A context of the current social and political situation determines the special attention that is paid to citizen diplomacy on the Crimean peninsula, because now it is important for the region not only to establish friendly relations with other states, but also to overcome a certain information blockade, an analyst of Vestnik Kavkaza, Ekaterina Vinnik said today on Vesti.FM during a life broadcast of the National Question program.
The National Question is a weekly program on Vesti.FM, during which various aspects of the national relations, primarily in Russia, are discussed. Today's program was dedicated to citizen diplomacy.
"Crimea can be called an exemplary region in terms of applying citizen diplomacy," she said.
According to the expert, this is due to the fact that the population of the peninsula is open and ready for interactions of any kind. "Moreover, Crimeans simply want to explain to the whole world that the decision to join Russia was absolutely voluntary and long-awaited. The representatives of other states perfectly understand that the attractiveness of Crimea is not vanishing, but growing due to the efforts made,” the analyst of Vestnik Kavkaza said.
Ekaterina Vinnik drew attention to the fact that Crimea constantly declares itself on the international arena, and this is confirmed by the fact that more than 3,000 foreign students from 54 countries of the world are studying at the local universities. "Bridges of friendship between the residents of the Republic and representatives of other states are being established within the framework of the program ‘’People's diplomacy: mutual understanding between peoples and strengthening the image of Crimea as a territory of peace and harmony.’’ During three years as a part of the Russian Federation, Crimea hosted hundreds of diplomatic events, in which delegations from Japan, Catalonia, Germany, the Seychelles, Italy, France, Serbia, China, Abkhazia, Britain and Jordan participated, " she said.
"It is also worth mentioning sports events, in which citizens of other countries take an active part. Hockey and football matches, boxing and martial arts tournaments, in which the representatives of Turkey, China, Germany, Belgium and other countries take part, are being held’’, the expert said.
The business partnership is also developing in addition to the cultural ties. "The Czech Republic, Germany, Malaysia are actively studying the investment opportunities of the peninsula, Turkey has already established itself as a reliable business partner," the analyst said, noting that due to such projects, people in other countries find out that Crimea is not an occupied territory, but a developing self-sufficient region, full of opportunities and prospects.
The expert also drew attention to the positive changes in public opinion about the region among foreign citizens. "Gradually, step by step, the opinion of foreign states about Crimea is changing for the better." Now there is no more alertness and fear that was observed three years ago. People from other countries are interested in the peninsula, they study investment opportunities, get acquainted with the culture and understand that, in fact, the situation is strikingly different from what their media report to them, " Ekaterina Vinnik concluded, stressing that the key role here is definitely played by citizen diplomacy, which is absolutely necessary in the current reality.