Special Address by Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation | DAVOS AGENDA 2021
FSR members support the creation of a broad opposition coalition capable of negotiating with Western politicians
At the very end of the IX Forum of Free Russia, which this time was held online, the participants were offered a draft final resolution entitled “On the situation in the Republic of Belarus and preventing the crimes of the illegitimate ruling Belarusian regime”.
The authors of the document mentioned two Statements of the FSR Standing Committee on the situation in the Republic of Belarus (dated August 10 and 16 this year). It said that the FSR considers the official results of the past presidential elections in Belarus to be falsified and that “all decisions made by the illegitimate Belarusian ruler have no legal force for the civil society of Belarus and the international community”.
Noting that the Lukashenka regime is sending armed OMON detachments against peaceful demonstrators using flash bangs, rubber bullets and batons, the authors of the resolution emphasize: “In these conditions, we warn you again that the further agony of the Lukashenka junta endangers the very statehood of Belarus, increasing the danger of the Anschluss of Belarus from the side of the Putin regime “.
“We state,” the resolution says, “that the brutal repressions of Lukashenka’s regime became possible in many respects due to the political, diplomatic, media and financial assistance of the Kremlin”.
And further: “We call for the initiation of an urgent international criminal prosecution of officials of the Lukashenka regime for total terror against civilians, for crimes against humanity: murder, torture, disappearance of political opponents.”.
Noting that the participants of the Free Russia Forum are sympathetic to the adoption by Western countries of economic, financial and personal sanctions against representatives of the Lukashenko regime, the authors of the document emphasize their desire to “strengthen good-neighborly relations between the peoples of Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine and other countries of Eastern Europe, expand contacts and cooperation between democratic civil society organizations of our countries “.
Alexander Morozov: there is a growing expectation in Russia that Putin will change his position on Belarus
The Voice of America correspondent asked one of the participants of the IX FSR, a political scientist, a researcher at Charles University in Prague, Alexander Morozov, to comment on the Resolution..
According to him, the document adopted at the Forum is of great importance, since the events in Belarus themselves are important for the Russian opposition. “They show prospects for Russia itself; therefore, it is not surprising that the issue of what is happening in Belarus was actively discussed. I would like to note that this topic will be actively discussed by Russian oppositionists in the future, ”Morozov emphasized..
Mentioning that the text of Resolution IX of the FSR refers to the Kremlin’s responsibility for the brutal actions of the Lukashenka regime, the expert turned to the topic of the behavior of the Russian authorities towards the Eastern Partnership countries and those Central European states that have already joined NATO and the EU.
“There are three fundamental circumstances. First, the fact that now there are two countries under Western sanctions, and not one, will also affect the Eurasian Economic Union. It will also affect the position of Russia itself both in the SCO and in the BRICS. It should be noted that the isolation of Putin in all these structures is growing and Moscow does not look as good as it used to be. And the fact that Belarus has now also come under sanctions only aggravates the situation, “Morozov believes..
The second important point of the political scientist is the fact that today all the participants of the listed international organizations, as well as the EU countries, will expect what kind of policy towards Eastern Europe will be pursued by the new US administration. In this region (the former Soviet republics and the former CMEA countries), several political and economic blocs have already developed: the Visegrad Four, Eastern Partnership, and the Three Seas Initiative. And according to Alexander Morozov, the Kremlin’s policy in the region will largely depend on how Washington will now interact with these blocs. According to the interlocutor of the Russian service of the Voice of America, the change in the attitude of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to the events in Belarus was quite painful for the Russian authorities. “If earlier he took a rather cautious position, now Kiev has begun to actively support the Belarusian opposition, especially since a significant number of Lukashenka’s opponents had to move to Ukraine,” explains a researcher at Charles University..
And he continues: “The third very important point is that both Putin himself and the representatives of the ruling elite close to him have taken a wait-and-see attitude regarding the further development of events in Belarus. And the publications in the Moscow press clearly show that the expectation that Putin will change his position is growing within Russia. And if this does not happen, then at least part of the Russian elite will perceive what is happening as a betrayal of the Belarusian people by Moscow, ”sums up Morozov.
