Breaking Relations with the East. II. Cultural, Informational and Diplomatic “Dialogues”

In the first article of the cycle about the breaking relations with the East I tried to reason the connection between the benefit of the vector of democratic values and economy. This algorithm is suitable to humanitarian matt…

In the first article of the cycle about the breaking relations with the East I tried to reason the connection between the benefit of the vector of democratic values and economy. This algorithm is suitable to humanitarian matters, too. Also, about the tendency according to the principle pars pro toto (a part taken for the whole), since we have more examples illustrating the situation of the matters so one publication could cover at least part of them.
An Estonian journalist Priit Hõbemägi quoted a text “Has Tallinn decided to Seek Strategic Geopolitical Initiative?) quite well here on a different occasion, who in his interview to the daily Postimees described learning of Russian in Estonia as prospectless when Russia is unfriendly and even antagonistic to his country; countries have little matters in common, thus there are not much prospects to the Russian language in Estonia.
However, this is just generalization, because we are well aware that elaboration on the topic the evil hides behind details; in this case according to the algorithm – the far it goes the messier it gets and the details are more complex and confusing.
On 24 December the court of Kaliningrad pronounced sentences to local spouses being accused for working for the security services of Latvia – Antonina Zimina was sentenced to 13 year imprisonment in a high-security prison for betrayal of her country and her husband Konstantin Antonec – 12.5 years at the same place. According to the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSS) the Latvian Intelligence recruited spouses already in 2012.
According to the second episode of the charges of the two (the first was transfer of confidential documents of Kaliningrad authorities to Latvians) they revealed information about an operator of Kaliningrad military security service of FIS Maxim Denisenko. The latter is (was?) Antonina Zimina‘s friend, studied at the same university, participated in her wedding party. According to the testimony of the father of the political analyst Konstantin Zimin, Maxim Denisenko being drunk in the wedding party was telling everybody about the service, was giving his business cards and making pictures with guests. According to the version of FSS, after the wedding party the spouses sent these pictures to Latvians and indicated the position of Maxim Denisenko.
By year 2016 Antonina Zimina was the Director of the Baltic for the Dialogue of Culture organizing conferences and exhibitions, later her husband took over this position. The political analyst was also a member of the Public Democracy Fund of the Russian diplomat Alexander Gorchakov. The Fund was established in 2010 under the order of the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev at that time and was involved in lobbyism of the interests of Russia in the Baltic States. The website of the Alexander Gorchakov Fund describes professional interests of Antonina Zimina as identity of Latvian political elite and policy of the Baltic States in regard to Russia.
In March 2013 Estonia did not allow five employees of the Fund to arrive in Tallinn, who were going to participate in the discussion in Tallinn Baltic dialogue -2013 with participation of experts from Russia, Baltic States, Poland, and Germany. Maybe also because in January of the same year Alexander Gorchakov Fund was mentioned among sponsors (alongside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and Embassy of Russia in France) on the issues of youth of the Agency of the Russian Federation during the Youth Forum Seliger in Strasbourg organized by .
The forum designated for spreading ideology of the Kremlin has been organized since 2005; in 2013 Head of Sergei Belokonev announced plans of the Agency to organize some Seliger Forums abroad – in the United States and Strasbourg in France; in the latter because structures of the European Council are situated there. Sergei Belokonev told about the need to gather compatriots abroad as the main motive of the forum. According to sociologists, the Russian diaspora abroad reaches minimum 35 million of people.
It seems that cultural expansion to the West through the Baltic States when in 2013 a pro-Kremlin event was organized in Strasbourg that was stuck ‚on its way‘ in Estonia, finally ‘received‘ criminal persecution in the homeland.
Is this an episode or a tendency? If this is the second case, it is probable that the Kremlin starts ‚eating up‘ even their own people. The comment to this information on Russian-speaking portal was like this: “Don‘t you know that Latvia is trying to occupy Russia? Latvian tanks are already moving in the direction of Volokolamsk under the directions of Antonina Zimina and Latvian riflemen are marching behind of them to the Kremlin“.
An ironic voice vox populi that the FSS and Kremlin gives a raspberry.
