A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 173 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 78 countries worldwide, and 179 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian t.me/Roscongress, English – t.me/RoscongressDirect, and Spanish t.me/RoscongressEsp. Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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New Realities of the New World: A Game with No Rules?
17 June 2022
12:00—13:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
In the new global reality, Russia is steadfastly defending its national interests

The level of economic awareness and activity is high. And I think that constructive discussions have shown that Russia has overcome the confusion of the first few weeks, and continues to work on ensuring it can stand firmly on its own two feet. There is always a window to dialogue, but we need to draw our conclusions today — Grigory Karasin, Chairman of the Committee of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Foreign Affairs.

What we are left with is a state of affairs that always existed, but not everybody understood – ultimately, every country needs to put its own interests above all else. This is the main rule which existed, and today, more and more countries are beginning to recognize that fact. And conversely, the rule that someone from outside will help you no longer rings true. The West believed in its exceptionalism, that its status did not come from some kind of objective reality, but was bestowed from above. We are all too aware that a status is always supported by trust, trust in institutions. <...> They wanted to isolate us, but it’s now pretty clear that through the loss of trust, they are isolating themselves. Fewer and fewer partners want the kind of relations with them that existed previously — Maxim Oreshkin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation.

The sooner we realize that life is now different, the quicker we’ll be able to start work on restructuring the economy, political sphere, social sector, and yes, even things like music, and the better off we’ll be. And we’ll be able to come up with new principles, new policies, and new approaches. Based on these principles, we will negotiate with the West on new rules that need to be put in place, at least to replace today’s game, which has no rules at all — Andrey Kostin, President and Chairman of the Management Board, VTB Bank.

Russia possesses enormous potential, and isolating the country is impossible

Russia has a huge volume of assets, including companies which are partially or fully owned by the state. The state also has a controlling stake in virtually all the country’s major banks. Work is currently under way on reducing the state’s involvement in the business sector. The number of organizations under state control has halved in the last 12–18 months. This includes reduced participation in 62% of federal state unitary enterprises, and 51% of joint-stock companies which had been under state control. In terms of managing its remaining assets, the government is working in a systematic way to improve efficiency, — Valery Sidorenko, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Government of the Russian Federation.

There’s the dollar, which everyone is used to. The dollar is not a weapon – it is a drug, and one which the whole world has been addicted to when it comes to making settlements and services offered by the banking system. But the realization that it is a drug, and not an asset, is one that is growing throughout the world. They wanted to isolate [Russia – ed.], but they won’t succeed. Russia will be an open economy. We have lots of partners — Maxim Oreshkin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation.

ISSUES
It has become difficult to ensure development across a range of sectors due to sanctions

We are having to deal with the position of the West, which is essentially to play a game with no rules. Rules which were even established in the West itself now no longer apply. Three quarters of our banking sector have been cut off, if we look at the scale, rather than the number of banks. These are the largest financial institutions, and there are only rare exceptions. I think that of the seven biggest Russian banks, only Gazprombank remains unaffected by the sanctions. We simply have no other choice. It is absolutely vital to develop alternative channels for international settlements, with settlements being made in national currencies. Of course, a universal settlement scheme may be simpler in all respects... But we have no choice, because the method of settlement has become a weapon. I see how even our friendly partners are behaving – they are not afraid of America’s nuclear arsenal or its military might. They are not even afraid of what economic measures the US may take – they are afraid of being cut off from the dollar. That’s most powerful weapon the US has, and it enables them to dominate and frighten everyone. So, we have no choice. Despite all the difficulties, despite all the shortcomings, we have to create a non-dollar, non-currency-based form of settlement with other countries — Andrey Kostin, President and Chairman of the Management Board, VTB Bank.

There were always unshakeable rules in science and education. There is a global cloud of outcomes, knowledge, and contacts. It is open to everyone, it’s free, and everyone is in support of access to this cloud. And now you see that for the first time in world history, there are attempts to exclude Russian and Belarusian scientists from this system of contacts, from this universal cloud. There are attempts to exclude our students, and prevent them from accessing new knowledge and presenting their own. These are fundamental changes, and are of the same magnitude as trespassing on someone else’s property, — Yaroslav Kuzminov, Academic Supervisor, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Coordinator of the Russian Federal Government Expert Council.

