“It is important to intensify ties between the South and North Caucasus”
By Vestnik Kavkaza
In early November, three major non-political events took place in the Transcaucasia – the second Baku Forum of Humanitarian Cooperation, the third Interregional Russian-Armenian Forum, and the fourth Festival of Russian Cinema in Tbilisi. Mikhail Shvydkoi, special envoy of President of Russia on international cultural cooperation, told Vestnik Kavkaza about the cultural projects which are being fulfilled in the Transcaucasia with Russian participation.
“The forum entitled Humanitarian Aspects of Human Development recently ended in Baku. This forum involves a lot of platforms. The platforms are connected with humanitarian aspects of human life. For example, biotechnologies and problems of ethics, multiculturalism and modern development, humanitarian aspects of economy and so on. The forum gathers many participants, as a rule – 800 people, many Nobel Prize winners, prominent politicians, journalists, cultural activists. And of course many people come from the North Caucasus. I think this forum is of high importance because the discussed problems are significant for the North Caucasus republics,” Shvydkoi stated.
Speaking about the forum “Toward New Achievements in Interregional Cooperation in Russian-Armenian Allied Relations,” Shvydkoi noted: “The forum is interesting because it is attended not only by governors from central Russia and Siberia, but also presidents and heads of the republics from the North Caucasus. Armenia intensively cooperates with our North Caucasus republics. Even though it has no borders with them, like between Azerbaijan and Dagestan, for instance, but they have economic, humanitarian, interregional contacts.”
While Russia has close friendly relations with Azerbaijan and Armenia, diplomatic relations with Georgia haven’t been restored yet. And the festival of Russian cinema in Tbilisi is very important in this context. “We hope that our humanitarian contacts with Georgia will be encouraged,” Svydkoi stated. The film festival of Russian cinema in Tbilisi has become traditional. I think it is a very important event, as well as other theatre and musical festivals. I think despite all difficulties in our relations with Georgia, humanitarian cooperation should remain and develop.”
The special presidential envoy on international cultural cooperation stressed that “a serious factor of stability in the South and North Caucasus is international festivals and forums. Khloponin, the permanent envoy of the president in the North Caucasus, initiated several festivals, including in Kabardino-Balkaria and other regions. I think it is a very important moment because as a rule young people take part in them. I think it is important to intensify humanitarian contacts between the South and the North Caucasus, as it will bring great advantages for the region.”