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Europe-Russia Diplomacy Exchange
22 January 2020
18:00—19:00
KEY CONCLUSIONS
There is no strategic dialogue between Russia and the European Union

We have a short-term strategy in terms of our dealings with the EU. That strategy only considers conflicts and tension that exists between countries, while economic dialogue is the same as it was before 2014 — Sergey Cheryomin, Minister, Head of Department for Foreign Economic Activity and International Relations of Moscow, Moscow City Government.

The basis for political dialogue in future will be economic relations and engagement

While politicians are talking, business people are busy working — Nadezhda Sikorsky, Chief Editor, Nasha Gazeta.ch.

Everyone is worse off without dialogue, but now is not the time to develop political dialogue. If we just work together, dialogue will come naturally — Mauro Pantaleo, President, P&P Advisory Group.

ISSUES
A genuine end to strategic dialogue between Russia and Europe

Nowadays, there’s less and less dialogue. It’s a global trend. There are no Russia—EU summits. And it’s naïve to think that the EU will reconsider decisions which were taken in 2014 — Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

While diplomacy continues, there is a lack of strategic dialogue. Do we need it at all? Talks about the East and West are completely futile, and the situation has completely changed. Globalism has been displaced by self-identification — Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director, Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club; Chief Editor, Russia in Global Affairs Journal.

The internal transformation of Russia and Europe: both have their own problems to focus on

In future, it will perhaps be possible to work out some sort of new strategy, but not at the moment, while Russia and the European Union are bogged down in their own transformation — Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director, Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club; Chief Editor, Russia in Global Affairs Journal.

70% of European sanctions against Russia came from the UK. Brexit will strengthen the French—German union. The European union is already talking about protecting its autonomy and security. There will be a new European Union which will understand the value of its unity thanks to Brexit — Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

We are on a road to peace, where countries’ own interests will start to play a bigger role, and even in associations like the European Union, countries will become more neutral and more objective — Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

Atrition of international institutions

A negative attitude is interfering with the work of international organizations. The UN works as effectively as its members allow it to. The UN is our mirror: it shows us as we are — Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

Abusing one’s position to refuse visas to politicians who are going to the UN General Assembly, that’s the start of a destructive process which will ruin the UN — Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director, Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club; Chief Editor, Russia in Global Affairs Journal.

SOLUTIONS
Redefining strategic dialogue between Russia and the European Union

The lack of strategic dialogue nowadays stems from the fact that the basis of the strategy which we had before, when we tried to start the semi-integration process, not realizing where everything was going, was the wrong one — Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director, Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club; Chief Editor, Russia in Global Affairs Journal.

Honest politics: seeking out compromise and ways to achieve it

The issue is whether we want to move forward, and if we want to, what are we willing to do to achieve that? Being neutral [in politics, — Ed.] does not exist, but it is possible to be an honest broker. We can try to solve a problem honestly, without any hidden personal agendas. <...> We need an honest discussion to find a way out of this situation. We must talk to one another and constantly seek out a common denominator, because trust comes from knowledge, and knowledge comes from dialogue — Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.