Yevgeny Primakov: humanitarian politics and a little about the outside in General

“they are Friends only with the official authorities” is a good investment in reputation. Russia – predictable partner, Russia will never “throw”, you can rely on us. It is a moral position. And, sorry for the cynicism, it also has weaknesses — we’re not talking about a box of cookies and the benefits of betrayal.

other: is a constant “official friendship” often provokes partner trying to test us, because “where did Russia go”.

the Official authorities of partner countries with terrible jealousy treat all our contacts with any opposition, even if it is completely herbivorous. Moreover, even within the system contact Russian representatives given special attention. This applies in the first place, relatively “small” countries, where the influence of Russia is great.

There affects the complex, which could be called “complex of his beloved wife”: what if the Russian favor to switch with me on that, and it is on this wave of support will be to pull my resources, and then the chair. Permanent formal-official loyalty is not only strength, but and a trap for our foreign policy.

This does not mean that we need to deal with the crossbow and destroy our reputation
reliable support for the sovereignty and official authorities. All of our official foreign policy, diplomacy should of course work so that this reputation only grew stronger, it is our absolute advantage over demonstrative pragmatism (cynicism), the Anglo-Saxon tradition. But wait, do we have only one tool for foreign policy? The official diplomacy of embassies, music and official negotiations are only one, albeit important, mechanism for the conduct of our foreign policy.

I Believe that for the Russian foreign Ministry it should not be something offensive, or somehow downplay its role and achievements. Argue that the structure of the Ministry of foreign Affairs organically “sewn” it is this understanding of diplomacy, as a tool in the structure of the Ministry is the Department for humanitarian cooperation and human rights, for relations with Federation subjects, Parliament and public associations of economic cooperation. There is military foreign policy, parliamentary diplomacy has its own external policy of the Church. The issue of coordination with the foreign Ministry is always relevant. Just such coordination is absolutely required, but the tools we have for sure much more.

Foreign policy is no longer conducted like a chess game on a global Board, hi to the late Brzezinski for the current conditions it would be too easy: players much more than two, some players have different teams leading their games, and the chess Board is 3D, because in addition to a complicated diplomatic game on a two-dimensional field, there are also different other: in the area of humanitarian policy in the information environment (and there are mixed media, and network), military in politics (where we are fantastically successful in recent times, sometimes by informal means), parliamentary diplomacy, and so on. And important task for the Ministry of foreign Affairs to play the game to win not only in diplomacy. And our humanitarian policy in a severe crisis, no matter how he tried to revive her on different grounds.

Why humanitarian policies we consider critical, why not the same military, for example, but even in the course of our military operations in Syria, the General staff understood very well how important it is to support humanitarian component, in addition to successful attacks and operations. Hence a successful Centre for reconciliation, which in addition to delicate negotiations on the surrender or cease-fire, took the lead in coordinating humanitarian assistance, ensuring corridors for the civilian population: very quickly it became clear that the “cost” (not money, but resources in General, efforts) military operations is much lower if they are supported by a humanitarian component.

the fact that the new (not always perfect) the world is incredibly dependent on public opinion, the media, sentiment, influence groups, communities, all that is built up through propaganda, through information media, the Internet, a network of non-governmental organizations. Including this may explain the “caution” in the conduct of military operations even during the recent exchange of blows between the United States and Iran: the most important is saving face, defending reputation, and how to talk about what happened the media and the Internet, depends on whether people will come to rebel, whether there is support, will I have to work more actively over the election results. This trend is not won yet, maybe in North Korea, but here, I think, only because the threat is there well understood.

You can achieve a favorable outcome of difficult negotiations, but the negotiating partner will be associated with their communications with “the street”, which managed to set up against you, you can sign any agreement and come to a compromise that suits you, but your negotiating partner will be released from the agreement against the background of the propaganda campaign, podrachivaya population “threat,” or under pressure, for example, human rights or environmental organizations.