Some fresh news. The European Broadcasting Union EBU gave a reply to the song „I will Teach You“ of the Belarusian band Galasy ZMesta on 11 March regarding participation in the Eurovision song contest in 2021 and made a polite argument as if it does not comply with rules of a non- political contest. “I will Teach You“ actually makes a mock of protestors against the dictator of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko.
In connection with: the court of Belarus during the closed court hearing on 19 February did not allow diplomats of Lithuania, France, USA, Germany and the EU and independent media to observe the trial against the journalist of the portal Kaciaryna Barysevich and the doctor Arciom Sarokin, who denied the lie of the government that Raman Bandarenko, who died on 12 November ‘hustled’ being drunk before that. A day before he was beaten up by strikers of the regime, who arrived in Kiev yard to take off the national white-red-white flag of Belarus when he came out to ask what they were doing there. The regime brutally supressed the attempt of Belarusians to duly pay a tribute to the killed.
On 19 February the Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko indicated that he was supporting the decision of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine (SNBO) to expand sanctions against the godfather of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Chairman of the Political Council ‘Opposition Platform – for Life’ Viktor Medvedchuk and his wife TV presenter Oksana Marchenko for funding of terrorism as a historical justice that happened, having reminded that the United States have imposed sanctions against the leader of the OPFL previously.
According to Oleksandr Tkachenko, the enemy has been named, because Viktor Medvedchuk has been spreading falsified news about his motherland in all ways possible and also on TV channels owned by him, which have also been already suspended. The SNBO imposed sanctions against 8 natural persons and 19 legal entities.
Cultural and humanitarian and information initiatives (we are writing about them regularly, however we will have to come back to them again and again) of the Eastern origin authoritarian regimes – is still the grey zone with hundreds of samples full of elements of havoc and confusion, by all means as mandatory (there is no difference whether their origin is intentional or ‘accidental‘). Therefore, pars pro toto.
The European Commission (EU) on 2 December introduced The European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP) that is funded by additional funds, according to which first in the history of the EU there would be a risk of sanctions for disinformation; it means readiness of the Community to defend from ‘hybrid‘ actions of the Kremlin. According to the data of the EU structure East StratCom Task Force (ESTF) 500 disinformation cases spread by troll factory have been registered since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic in the public space of Europe and over 10 thousand of cases of disinformation have been registered since 2015. To tell the truth, ESTF activities became the reason for the European Democracy Action Plan.
Actually, introducing the EDAP the Commissioner of the EC Věra Jourová called the ban of the Russian propaganda TV channels Sputnik and in the Baltic States very strict and that the EC is not going to follow this strict model.
However, it is still not clear whether realistic Baltic nations are so wrong. In the interview to the TV channel Ukraine 24, making comments about the doctrine of the Russian world meant for regulation of conflicts in the East of Ukraine the counsellor of the so-called Tripartite Contact Group Oleksiy Arestovych on 15 February noted that in the last but one page of the Doctrine passed by the Kremlin that consists of 47 pages, which is seen just by few people, it is written that the goal of the so-called ‘Donetsk People‘s Republic‘ and ‘Luhansk People‘s Republic“ is to expand up to the boundaries of Donetsk and Luhansk regions (Ukrainian – A.S.), then to destroy all Ukraine and establish several ‘Russian national states“ instead of it.
On the whole, the question (one it is raised) is open and nobody knows who will win.
In the book of the political scientist and economist James A. Robinson “Why Nations Fall?“ different destinies of the North Korea and South Korea or actually collapse of Zimbabwe of the African neighbours and successful Botswana are discussed based on studies. The author indicates a couple of reasons for such a situation – transparency when people know what is going on in offices and palaces of the government and changes in the government when the society might refuse the faulty ruling.
Undoubtedly, everything is the process and we can say a lot of reproaches to democracies. In the Middle and Eastern Europe, they do not lack fragility, the Baltic States, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, not talking about Hungary, there are a lot of problems. However, these are the countries seeking stability and progress. Also, because people also elect their superiors.
Arūnas Spraunius

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