Anastasia Kirilenko: “Hacker attacks from Russia have become a systematic practice”
Anastasia Kirilenko, a member of several forums, Anastasia Kirilenko, a journalist of The Insider, was asked by the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America to share her opinion on the IX FSR. “I think it is absolutely correct that in the current conditions it was held in the onine format,” she said. – Now many events, even intergovernmental ones, are held in this format. In addition, thanks to the remote mode, it was possible to attract people from remote regions of Russia to work in the FSR, who otherwise would hardly have been able to travel from places like Khabarovsk. So the geography was even wider than at the previous Forums, and you need to know how to use this format for the good of the cause, “says Kirilenko.
The interlocutor of the Russian service “Voice of America” noted that recently the Kremlin has taken advantage of the international panic caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that the attention of the international community was diverted by the American elections in order to “push through a number of unpopular decisions.” Such as amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the adoption of new legislative acts restricting the rights and freedoms of citizens of the country. And also continued aggressive actions in the international arena. Therefore, the journalist considers holding the Forum of Free Russia with such thematic sections as “Methods of Countering the Kremlin’s Hybrid Technologies in the West” (in which Anastasia Kirilenko herself participated).
“I hope that the resources of the Forum will be used for expertise, for publishing reports, for updating the site, and so on. This is roughly how the Free Russia Foundation works. They have fewer meetings for obvious reasons, but the number of expert publications on various topics has increased. Perhaps the Forum of Free Russia will follow the same path, especially since it attracts very different specialists to organize a brainstorming session, “the expert emphasizes..
Anastasia Kirilenko also mentioned that the Forum was often reproached for gathering mainly representatives of political emigration, although in fact representatives of many Russian regions came to Vilnius. And people were forced to leave their country, whose life, health and freedom were in danger. “The Forum participants said that the Putin regime is killing. And we see what happened to Alexei Navalny. I wish him to return to Russia, but we see that the Kremlin continues to exert enormous psychological pressure on him, and now he is abroad. Therefore, it is good to keep the site, the leadership of which is outside of Russia “, notes Anastasia Kirilenko.
According to Kirilenko, who has lived and worked in France in recent years, the West has a twofold attitude towards Putin’s Russia: “On the one hand, they (Western politicians and public figures) try to understand and conduct expert research, but still there is an underestimation of the Russian regime. For example, hacker attacks (from Russia) have become just a systematic practice. By the way, I wrote that the servers of anti-corruption prosecutors in Argentina were attacked by a hacker. Cases of bribery of Western prosecutors and judges in the “Magnitsky case” and some others are now multiplying. Moreover, the West is not a monolith, and Russia can always act through individual countries. Therefore, you need to be on the lookout “, – notes Kirilenko.
Gennady Gudkov: “We need a separate discussion on the topic“ What to do? ”
Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation of 2001-2012 Gennady Gudkov said that for the first time he actively participated in the work of the Forum of Free Russia – he spoke in two sections.
“I am impressed with the quality of the preparation and the very organization of this Forum. I am satisfied with my participation in the discussions – I managed to say everything I wanted and made a feasible and reasonable contribution to the discussion, – the politician continues. – I also listened to most of the speeches and partially watched the exhibition (we are talking about the online exhibition “Belarusian Art of Protest” – A.P.).
“I can single out one of the shortcomings,” Gudkov notes. – It seems to me that a separate discussion is needed, or maybe a separate Forum should be devoted to this – on the topic “What is to be done?”. It is necessary to discuss the tactics and strategy of the democratic forces of Russia – what should and can they do, what are the limits of various measures? The political situation has changed in the whole world, both in Belarus and in Russia, and in our country – for the worse, and we must understand what our responses to these challenges should be. With another traditional Russian question: “Who is to blame?” everything is clear, and we discussed it in detail at this Forum. Now the turn has come for another traditional question, ”the politician believes.
Gudkov considers the expansion of the opposition’s organizational structures to be another important problem. “With all due respect to the organizers of the Forum and the rather solid composition of its participants, not everyone who could have taken part in it. For example, I think that participation in an online format, and if it works out, in a personal format, of such famous people as Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Alexei Navalny, would greatly contribute to his work. Internationally renowned political figures with experience in public speaking and inspiring credibility are very important to the common cause. I repeat that the current composition of experts was very serious, but this is not the limit, “Gennady Gudkov is convinced..
The organizers of the IX Forum of Free Russia expressed their hope that the tenth FSR will be held in full-time format next spring.