Trust in a number of global economies has been eroded

Today, the West has broken virtually all tools and values upon which the international system of trust was based, ranging from currency to property rights, from access to education to the openness of science. A number of government figures have tried to point out that there are red lines which they would not want to cross. You will remember the statement of the US minister of finance, who said that the idea of confiscating Russian assets – rather than freezing them – would undermine trust in the American financial system. These are not people who are fighting on our behalf. They are fighting instead to preserve the instruments of trust which act to stabilize global society and the global economy, and allow them to develop. What is an interest rate on a loan? It is an assessment of the risks undertaken by the banks. And here, trust in relation to the global economy, to international institutions has been seriously shaken, and not only with regard to Russia. Over the coming years, we will see how this wave of distrust in established institutions – as managed by the collective West – will play out — Yaroslav Kuzminov, Academic Supervisor, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Coordinator of the Russian Federal Government Expert Council.

The frontal offensive in the form of sanctions that our country was subjected to did not go unnoticed by our international partners. Over the past few months, many of our partners in the Middle East, the Asia‑Pacific, the Islamic world, Africa, and Latin America have said that the West has undergone degradation — Grigory Karasin, Chairman of the Committee of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Foreign Affairs.

We can see how the system of political institutions in the West is now fragmented. Society is fragmented, and societies are not coming together. All this trust has been lost, and their status of uniqueness is already lost with it, — Maxim Oreshkin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation.

SOLUTIONS
Focusing on the development of all spheres of life in Russia

It is a worrying time, but I am sure that a complete reconstruction has already taken place in Russia. We are all at home – a huge family of musicians and artists. We have travelled the regions – 25 of them to be exact, from mid-April to mid-May. Yes, whereas once we went to Paris and New York, now we go to, say Tomsk – one of my favourite cities (wonderful universities), and Kazan, and Orenburg. I won’t list them all, but we’ve already been to 25 regions since mid-April. If we add another 20 it will be an unprecedented year in the history of the Mariinsky Theatre. We will again be the most itinerant company in the world – it’s just the borders are different. But that does not mean that we will perform less well in Tomsk than in New York. <...> We need to do something special, something striking, and then all will be well — Valery Gergiev, Artistic, General Director, State Academic Mariinsky Theatre.

We of course need to focus more on the domestic market. The banking sector has been a real success story in terms of import substitution in recent years. We have built an entire infrastructure for the stock and debt markets. Of course, we now need to set up these alternatives for the public, for Russian corporations, and financial organizations. We need to expand, develop, and build an incredibly powerful domestic securities market and financial market, and significantly reduce the foreign currency element. This is our path, and there is no other one available to us — Andrey Kostin, President and Chairman of the Management Board, VTB Bank.

Boosting technological and economic activity in the Russian regions

The national development goals we have today are in the main aimed at improving quality of life. That means healthcare, education, tackling poverty, and entrepreneurship. And regardless of anything else, we need to meet these targets. Under no circumstances should we decide we cannot attain certain indicators and targets. We must guarantee all our social obligations which we announced, and continue to build schools and hospitals. We must do everything needed to reach these targets. We must work harder and guarantee our economic sovereignty. We need to boost economic activity. Currently things have stabilized, but we need to increase revenues and production volumes. What do we need to do for this to happen? These challenges can be addressed through achieving a range of objectives, which the government is currently working on. These include solving the transport blockade, technological restrictions, imports of technology, imports and exports of goods, and trade restrictions, by which I mean restrictions related to the global financial system — Valery Sidorenko, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Government of the Russian Federation.

We are currently attempting to build the [financial – ed.] infrastructure along traditional channels. That includes interbank relations, and the currency of the transaction in question. However, I think that this entire story needs to be looked at from another angle. By this I mean we should use new technological approaches to ensure the infrastructure fulfils its function. I think our tech companies will help us in this regard. To reiterate, we need to create a next-level tech-based infrastructure which all participants will find easy to use, and which is independent of all participants. That’s because this new world and new form of openness are built exclusively on principles of equality and mutual respect for one another’s interests — Maxim Oreshkin, Aide to the President of the Russian Federation.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS