The ‘Russia/Eurasia–Caribbean: A New Dawn 2017’ Forum, the first of its kind, was held from November 1 to 3, 2017. The event was organized by the Government of Grenada, the Bering-Bellingshausen Institute for the Americas (IBBA, Montevideo, Uruguay), and the Roscongress Foundation. Between 2015 and 2017, the IBBA and the Roscongress Foundation held three sessions on Latin America at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), and organized the first SPIEF regional session in the south of the New World in Montevideo in 2016.
Delegations from Russia, Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, Grenada, Cuba, St. Kitts and Nevis, the United States, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Jamaica all took part in the Forum.
Speakers included: Nickolas Steele, Grenada Minister of Health, Social Security, and International Business; Sergey Brilev, President of the IBBA, Russia 1 TV channel presenter, and Roscongress expert; Oleg Firer, Grenadian Ambassador to Russia; Kirill Kaem, Senior Vice President for Innovation at the Skolkovo Foundation; David Lord, Deputy Programme Manager, External Economic and Trade Relations for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM); Alexander Shchetinin, Director of the Latin American Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; Maxim Yusin, Deputy Editor of the Foreign News Desk at Kommersant; Elena Pleukhova, Head of the Department of Romance Philology and Associate Professor at Kazan Federal University; Peter Wilding, Managing Director of Influence Group (London); Vladimir Davydov, Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Latin America; Irina Novikova, Dean of the School of International Relations at St. Petersburg State University; Hassan Hadeed, Grenadian Ambassador to Venezuela; Nikolay Smirnov, Russian Ambassador to Guyana, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Remy Jacobson, founder and CEO of Bunker Capital; Maxim Shkadov, CEO of Kristall Production Corporation and President of the Russian Diamond Manufacturers Association; Maria Caridad Balaguer Labrada, Cuban Ambassador to Grenada; and Perla Rosales, Deputy Director General of the Office of the Historian in Havana, Cuba.
The key focus of the event was strengthening commercial and academic partnerships between countries of the Eurasian Economic Union and CARICOM. A wide range of international issues was also discussed. Representatives drawn from political, academic, media, and business circles took part in themed sessions.
“Grenada’s chairmanship of CARICOM offers a platform and an opening for future productive dialogue between our countries”, emphasized David Lord.
Grenada was the first Caribbean country to open an embassy in Moscow, which it has also used to establish a trade representation in the country.
“At the conclusion of the Forum, it was noted that this Eurasian–Caribbean dialogue should continue until the end of Grenada’s CARICOM chairmanship. To accomplish this, we worked with Minister Steele and Ambassador Firer to establish a permanent channel for dialogue, the St George’s Club, named after Grenada’s capital city, St George’s”, added Sergey Brilev.
Dialogue between the countries which took part in the Forum will continue in May at SPIEF 2018.
A documentary film about the ‘Russia/Eurasia–Caribbean: A New Dawn 2017’ Forum will be shown on television channel Russia 24 in November.