Dmitri Polikanov, deputy reformer of Russia's soft power age
Taking a different view to Rossotrudnichestvo's sweeping approach under Yevgeny Primakov Jr, the agency's deputy director wonders whether its priorities should be reset.
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Moscow is ramping up efforts to convince Vietnam to adopt the Mir payment system, citing the Vietnam-Russia Joint Venture Bank as an early adopter. Russia's objective is to guarantee its hydrocarbon contracts are paid, but Hanoi, currently rethinking its geopolitical position, is being cautious.
Aid and cooperation agency Rossotrudnichestvo is a highly versatile tool in Russia's public relations armoury that has close links with the intelligence services. The role of the agency and its satellite bodies have been remodelled somewhat, however, since the start of the war in Ukraine.
Moscow has grand plans for its networks of influence abroad over the coming year, starting with the need to maintain its declining dominance in Central Asia. But these ambitious goals could come up against the situation in Kazakhstan, where India, China and other powers are using their own approaches.
The "Centre", the headquarters of Russia's SVR foreign intelligence agency, has long used compatriots for intelligence or influence operations. Ukraine has in contrast relied little on its own nationals or descendants living abroad. But Volodymyr Zelensky now intends to exploit this precious resource.
While the Franco-Russian relationship has been sustained by a resurgence of activity in recent months, the end of the year was not as fruitful as hoped. In order to restore order and to mitigate the nuisances caused by political disputes, the head of the Russian cultural institution Rossotrudnichestvo visited Paris in person at the end of November.
In the wake of its joint projects with Gazprom, Rosatom has locked in several foreign partnerships. One such alliance is with French group EDF, building on plans to make gains through strong networks in Paris and Brussels built by its local branches-cum-lobbyists.
Yevgeny Primakov Jr, the head of the Russian soft-power institution Rossotrudnitchestvo, has former SVR and FSB officers helping him to win the hearts and minds of Russians abroad, aided by so-called national research institute for the development of communication.
Eager to increase its influence over Russian "compatriots" living overseas, the Kremlin can count on Konstantin Zatulin, who has influence among Russian speakers in neighbouring countries, to help with its state programme for voluntary resettlement.
Ukrainian opposition figure Vadim Rabinovich, a pro-Russian who is close to Putin's Ukraine henchman Viktor Medvedchuk, appeared delighted to meet with Bruno Roger-Petit, President Macron's adviser on memorials and historical events, at the Elysee Palace recently.