But in any case, public opinion, appeal to public opinion, the pressure from that public opinion in the decision-making centers, work with the elites, with groups of elites, with the community finally became the strongest factor in politics.
endlessly to see in the so-called “Arab spring” tricky game the external players and political intrigue, treachery and bribery alone, political indecision or blindness of others — but it is strange to deny that the engine revolutions were a street, which is constantly addressed, which provoked, which was used as a tool. Which had then to calm down with the assistance of the military police effort.

it is Possible to regard the move “Brekzita” as absurdist performance with a sophisticated financial and political interests of the elites, but why the output to a referendum, and then repeated calls to “re-vote” on the new steel elements of this “Brekzita”; why then these elites always played with public opinion, it is intimidating, it is comforting him? The foreign policy tools, the tools of domestic policy became increasingly determined by factors influencing public opinion, it is processed. It happened long ago: with the advent of mass printing. Probably, and much earlier — when they burned witches or persecuted minorities — were those who earned his panic and anger, and skillfully fueled, ran such campaigns.

But finally the humanitarian policy became a factor in politics as such, as the main instrument of influence on public opinion, when information flows has entered into every household with a television, and then within each head – with the Internet.

We remembered just about “Breksi” or the Arab spring, why not think about recent events in Armenia, when in Moscow there were many concerns about the “Maidan” scenario of change of power in the Republic, that Russia always was a painful and dangerous option? Besides, in the conditions of our principle of “legitimacy” — are friends only with the authorities? Yes, Moscow was able to find a way to cope with their fears, and the new leadership of Armenia to dispel or clarify a concern. But we’ve worked Pro-Russian tradition: a very large number, the majority of the population are configured to friendship with Russia. Have we been able to cope with the risks through an appeal to the majority, relying on a network of Pro-Russian NGOs, perhaps? Never, it was a difficult, though successful, contacts and negotiations with political elites, we simply “perekusili” with other players, counting on public sympathy "default”. And how durable this situation now, in terms of when the public opinion is still underway, but not by us, but against us, this work blurs the “Russophile” sentiments that we can offer in addition to resistant and important, mandatory adherence to “legitimacy”?

We can offer exhibitions, monuments, the debate around monuments, concerts and a very small number of budget places in Russian universities. Next question, is very painful and sometimes even offensive to our culture — and how effective the exclusive reliance on “culture” in order to firmly ensure the solidarization. I say “exceptional support” because I assert the importance of culture in humanitarian policy, but do not consider that it alone should be our export, sorry, the “product”.

so, the official policy of the us “Legitimist” is good, but has its own costs. To change it we don’t have, but need to provide contact, communication and, ultimately, the impact on the opposition, the opposition elite, the public opinion environment for the formation of influence to provide a strong, steady solidarization with us in important issues.

What’s this for “questions” — they are not speculative, they are too directly dependent on the prosperity of our domestic economy, safety, and welfare of the citizens of our country, both domestically and abroad – the Diaspora. Is security at our borders, and where our interests are, it’s Association with the Russian position in international Affairs where this is important is positive attitude to our citizens and compatriots where they are and live outside the country, which creates favorable conditions for our trade and economic activities, which creates favorable conditions for the access of our companies to the resources that the markets for our products, it is favorables conditions for the placement of our defensive infrastructure and the right to entry of ships, is the removal of discrimination against our companies and citizens. And much of this cannot be achieved solely through official diplomatic channels.
I Think the contacts, the building of the effects of this non-governmental areas possible in the first place on the track of humanitarian policy. The system of relations between non-governmental organizations, public projects are quite “informal” in order to cause irritation in official bodies and officials, concerned that “Russia is flirting with the opposition,” or works not only in a familiar manner.

