Lavrov Headlines Youth Forum in Vladimir: New Generation of Policy Makers Is the Smartest Yet
Today the All-Russian Educational Forum «Territory of Meanings» discussed very acute issues in international politics, including Russia's place in the world, Russia-US relations, and the conflict in Ukraine. The participants had the unique opportunity to talk with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about what happens behind the scenes of world politics. His address generated lots of buzz.
Alexander Rudenko is reporting.
This is the fourth year that Vladimir Oblast has hosted a meeting of the best students: future doctors, journalists, volunteers and, of course, young diplomats. The number of attendees is over a thousand. «Territory of Meanings» forever! Stanislav Cherchesov, head coach of a football team, has recently come here to share his experience with the younger generation.
Today's guest is Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The audience is excited.
—Has the World Cup somehow influenced Russia's reputation in the West?
Sergey Lavrov: “Without any exaggeration, it was a leap in public diplomacy. The fact that hundreds of thousands of foreigners visited over a dozen Russian cities saw the lifestyle of Russian citizens with their own eyes, is, in my view, a great achievement.”
The participants in the forum are concerned about serious issues like Russian-EU relations and the development of the BRICS countries. The discussion of the situation in Donbass lasted for more than half an hour.
Sergey Lavrov: “Despite years of stultification of the people in the West, I believe that most normal Ukrainian citizens understand the absurdity of what is happening, To my mind, the fact that more than a million Ukrainian citizens vacation in Crimea annually demonstrates best of all that nobody will manage to drive a wedge between our peoples.”
They couldn't help but touch upon Russian-American relations. Lavrov recalled the recent visit by US senators to Moscow.
Sergey Lavrov: “The former US president's namesake, John Kennedy, asked us rather sternly what we wanted from America, regarding, for example, in Syria and Ukraine. I said that we wanted not only the US, but everybody, to respect the existing agreements.”
The dialogue with the youth lasted almost two hours. For another 15 minutes, future politicians and diplomats did not let Lavrov go. The minister tried not to leave anyone behind, taking photos and giving autographs.
Sergey Lavrov: “The participants are young people who will be taking posts related to decision- and policy-making in 5-10 years. It is very important for us to ensure continuity. Maybe some of them will join your ministry? Some of our employees, as children, passed through this school or through the Russian Leaders project.”
“Our delegation attended the Terra Scientia last year. We listened to many politicians, but that time we felt nothing of this kind. It's too good to express in words.”
Tomorrow the participants have another meeting, this time with their Syrian peers. The largest youth forum in Russia continues.