First appeared at Sputnik

Russia’s Centre for Strategic Research (CSR) said in a report on Thursday that the ongoing information war against Russia would not be on the wane any time soon, adding that Moscow should present Russian media as a source of objective information and promote them in western countries.

The report of the CSR also focuses on a number of other issues dedicated to Russia’s relations with other states both with the European Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Middle Eastern countries.

FROM INFORMATION CONFRONTATION TO PARTNERSHIP

In the report, the CSR proposed to decrease the level of confrontation statements in Russia’s media outlets focusing on their objectivity and impartiality and to increase cooperation with foreign institutions, including via Rossotrudnichestvo (Russian Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation).

“There is no need to expect the decrease of the anti-Russia information campaign’s scale. At the same time it is necessary to gradually reduce the scale of information confrontation in Russia’s media and to present them as a source of objective and unbiased information,” the report said.

According to the think tank, Russia should increase investments in promotion of its media outlets broadcasting in foreign languages and should create partnerships with foreign institutions.

“The system of humanitarian cooperation requires development. It is necessary to have a closer coordination of Rossotrudnichestvo’s activities with Russian and foreign universities, research centers, nongovernmental organizations. The Russian language and culture are still significant resources of Russia’s positioning in the world,” the CSR added.

MIGRATION POLICY TO ATTRACT EDUCATED PEOPLE, INVESTORS

According to the report, Russia should focus its migration policy on attraction of well-educated workers and businesspeople from other countries as it would develop the economy, as well as relations with other nations.

“The migration policy should be carried out focusing on integration of migrants into the Russian society. The limitation of the migration policy by police functions would decrease the country’s competitiveness in the issues related to attraction of labor force. Taking into consideration the goals of the technological modernization and development of the economy it is necessary to take steps to ease visa regime for educated workers, businesspeople and investors immediately,” the CSR said.

The institution added that the brain drain was a significant problem for Russia, thus Moscow should take steps to tackle the deficit of labor force, to soften the outcome of depopulation processes and to ensure economic growth.

RUSSIA-EUROPE ENERGY COOPERATION

According to the CSR, Russia’s presence at Europe’s energy markets would decrease during the next two decades, that’s why Moscow should diversify its national export.

“Russian presence at the EU energy markets would decline in the next two decades. It is connected with politicization of energy cooperation, search of alternative suppliers by the European Union, as well as with the innovations in the sphere of energy,” the report said.

At the same time, the think tank considers that the European Union would still be the most important partner of Russia in the trade and economy issues, despite several political differences.

RUSSIA-WEST COMPETITION

The competition between Moscow and the Western countries would continue for a long time and there is a possibility that the existing level of relations would result in a limited or even in a large-scale armed conflict.

“By deepening the contradictions, Russia and the West lose time necessary in tackling common challenges. The existing paradigm of relations could escalate into a limited or into a large-scale military conflict. The outcome of such conflict for both Europe and the world would be unfortunate,” the report said, adding that thaw between the two sides would require a lot of steps aimed at normalization from both Moscow and its western partners.

According to the researchers, the confrontation with the West is not beneficial for Russia.

“In the near future, the United States, the European Union and several other countries will be among the centers of economic growth, to a large extent shaping the model of globalization,” the CSR reported, adding that Russia’s strategy in the relations with the West should focus on mutual lifting of sanctions and return to economic cooperation, visa liberalization, expansion of humanitarian contacts, as well as on settlement of conflicts, including of the one in eastern Ukraine.

UKRAINE LOST FOR RUSSIA FOR LONG TIME

The report said that Russia would not be able to return to partnership with Ukraine for a significant period of time. Kiev’s relations with the Western countries would continue to develop, though without Ukraine’s membership of NATO.

“Within the framework of the Ukrainian crisis, Russia reunified with Crimea, solved the problem issues of its Black Sea Fleet’s stationing and blocked Ukraine’s NATO membership for the long run. At the same time it has resulted in several new problems. Russia is a strategic rival for Ukraine. The enmity has taken roots at the level of political ideology and of public opinion. Ukraine is lost for Russia as a partner for a long period of time. Kiev will consistently build military and political relations with western bodies while not being a NATO member. A military conflict is smouldering close to Russia’s borders,” the CSR said.

According to the think tank, it is necessary for Moscow to take steps to settle the Donbas conflict and it would require both a dialogue with Kiev and agreements with the western countries.

MINSK DEAL

Speaking about the Minsk peace deal aimed at settlement of the Donbas conflict, the research center said that it is unlikely that the accord would be implemented to the full extent, adding that a revision of its provisions would be needed.

“The Minsk agreements would unlikely be implemented on a full scale and would eventually require a revision. The diplomats should focus on implementation of those provisions of the accord that would contribute to the peace process and would be acceptable for all parties [to the deal]. The elections in the conflict region that would be recognized by everyone — is a result that could be achieved,” the CSR said.

The report added that the full-scale solution to the problem would “demand both reconciliation of contradictions created by the Ukrainian crisis and the causes that made it possible.”

According to the think tank, the Ukrainian conflict could not be settled without a major reconstruction of the security system in Europe and without the existence of effective inclusive institutions.

RUSSIA-MIDDLE EAST

The report also focuses on the issue of Moscow’s ties with the Middle East. The CSR suggests that Russia should focus not only on Syria and should build stronger economic ties with the regional countries and could propose peace initiatives aimed at settlement of conflicts in the region.

“By engaging in the Syrian conflict, Russia has significantly expanded its military presence in the region. Russia’s critical statements as for interference of external forces in the revolutionary processes in several regional countries seems to be justified. At the same time, Russia should be outside the framework of the Syrian problem. It is rational to propose an initiative to create a regional security system. This initiative should be worked out at the expert level and agreed with Russia’s key partners in the region,” the CSR added.

According to the think tank, the initiative could start from an international security conference in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

The report added that peace in the region and existence of the effective institutions in the Middle East would create a framework for the regional economic recovery.

The center stresses that Russia’s activities in the region should not be limited to military and political issues, but should also include economic contacts with local countries.

“The opportunities of economic cooperation are used insufficiently. The infrastructural problems hinder the development of promising trade ties. It is rational to work out the possibility of creation of new free trade zones with the regional countries at the expert level along with the EAEU [Eurasian Economic Union],” the research institution said.

The report added that Moscow had capabilities to cooperate with the Middle Eastern nations, but the Russian proposals to them should be systematized.

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