On public diplomacy

it goes in the comments Vasily Senatorov published in the August issue of magazine Yacht Russia, under the heading “From the publisher”.

“The Russians stole Marblehead Trophy” – said to me a couple of months ago an old friend of the “Dragon”, a German citizen. “And what do you see theft? – I asked. Won Russian, he in accordance with the Act of presenting the Cup to decide where to hold competitions. Here and chose Saint Petersburg. Instead of talking nonsense, go and try to win”. But where there! A thousand excuses.

And here’s the RUB: after reading the German press, my politically correct friend from a certain moment started to perceive Russia through the prism of primitive Russophobia! Ceased to draw the line between sports, politics and personal relationships. It began three years ago when he was one of the best helmsmen in the world, did not go to Peter for the championship. And in vain, as the European championship in 2016 was voted by those riders who still filtered information to the media about Russia and not succumb to the sentiment to boycott competitions in our country, one of the best in the history of class organization and hospitality.

I this person is very sorry. Brought up on the quality press, he did not notice that she is in favor of “European values” began to defame the readers. Of course, an independent press in the world is almost gone. The credibility of the media around the world is reduced quickly and significantly. And there is a growing request for me to see with my own eyes. Even more pleased that in a short period of time a few of my buddies in the Dragon class visited Russia and saw for myself the beauty and security of the country, in the absence of aggression, nationalism and revanchism in the population. Of course, they do not understand the complexity of the agenda for a short tourist visit, they are not able to assess the depth of the economic failure and incompetence of the bureaucracy, the judiciary’s dependence on the government… And when they begin to try to explain the overall picture, then receive from his counterparts hundreds of criticisms to their own governments and assurances that the bureaucracy and greedy banks – the evil of the world. Critical attitude brings, makes closer. And in these moments – sorry for the pathos – I understand, what a huge potential for the rapprochement of peoples imprisoned in the sport. Especially when talking to adults and independent people.

No official statements and the victory at the Olympics will not do much to the building of peaceful relations, how public diplomacy. Other tools in the fight against militarism and mass psychosis in the hands of ordinary people there. I would like to not forget my fellow yachtsmen.

Vasily Senatorov,

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