On July 23, a meeting with the leadership of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation* representative office in Russia was held at the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.
The meeting was attended by Civic Chamber representatives including Secretary of the Civic Chamber Valery Fadeyev
, his deputy Sergei Ordzhonikidze
and Deputy Chair of the Civic Chamber Commission on Public Diplomacy, Humanitarian Cooperation and Maintenance of Traditional Values Veronika Krasheninnikova
; from the German side – head of the Russian office Thomas Kunze
and his advisor, project manager Andrei Zybkin
Welcoming the guests, Valery Fadeyev spoke about his positive impressions of participating in the 15th Conference of Russian and German Partner Cities in Aachen and Duren in June 2019, which reinforced the need to intensify contacts between the civil society representatives of the two countries.
“We are interested in improving bilateral relations with Germany, which is a historically important and interesting partner for Russia. What is happening now between our countries is an aberration,” Sergei Ordzhonikidze said. “We propose talking about any issues of concern for both parties, cooperating through our civil societies, and finding constructive solutions together.”
Representatives of the German foundation supported the need to increase the level of interaction between societies in Russia and Germany, and informed members of the chamber about the foundation’s projects.
“One of the projects is to explore European and Russian security issues in the context of NATO’s eastward expansion,” Thomas Kunze said.
Valery Fadeyev underscored the importance of this topic and proposed preparing a joint report by Russian and German experts including high-ranking military and retired diplomats.
Veronika Krasheninnikova reminded the participants that the Russian Public Council for International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy, which reports to the Civic Chamber, can be tasked with organizing a series of events devoted to the new European security architecture, which will become the basis for a joint Russian-German study.
Thomas Kunze noted that this report would make an important contribution to shaping international security policy.
The parties also considered the environment another important topic for joint discussion in the future.
“We need to drastically cut industrial output, and to do this, we need to reduce consumption. This does not mean lowering the quality of life; it means that the goods produced must be of a fundamentally different quality. At present, manufacturers design equipment to ensure that their products have short service lives. But we need to change this model of consumption. Why do we work to support commercial companies that make super profits?” Valery Fadeyev said.
Thomas Kunze said Germany is also raising questions concerning the reverse side of globalization: “This cannot continue forever; something has to change.”
The participants agreed that the civil and expert communities of the two countries should continue to cooperate. Representatives of the foundation will be invited to participate in Russian Civic Chamber events, and the Civic Chamber members, to Konrad Adenauer Foundation events.
* The Konrad Adenauer Foundation (German Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.) is a German political party foundation associated with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), founded by Bruno Heck in 1955 to conduct Christian Democratic educational and educational work and named in 1964 after the first federal chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer. Like other foundations associated with political parties, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation acts as a kind of generator of ideas that can be accepted by society and influence public opinion. Based in Bonn, the foundation has 67 offices abroad, and conducts projects in 120 countries, supporting political parties and organizations with similar ideologies.