We need to revive, reorganize, step up our humanitarian policy in order to achieve the overall effectiveness of our foreign policy, use of the non-governmental sector, to create a sphere of influence of forces outside the immediate control, not of the ruling elite and the opposition, in public opinion, through the mechanisms of the humanitarian policy, so as not to discredit our “legitimacy” and not to jeopardize our reputation. I emphasize, it will only strengthen our influence on the official partners who will feel that Russia’s position based on public support, not just direct contact via the official line.

it is necessary to accept the following theses:
– the concept of “humanitarian” we have greatly and unnecessarily different from what is meant by this term in the rest of the world. We it is the antithesis of exact and natural Sciences – something that is related to the field of knowledge of the culture, spirituality, art and education. The rest of the world, this means the humanities; but humanitarian – refers to human rights, including his access to the treasures of culture. You need to decide for themselves what is “humanitarian” — refers to human rights, families and almnostand security, access to basic goods, education, cultural achievements — so we will expand the Toolkit of humanitarian policy.
– humanitarian policy has a clear goal to achieve solidarity with Russia and influence, she could not continue to exploit the nostalgic feelings.
– humanitarian policy is not loaded with additional political values, not impose them to the people, families, society or the state, violating the country’s sovereignty or contrary to the accepted traditional way of life. This is the difference of our humanitarian policy with conventionally “Western” in which broadcast certain political values, required for adoption.
– humanitarian policy should include assistance to the international cooperation and programs in this area, including the funding that goes through CMP.
– the projects in the sphere of humanitarian policy are planned and calculated in accordance with the formulation of goals, needs and assessment of effectiveness, but not implemented simply because here and now the lucky so-and-so resource and opportunity. No need to build water treatment plants for drinking water in Switzerland outside of an emergency situation, no need to make Opera concert in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, nor can we afford to endlessly replicate round tables for all the good people don’t need to convince of anything.

All of this will require coordination with the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian NGOs, the Ministry of defense structures, which are also included in humanitarian information channels (RT and Sputnik), structures of the health Ministry (FMBA has several projects abroad, for example, in Africa, to combat serious diseases), Ministry of education and the Ministry of education also has educational programs abroad and allocating places in schools, the Ministry of Finance, which annually distributes about 1 billion U.S. dollars on programs SMR – mostly UN funds and other international organisazi, MOE. Quite naturally, if the entry point would be the Federal Agency for Commonwealth of Independent States, compatriots living abroad and international humanitarian cooperation, which is in need of reorganization in accordance with this, a clearer, a description of the objectives and new objectives.

for starters, you can ask the President to upgrade to the latest version (from 24.10.2018) of the Decree No. 1315 of Rossotrudnichestvo in accordance with the updated task: the Russian centers of science and culture abroad, the Russian information and cultural centers abroad, the Russian house of science and culture abroad, the Russian cultural centers abroad and their departments should become “Russian houses” (for very concerned: no need to be afraid of the word “Russian”, you do not confuse the “Russian house” in Davos, especially that Russian House does not see such subtle differences) that work with foreign NGOs, with civil society across the spectrum of humanitarian policy from the already well-running cultural and educational projects, to traditional for Europeans, social and environmental. It is necessary to change the method of financing of such programmes: even now come across special assessment projects in the field of environmental security as “this is not a humanitarian project, and utilities”. You need to attract the cooperation of foreign European! — NGOs in order to further strengthen the position of our humanitarian policy and foreign policy in General in countries where we face political criticism: it is necessary not only for us, and for the European NGO cooperation with Russian organizations often provides greater access to the territories and areas where they can’t work for various reasons.

the Need for this “unofficial line” to work with all communities, communities, civil society, and particular focus is not on our clear and correctx supporters, and for those who doubt, but whose solidarity we can achieve.

Important: our humanitarian politics should be ideologized. And this – the ideology of peace, sovereignty, dignity. This is our strong point, that these are – certain – basic values of our foreign policy. That is what we must broadcast the city and the world. And then our humanitarian policy will become effective instrument of our foreign policy in General.