Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Supporting Russia's Future

Фонд "Новая Евразия" | New Eurasia Foundation

It's fifteen years since Russia declared its independence from the Soviet Union, thus making its break with a past of oppression and decline.

Developments since then have - as we know - been dramatic and not always straightforward.

Today, I'm in Moscow attending a meeting of the Board of Directors of the New Eurasia Foundation. It's a unique partnership seeking to support the future of Russia.

This year, we hope to be able to give help in the order of 8 million dollars to different activities in different parts of Russia. It's a question of helping the development of small and medium-size enterprises, of developing different social initiatives and in general terms to further the development of civil society throughout the vast country.

There are obvious problems. The central bureaucracy is scared. The governance of Russia works increasingly badly. There is a certain amount of suspicions against both foreigners and civil society.

But we will move on. The future of Russia is not its bureaucracy - in those terms it's still a superpower! - but the quality and ambitions of its citizens.

To help in developing and furthering those qualities and ambitions is to help in the building of a better future for Russia.

That's well spent days in a summerlike Moscow.