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Russians, Belarusians launch Rzhev Initiative


A presentation of the Belarusian-Russian movement Rzhev Initiative took place in the Victory Museum in Moscow on 1 October, TASS reports.

The Rzhev Initiative is supposed to offer a platform for uniting initiative groups from Belarus and Russia and for implementing joint projects in various fields. Participants of the event admitted they had been inspired by the Rzhev Memorial to the Soviet Soldier, which is a vivid example of cooperation between peoples of Belarus and Russia under the aegis of the Union State of Belarus and Russia. Participants of the presentation said that they would like to continue exploring the potential of bilateral relations by supporting civic initiatives.

“We need grassroots diplomacy. People should talk to each other. We can help with genuine internal human replenishment of these relations and we will try to do just that,” said Vladimir Mamontov, Director General of the radio station Govorit Moskva, one of the organizers of the movement.

The Rzhev Initiative founders are the Belarusian-Russian community of reporters Druzya-Syabry [friends in Russian and in Belarusian], the Victory Museum, the Foreign Policy Studies Association named after Andrei Gromyko, the Belaya Rus association, and the Russian movement of volunteers that searches battlefields for fallen soldiers in order to immortalize memory of them. During the presentation their representatives noted that the movement is open to all concerned citizens and the organizers will welcome any ideas.

State Secretary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia Grigory Rapota addressed participants of the presentation in a telegram: “Our time requires the development of a dialogue, the establishment of tighter ties, and at last the inclusion of young people into the integration process. Young people should choose in favor of the Union State of Belarus and Russia deliberately once they understand what prospects our common way of development of our two countries opens up. Young people are interested in working together, rich opportunities for self-realization, social mobility instead of nostalgia and historic traditions.”

Appeals for unity of the two countries bearing in mind political shocks after the presidential election in Belarus were the keynote idea of the presentation. Representatives of the Belarusian side and the Russian one mentioned the special significance of the Union State of Belarus and Russia and the importance of preserving tight ties between citizens. Rzhev Initiative projects are supposed to provide a positive impulse to cooperation of the peoples of Belarus and Russia and attract their attention to the common potential not only during crisis times.

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