18th PIR Center International School Concludes in Moscow Region


MOSCOW, JUNE 18, 2018. PIR PRESS. "The level of lecturers motivated to formulate qualitative and non-trivial questions, warmed up interest even to topics that you were not originally expert at. The organizers have done everything possible to make us forget about everyday aspects of life, created ideal conditions not only for resting, but also for working and studying!" – said the winner of the International School on Global Security 2018 Alexander Protsenko.

From June 2 to 10, the 18th International School on Global Security took place in Zvenigorod. The school was organized by PIR Center and the Center for Global Problems and International Organizations of the Institute for Contemporary International Problems of the Diplomatic Academy of Russian Foreign Ministry. 

25 diplomats, journalists, scientists and teachers from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine participated in the School. For the first time the representative of Iran became one of the participants. The participants represented diplomatic and military institutions, state companies, scientific centers, and universities.

On Sunday, June 3, the first classes took place. The first day started with a traditional lecture by Vladimir Orlov, PIR Center Founder, entitled "Priorities of Russia's Policy in the Field of International Security", a lecture by Leonid Grigoriev, Chief Advisor to the Head of the Analytical Center under the Government of the Russian Federation, about the state and trends of the world economy and the role of sanctions in modern world politics, as well as a lecture by Albert Zulkharneev, PIR Center Director, "Challenges to global security and cooperation in Eurasia".

Sergey Ryabkov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, who is already a traditional lecturer at the PIR Center School, this year particularly emphasized the importance of the program for him personally: "Every year, when this event is held by PIR Center, I look forward to participating in these brainstorming sessions and open discussions on topics that are only multiplying: new topics are added to the ones that pass from one year to another. Life does not stand still, every summer school is an opportunity for me, as a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to feel the spirit and the tide of time among representatives of completely different countries and representatives of our academic community, our young colleagues who are passionately engaged in the same topics but have a fresh look and non-bureaucratic approach  all this is very enriching."

The most pressing issues on the international agenda in the field of global security and nonproliferation were highlighted in the case-study lecture of Vladimir Orlov on the Iranian nuclear program and the situation with the JCPOA, as well as on the status of the international WMD nonproliferation regimes and, in particular, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The head of the Department of Korea and Mongolia of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Vorontsov conducted for the participants a detailed historical analysis of the origins of the North Korean crisis.

In just a week of classes, the participants listened to more than 25 lectures from leading experts in the field of international security, and also participated in 4 seminars, 2 roundtables, and debates, and truly got engaged into all aspects of security.

PIR Center Advisory Board member Alexey Ubeev discussed with the participants the role of the IAEA and other international mechanisms in solving regional problems of non-proliferation and nuclear security. PIR Center Board Chairman Evgeny Buzhinsky shared his expert opinion on the current issues of arms control. PIR Center Project Director on Emerging Technologies and Global Security Vadim Kozyulin lectured the participants about national and international mechanisms for preventing illegal circulation of conventional weapons, as well as about the development of new technologies of warfare such as artificial intelligence, robots, hypersound and what challenges these technologies bring to humanity.

The topics of information technology, digital transformation, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, were discussed by Cisco Security Business Consultant Alexey Lukatsky, PIR Center Consultant Oleg Demidov, Executive Vice President for Interaction with the Public Authorities of PJSC VimpelCom Mikhail Yakushev, who paid special attention to issues of identification on the Internet. The development of international norms of information security and responsible behavior in cyberspace was described by Elena Chernenko, deputy head of the Foreign Policy Department of the newspaper Kommersant. Maria Gavrilova, Senior Legal Adviser of the Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Russian Federation, Belarus and Moldova spoke about the possibility of applying international humanitarian law to armed conflicts in cyberspace. Anastasia Kushleiko, who also represented the ICRC Regional Delegation, raised the issues of humanitarian challenges in modern military conflicts.

Vladimir Ladanov, adviser to the Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control of the Russian Foreign Ministry, described the more traditional, but no less lethal types of weapons – chemical and biological, and the existing international legal mechanisms that help regulate them.

With the Switzerland Defense Attaché Bruno Russi, the participants discussed the experience of Switzerland as a neutral country and looked closely into the issues of harmonizing the agenda of regional players and international organizations in the field of international security with a member of the Directorate of the National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations Vyacheslav Trubnikov. In addition, on June 7, the students of the School visited the exposition of the patriotic military park of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation "Patriot". The representative of the 12th Main Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation held an exclusive excursion for the participants, where he spoke about the nuclear-technical aspects of ensuring Russia's security. 

For the first time, adviser to the Defense Minister of Russia Andrei Ilnitsky gave a lecture at the School. Andrei Mikhailovich spoke about the role of the army in Russia's domestic and foreign policy and answered all questions from the audience. 

Different formats of classes – from lectures to debates and roundtables – ensured the maximum effectiveness of a very intensive school program. 

"The participants of the School have a unique opportunity since the PIR Center is one of the most authoritative structures, respected by specialists in the field of international relations, not only in the Russian Federation and the near abroad but also at very remote corners of our globe. The works of its experts are read on different floors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, and also carefully studied in the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation. PIR Center graduates get leading positions both in scientific circles and in divisions that supervise international relations of different countries," – assessed Grigory Sumkin, deputy director of the Department of European Cooperation of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Obtaining the certificate required to score at least 52 points out of 130. The highest number of points got an associate professor of the Department of Political Science and International Relations of Lugansk National University Alexander Protsenko, Associate Professor of the Department of World Economy, International Relations and Law from Novosibirsk State University of Economics and Management Gleb Toropchin and a student of a dual-degree Master's program "Global Security, Nuclear Policy and WMD Nonproliferation" between MGIMO and Middlebury Institute of International Studies Veronika Bedenko.

All students highly appreciated the program, as well as the composition of the lecturers and the selection of participants conducted by the organizers. 

The winner of the International School for Global Security 2018 Alexander Protsenko formulated his impressions from the school in the following way: "The level of lecturers motivated to formulate qualitative and non-trivial questions, warmed up interest even to topics that were originally "not yours". The organizers have done everything possible to make us forget about everyday aspects of life, created ideal conditions not only for resting but also for working and studying! The participants, each in its own way and all together, charged the atmosphere with sincere respect, a living, unfiltered sense of humor and a feeling that we know each other not for a couple of days, but for years. All this in sum is the best incentive. In such circumstances, I cannot let myself to be boring and inactive". 

"The event is organized at a very high level. The substantive part of the School exceeded my expectations, as the experts tried to be objective in discussing the issues,"  said Jamshed Islomov, the second secretary of the Office for Cooperation with the CIS countries of the Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan. 

The participant of the school, the senior lecturer of the V. Sargsyan Military University under the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia, Armen Galechyan: "The uniqueness of the School is the kind of friendly atmosphere and mutual understanding that exists between participants from different countries. After all, we are united by genetic memory and language. The issues discussed at the School are especially close to our countries."

The International School for Global Security 2018 was organized with the support of the Gorchakov Fund and the Russkiy Mir Foundation in partnership with the Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sports of Switzerland, the Carnegie Corporation in New York, the Swedish Radiation Protection Agency, the Regional Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Trialogue Club.

Information about the School, participants and lecturers, program and partners is available on the PIR Center's website. 

For all questions related to the PIR Center's educational programs, you can contact PIR Center Project Coordinator Yuliya Seslavinskaya by e-mail [email protected], tel. + 7 (499) 940 09 83.