Analysing international policy processes and Lithuania’s role in them
Events Jul 02, 2024

Presentation of the Russia Research Programme

Photo source: Dmitrij Kudriavcev / Fotodiena

On July 1, 2024, the EESC hosted an event to launch its new Russia research programme. The purpose of the programme is to deepen the understanding of the current Russian regime, opposition, and society, and to analyze the processes and political trends taking place in Russia. The discussion featured Lithuanian MEP and former Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius, former Lithuanian Ambassador to Russia Remigijus Motuzas, and key Russian opposition figure and former political companion of Alexei Navalny, Leonid Volkov.

The event’s guests discussed Western countries’ perspectives on their relationship with Russia, its society, and the opposition. Andrius Kubilius highlighted the Western countries’ lack of political will to support Ukraine. This tendency is related to the propaganda spread by Putin’s regime that Russia cannot be democratic. Because of this fear, there is an avoidance of actively and substantially supporting Ukraine’s victory. Support for the democratic opposition and the belief that Russia can be different are essential not only for achieving victory in Ukraine but also for changes within Russia itself.

Motuzas highlighted Russia’s waning democratic foothold and continued support for Putinism among its populace. Volkov, on the other hand, pointed out the still-prominent skepticism towards Putin’s policies and the potential power struggles following the ultimate fall of Putin’s regime. In the discussions with the audience, the panel concluded that Western support and initiative are crucial for change in Russia, with the Russian opposition needing to educate both local and Western audiences.