On June 21, 2021, indoor Panda platform, Russian opposition politician Vladimir Milov and his colleague Anastasia Sergeeva (co-founder of the Association For Free Russia in Poland) met with the press, Russian-speaking expats and activists of oppositional democratic initiatives. For the first time in recent years, representatives of the Russian opposition in Germany gathered in such a wide format offline. The organization of the meeting was fully carried out by the forces of the diaspora.
This article is available in Polish.
The participants discussed:
– The importance of the Russian diaspora for strengthening democratic values in Russian and German society
– Visibility of the Russian democratic diaspora in Germany
– The formation of civil society and the formation of a political position in the Russian diaspora abroad
– Ways to attract more Russian citizens (including traditionally apolitical ones) to vote in embassies
– Training observers and countering electoral fraud
– Interaction with Russians living in other countries
– Holding cultural events of a liberal nature, not funded by the Russian state
– Dialogue and joint actions with the Belarusian diaspora
– The use of the Russian tricolor at protest actions
– Criminalization of the international partnership of civil society in Russia through the recognition of organizations as foreign agents and undesirable organizations and the consequences of this for the public, civic, educational and political activity of the Russian diaspora and their Russian partners
– The need to create a business forum for Russian entrepreneurs who fled from the corruption system and are ready to continue their business activity abroad
In addition, Vladimir Milov spoke about the health of Alexei Navalny, the conditions of his detention, as well as the need for systematic, consistent and tough sanctions from the EU. According to Milov, many deputies and officials in Russia no longer believe in the success of the existing regime and are internally ready for political changes.
As a result of the meeting, important conclusions were drawn about the intensification of the Russian protest movement both abroad in general and in Germany in particular; the need to build horizontal links between the many existing initiatives; on the importance of political education in the diaspora and public control over the legitimacy of the upcoming State Duma elections.
The participants also prepared a petition to the BAFA and the Ministry of Economy of the Federal Republic of Germany regarding the incident with the private jet of Yevgeny Prigozhin, which, according to information, is being repaired at Berlin-Brandenburg Airport despite the sanctions restrictions.
Vladimir Milov is a Russian opposition politician. Companion and Alexei Navalny political adviser. Milov is a former deputy minister of energy of the Russian Federation, one of the leaders of the Russian democratic movement «Solidarity» and a former chairman of the «Democratic Choice» party. Vladimir Milov is the author of numerous analytical reports on the Russian energy sector, political and socio-economic situation in Russia. In his speech, he represents Navalny’s movement and the Russian opposition abroad.
Anastasia Sergeeva is a Russian civil society activist and political scientist. Member of the Board of the Association “For Free Russia”, Poland (freerussia.eu). Anastasia has worked in the Russian civil society sector for over 15 years – half of that time in Warsaw, where she has built a diaspora network with close ties to the pro-democratic civil and political movement in Russia. Anastasia is a member of the EU-Russia Civil Forum (https://eu-russia-csf.org) and co-author of a number of analytical and policy publications.
The Demokrati-JA initiative consists of volunteers who helped organize a protest camp at the Brandenburg Gate in April-May 2021 and are actively involved in the life of the protest movement. The initiative is engaged in protest performances, surveys, research, etc. (www.facebook.com/demokrati.ja.org).
The PANDA platform (https://panda-platforma.berlin) was founded in 2000. PANDA draws attention to the current political and social problems of the former Soviet Union countries, such as the situation around LGBTIQ people in Russia, the annexation of Crimea, the war in Ukraine.