Yefim Pivovar: "Friendly relations with neighbors require stronger humanitarian cooperation"
Vestnik Kavkaza continues a series of interviews with president of the Russian State Humanitarian University, member of the Russian Historical Society Council, Yefim Pivovar. Yesterday's conversation took place against the background of meeting between heads of Foreign Ministries of the CIS countries, so Yefim Pivovar focused on humanitarian cooperation within the framework of the Commonwealth.
- What do you think about the level of humanitarian cooperation between the CIS countries?
- One of these instruments of this cooperation is preservation and use of Russian language. It's not just state language of the Russian Federation, it's a language that allows us to expand contacts. It's a language of international communication for many countries. We lived in one state, everyone learned and still know Russian language. We have not only common past, but also common humanitarian space, which we must preserve and strengthen through joint efforts. I believe that forum of creative and scientific intelligentsia, which takes place annually in all CIS countries, is one of the tools of such preservation and strengthening. It will be held in Ashgabat in May of this year, before that it was held in Astana.
There are other instruments where educational factor is important - training of humanitarians from all member-countries of the CIS; exchange of experience in humanities; preparation of textbooks; adjustment of curricula and programs, joint educational projects, including joint undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate studies.
Acceleration of work in one of these area will create certain challenges. Humanitarian cooperation provides important guidelines in the education of younger generation. Through humanitarian knowledge, through promotion of adequate modern approaches to humanities in general, through cooperation in humanitarian sphere between all our countries, we can influence education of younger generation in the spirit of good neighborliness, which is extremely important, since we have not just common past and present, but also common future in terms of geography. We're interested in friendly relations with our neighbors. In other to achieve them, it's just necessary to strengthen humanitarian cooperation.
The world is changing, we need adequate responses to existing challenges. Together, we will achieve much more than individually. It's necessary to share experience in the fight against these challenges and other threats. This is also a part of humanitarian cooperation. Terrorist attacks, information threats, cyber attacks, environmental problems - all of this is associated with humanitarian cooperation. If we don't copperate when we try to respond to these challenges, we may lose.
Of course, it's not military sphere, but there's also important element of mobilization, because in the modern world, when information spreads so fast and reaches millions of people, it's necessary to stop harmful elements. We can do it only together.
The same applies to psychological problems, because if we don't prevent violence, propaganda of violence, terrorism, radical religious cults through explanation of these dangerous approaches to the population, then we will lose. That's why all countries of the world, especially neighbors, are extremely interested in working on this together.
I'm glad that meetings between foreign ministers are held constantly. They are one of the mechanisms that allow us to resolve many problems that our countries are facing right now.
- How active is cooperation between historians of the post-Soviet space?
- The work in this direction is being carried out right now, and it's very important. But there are also ways to improve this work, to expand its scale. Right now joint research is being prepared by historians from different countries. At the RSUH, we're working together with our Belarusian colleagues. As president of the university, I actively participate in this work. The same work will be continued with Uzbek colleagues. We look forward to working with Kyrgyz, Tajik, Moldavian colleagues, Azerbaijani colleagues.
Another important area includes meetings between history specialists of our countries. In May, Moscow will host the next meeting of a group of historians from Russia and Kazakhstan. We're preparing a program for it, there will be joint publications from both countries. Historians are also actively involved in organization of meetings of rectors and deans of humanitarian universities of the two countries. The RSUH initiated this work, and we expect that another meeting will be held in Moscow at the beginning of next year. They were held before, the first one was held in 2010 in Baku.
Publications are very important. We invite colleagues to our publication "Bulletin of Eurasian Studies" and publish annual works of the Institute of Post-Soviet and Interregional Studies of the RSUH. We have already published two issues with participants from Kazakhstan and other countries. We're preparing another volume on Azerbaijan. This is also an extremely important work in terms of humanitarian cooperation. But this work should be more intensive, more systematic.
We also publish joint monographic works, we review each other's works. Two books of Kazakhstani archivists have just been reviewed - those were collections of documents. One is dedicated to Komsomol, and the other to the problems of mass repression in Kazakhstan in the 1930s, to deportation in the entire country.