Understanding the Eastern Neighborhood. A unique platform for comprehensive debates and analysis on Russian affairs


Between February 2018 and January 2019, ESGA Romania will implement the project “Understanding the Eastern Neighborhood. A unique platform for comprehensive debates and analysis on Russian affairs.”


The principles of liberal democracy are seriously threatened by Russia’s information war and its open support for the accession of extremist, populist or so-called “traditionalist” political parties in Western countries. Moscow has managed to mastermind social movements, to set the agenda of public debates and to infiltrate security and political groups in both EU and NATO countries. At the same time, Russia has successfully advanced its irredentist agenda and derailed the reformist processes in the Eastern Partnership countries. Russia has become a model for the establishment of “one-party rule” in the region.

In its endeavor, Russia uses the advantages of technological innovations and the local fertile social and political ground of each country. Russia’s subversive activities are also facilitated by the poor knowledge (and expertise) on the political and security developments from the CIS countries and the mentalities inherited from the communist era. The space for debate is influenced by a lack of knowledge about the realities faced by various state actors in the Former Soviet Space. This was highlighted during the crucial events in the region: the annexation of Crimea, the aggression in the East of Ukraine, the results of the elections in R. of Moldova, or the potential slippage of Georgia from democratic processes as a result of the adoption of the new constitutional amendments.

The decision-making process and the public debates are deeply influenced by a distorted picture of the realities in Russia (and the CIS countries) and are an easy target for propaganda and other subversive actions. This aspect was also highlighted by the participants who attended our previous debates (organized within the project “Dialogues with Russia for a new generation of experts,” implemented by ESGA). Our audience appreciated the access to both Russian and Western expertise. Through the current initiative, we want to expand the dialogue on Russian affairs. ESGA’s staff also intends to offer the public a new opportunity to monitor and understand the challenges faced by Russia and other CIS countries.

Our main objectives for the project “Understanding the Eastern Neighborhood. A unique platform for comprehensive debates and analysis on Russian affairs” that ESGA intends to implement between February 2018 – January 2019 are:

a) To provide an opportunity for an open and comprehensive dialogue about Russia’s successes and its failures through one unique platform for debates and analysis.

b) To present an accurate analysis of Russian social transformations, and Moscow’s economic and military capabilities, Moscow’s foreign policy using the opinions and expertise of reputable analysts and intellectuals from both Russia and European countries.

c) To create a group of young experts, intellectuals, activists, and politicians, concerned with the influence of Russia’s regime and its simultaneous actions aimed at weakening the Western democratic systems.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.