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Belarusian-Russian discussion platform like Petersburg Dialogue suggested

Society 24.05.2019 | 14:48
Aleksei Venediktov
Aleksei Venediktov

BREST, 24 May (BelTA) – Belarus and Russia may create a platform to discuss topical problems of development of the Union State of Belarus and Russia using the Petersburg Dialogue as an example. The proposal was put forward during the roundtable session Union State: 20 Years in Media Space. Results and Perspectives on the sidelines of the 16th Belarusian International Media Forum in Brest on 24 May, BelTA has learned.

BelTA Director General Irina Akulovich
BelTA Director General Irina Akulovich

The proposal was put forward by Editor-in-Chief of the radio station Echo of Moscow Aleksei Venediktov, who moderated the discussion. He said: “Russia and Germany have the Petersburg Dialogue where various institutions of the civil society met and discussed topical problems of bilateral relations and worked out recommendations for leaders of both nations. Decisions were made and instructions were given as a result of that. I am surprised why there is something like that in relations with Germany and there is nothing like that in relations with Belarus. Where do people of science, culture, education, and businessmen meet? Where do they share their experience and make friends after all? It may be a good idea to arrange such a Brest Dialogue within the framework of the Union State of Belarus and Russia.”

State Secretary of the Union State of Belarus and Russia Grigory Rapota backed the idea. “There is now demand for interaction between social institutions. I think if there is a movement like that, leaders of the two countries will support it. I am convinced and ready to contribute to it. This is why let's try to step up this work towards each other exactly as cooperation between social institutions. The idea to arrange it the way it was done with Germany is one of the possible options,” he said.

Grigory Rapota
Grigory Rapota

Grigory Rapota agreed with the opinion expressed in the course of the discussion that the society is insufficiently informed about the integration processes going on in the Union State of Belarus and Russia. Such media forums help satisfy the society's demand for this information. “Interaction between those directly responsible for executing integration processes (ministries, government agencies, specialists, governments, and presidents) and mass media should be tighter,” Grigory Rapota believes.

Speaking about results and lessons learned in the 20 years of building the Union State of Belarus and Russia and providing information support for integration processes, participants of the discussion repeatedly mentioned trust in information resources, competition for consumers between conventional mass media and online ones, various kinds of instant messengers. As for the development of social networks, the emergence of Telegram channels, Head of the Central Ideology Office of the Belarus President Administration Olga Shpilevskaya noted: “We should just teach our viewers and readers to correctly consume information and understand who is behind it.” Yet she stressed that the key task of any state-run mass media is to be as objective as possible.

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