‘Humanitarian Dimension’ of Russian Foreign Policy Toward Georgia, Moldova Ukraine and the Baltic States, which was prepared by foreign and defence policy think-tankers from six countries. Together with the International Centre for Defence Studies, researchers from five think-tanks participated in the project: the initiator of the project – the Centre for East European Policy Studies, based in Latvia; the Centre for Geopolitical Studies in Lithuania; the Foreign Policy Association of Moldova the International Center for Geopolitical Studies in Georgia; and the School for Policy Analysis at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine.

20.11.2009
On Friday, November 20, a presentation was held in Tallinn to introduce a study titled The ‘Humanitarian Dimension’ of Russian Foreign Policy Toward Georgia, Moldova Ukraine and the Baltic States, which was prepared by foreign and defence policy think-tankers from six countries. Together with the International Centre for Defence Studies, researchers from five think-tanks participated in the project: the initiator of the project – the Centre for East European Policy Studies, based in Latvia; the Centre for Geopolitical Studies in Lithuania; the Foreign Policy Association of Moldova the International Center for Geopolitical Studies in Georgia; and the School for Policy Analysis at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine.
Russia’s foreign policy documents refer to the term ‘humanitarian trend’ for the first time in 2007. The study contains an overview of Russian foreign policy, identifying its key components: 1) the defence of human rights; 2) the protection of the interests of compatriots living abroad (including the promotion of the consolidation of compatriots and the strengthening of the space of the Russian language and culture); 3) consular matters (the awarding of Russian citizenship and the ensuring of the right to travel for compatriots); and 4) partnerships in cultural and scientific sectors.
This new concept links Russia’s usual geopolitical ambitions concerning its ‘Near Abroad’ with the principles of ‘soft power,’ as defined by Joseph S. Nye. After the formulation of the concept, Russian foreign policy efforts, directed at Russian compatriots and backed by information campaigns, have intensified significantly.
The collection of research results begins with a general overview of the concepts of ‘soft power’ and the ‘humanitarian dimension’ of Russian foreign policy, followed by case studies of each participating country. Every case study is divided into five chapters: Russian human rights practice; Russian compatriots policy in the respective country; consular issues; cooperation in culture, education and science; and the impact of Russian mass media on the Russian-speaking population of the respective host country. The book ends with a comparative analysis and general conclusions.
The study is the first of its kind, as it compares the impact of the ‘humanitarian dimension’ of Russian foreign policy on six different nations. Research activities, the publication of the book and seminars were conducted with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy, the East–East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program of the Open Estonia Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
On Friday, key research results were presented by think-tankers from all the six participating countries: Andis Kudors ja Gatis Pelnens (who was also the editor of the book) from Latvia, Nerijus Maliukevicius from Lithuania, Dmytro Kondratenko from Ukraine, Radu Vrabie from Moldova, Tengiz Pkhaladze from Georgia and Juhan Kivirähk from Estonia.
Download: The “Humanitarian Dimension” of Russian Foreign Policy Toward Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the Baltic States

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