14 december, 2020
Systematic work is crucial for the development of people’s diplomacy in Crimea
Author: Ivan Abazher, no comments
Today in Bulgaria, like in many other countries, there is a difficult situation with COVID-19 and a high mortality rate from the virus. In this regard, the authorities have taken tough measures to restrict movement to other countries. At the same time, the restrictions do not interfere with friendly relations between the Paisia Hilendarsky Regional Bulgarian National Cultural Autonomy of the Republic of Crimea and the Republic of Bulgaria.Over the course of twenty-five years, we have formed a strong spiritual connection, and relations with members of the public and the professional class have always been maintained on the basis of goodwill. Thanks to our connections, representatives of Bulgaria were the first people's delegation to arrive in Crimea from the European Union.Bulgarians have taken an active part in the activities of the International Association "Friends of Crimea." We held a joint Forum where we discussed the relationship between Russia and Bulgaria. After the first day of the event, many people wishing to become envoys to Bulgaria and Crimea from Russia attended once again in order to participate in further public discussions.In Crimea, the situation with the coronavirus pandemic is quite difficult and the authorities have taken the appropriate measures. In this regard, the mass celebrations of Day of Slavic Writing and Culture, celebrated on May 24, were canceled. The holiday is timed to coincide with Day of Remembrance of the creators of the Cyrillic alphabet – the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles brothers Cyril and Methodius. It was decided to postpone the planned events until next year and organize a major theatrical show, as well as an international youth forum “Dialogue of Cultures: Russia – Balkans” with the participation of young people from Bulgaria, Macedonia and Serbia. Famous Bulgarian director Ivan Vazov from the National Drama Theatre of Sofia is set to join the event. We want the tour of the theatre troupe to coincide with Day of Slavic Writing and Culture. I believe that this is a vivid example of people's diplomacy when representatives of different countries join forces to preserve customs, culture and traditions, as well as the Cyrillic alphabet itself.The direction known as people's diplomacy has been developing in Crimea since 2015. The legislative and executive branches of government provide assistance in its development. The budget of the Republic provides for funding in terms of grant support for the activities of national cultural autonomies in the form of subsidies aimed at preserving and reviving the ethnocultural identity of national associations.We will try to use the allocated funds as efficiently as possible so that the representatives of Crimea have the chance to talk about the real situation on the peninsula at the international level. We are on the right path, however, we need to more actively create dialogue not only with nearby countries but also with the international community.I believe that it is necessary to act in tandem and in a unified manner. We must work as one team and show that the rights of national minorities are not violated in Crimea. We must dispel the rumours that are formed by our "friends." It is important that information is received from us – from the people living on the territory of the Republic of Crimea.On the territory of Crimea, a particularly pressing issue is the problem of water supply to the population. Crimean social activists are also trying to resolve this issue. Five years ago, at the OSCE meeting in Warsaw, I stated that the Ukrainian side unilaterally blocked the North Crimean Canal, and the water flowing along the Dnieper River, which originates in the Russian Federation, was inaccessible to the residents of Crimea. We have repeatedly raised this issue but our concerns were ignored.The Republic’s government is doing everything possible to support the population and resolve all conflicts associated with this problem. The federal government has allocated a huge amount of money to create an appropriate infrastructure in Crimea, which will fully provide the population of the peninsula with water supply.In my opinion, social activists need to carry out explanatory work with citizens in order to form a respectful and economical attitude to water, as well as analyze industrial consumers for a more rational and responsible use of the vital resource.I constantly communicate with experts on this issue and we conduct a thorough analysis of the information. On the territory of Crimea, there are more than four thousand public organizations that can be included in the work of both people’s diplomacy and water supply.However, the coordination of actions should be at the state level, perhaps some kind of republican fund that will unite non-profit organizations, the business sector, the government, the scientific community and society in order to achieve common goals. It is crucial to go ahead with clear systematic work. Creating a coordination centre is a new idea that deserves attention. Finally, I believe that young people should be actively involved in the work of such a unified center.
Resource: The Civic Chamber of the Republic of Crimea
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