RUSSIA’S POLICY SHIFTS TOWARDS THE EU: TRENDS IN THE OPERATING EU CIVIL ADVOCACY GROUPS IN RUSSIA

Aniruddha Saha

The essay argues that in order to make the atmosphere viable for any such ‘Western’ civil advocacy group to function, the climate of their damaged reputation (since the 1993 elections) in Russia first needs to be set right. In the same context, the essay talks about bridging communication gaps with the Russian audience (Spencer, 2011-2012 p.182) at the grass root level through the exchange of ideas in various fields of research and education. Also, in developing a ‘Russian outlook’ to enable closer ties with the Russian people, the essay highlights the need to localize advocacy activities and consider alternate sources of funding (Kreienkamp, 2017 p.10), in order to reduce chances of being recognized as a “foreign agent.” More so, the essay suggests that any Western civil advocacy group should understand the conservative social fabric of Russia, analyse whether the Russian society is ready for a change that is radical and considered ‘Western’ in nature (Duffala, 2014) and therefore be less ambitious towards designing attainable goals of civil advocacy that pushes the Russians towards a democratic transition.

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