Youth and international cooperation: Russia's and Belarus' cooperation experience

Yesterday, Moscow hosted the second international conference "Youth and International Cooperation: Russia's and Belarus' Cooperation Experience." It was organized by the coordination council of heads of Russian compatriots organizations under the Russian Embassy in Belarus, laboratory of diaspora history of the Moscow State University's History Faculty, and several other organizations with participation of Rossotrudnichestvo representative office in Belarus. This conference is timed to celebration of the Unity Day of Peoples of Belarus and Russia and the Victory Day and is dedicated to the issues of strengthening humanitarian ties between the youth of Russia and Belarus in the context of integration processes in the Eurasian space.

In an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza, chairman of the public organization "Federal National and Cultural Autonomy of Russia's Belarusians", Sergey Kandybovich, expressed the opinion that young people play an important role not only in cultural, but also in business and public life of Moscow: "Youth always responds to all innovations quickly. Young people always want to know about all events and want to actively participate in all processes. Moscow has created and still creates new forms of communication between young people. This includes interesting projects, associated with culture, created by the universities of Moscow. Issues of interethnic harmony, which are discussed so much at the highest state level, also concern youth.Young people are experiencing the cultural life of not only of their nationality, they also participate in holidays that are held in Moscow and timed to national holidays, to the Unity Days."

Sergey Kandybovich

Kandybovich called "Immortal Regiment" march one of these activities: "On May 9, we will gather for this march as a united family. People from other countries come to Moscow, gather at Red Square to honor the victims of this terrible war, their relatives. This way, they show that both the fight against terrorism and wars have no nation. Belarusian youth, of course, has a remarkable example in the form of Belarusian state policy - this is the only state of the post-Soviet space without interethnic problems, because Belarus paid a horrible price during the Great Patriotic War. This is historical memory, and that's why we cherish peace. Belarusian youth shows an example of attitude towards other nationalities, attitude towards other cultures, attitudes towards one's own native land. Belarusians want representatives of all nations and nationalities to live in peace and in harmony."

Answering the question of Vestnik Kavkaza about the role that youth cooperation plays today in the development of humanitarian ties between Russia and Belarus, chairman of the coordination council of heads of Russian compatriots organizations under the Russian Embassy in Belarus, Andrei Gerashchenko, said: "Young people will soon have to take leading positions, be diplomats, and deal with economic relations. Positive impressions and emotions will help them when they will make decisions or take certain steps in this direction."

Speaking about the main topics during cooperation in this field, Gerashchenko noted: "First of all, preservation of cultural and historical memory of the Great Patriotic War, of our common history, history of the Soviet period, of the Russian Empire, or even older periods. Everyone can speak in Russian in Belarus, people listen to the same songs, we like the same movies. Youth is successor of those values that have been clearly seen in previous generations. It's also necessary to take into account economic ties nad personal growth - during the formation of our common market, of the Eurasian Union, the opportunities for the personal and economic growth are increasing. Young people feel this, they want to be a part of these processes."

When asked how humanitarian cooperation between Russia and Belarus changed after the creation of post-Soviet space department at the Historical Faculty of the Moscow State University, he said: "The creation of this department gives scientific and ideological basis for such work. We can see the right direction. It helps to structure the process."

Deputy chairman of the coordination council of heads of Russian compatriots organizations under the Russian Embassy in Belarus, chairman of sport and cultural public youth association "Young Rus", Sergey Lushch, assessing youth cooperation between the two countries, said: The Union State of Belarus and Russia has been operating for about 20 years. A lot has been done during this time. Cooperation between public organizations of the Russian Federation and republican public organizations of of Belarus was established. However, cooperation at the level of horizontal ties is still not enough. Civil society of our countries is not involved in the process of union building enough, and it concerns the youth above all. It's important for young people to be interested in the union project, we must show them all opportunities, advantages, prospects of its development, explain to them that this is their platform, where they can deal with important issues, climb the social ladder. Today we're talking about the opportunities that are already available - free movement between our states, higher education, equal rights of citizens of both countries, recognition of diplomas. But the Union State, unfortunately, has no tools that support social initiatives. As far as I know, we have a budget surplus in the Union State. So we have money, we have opportunities, we have a passionate youth, it's just necessary to give young people the opportunity to realize themselves."

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