Who was there and what was said at the inauguration of the new center of the powerful Russian Geographical Society in Paris. The article by Giuseppe Gagliano
The new Parisian center of the powerful Russian Geographical Society (RGO) was officially inaugurated on September 6 with a ceremony that went unnoticed at the Russian House of Science and Culture in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.
The event opened with a message from Yevgeny Primakov Jr, head of the Russian international cooperation agency Rossotrudnichestvo – the Russian soft power body that is particularly active in the application of Russian policy on "compatriots" abroad and relies heavily on the services of former intelligence officers.
Spoken by the director of the House of Science and Culture Konstantin Volkov, the opening message of Primakov, grandson of the former Russian prime minister and former director of the SVR Yevgeny Primakov Sr, spoke of the long relationship between the RGO and its organization. Nothing more natural, given that the new Parisian center of the RGO avails itself of the services of leading figures in Franco-Russian relations but also of professionals already involved in the application of the policy of Russian compatriots.
The new head of the RGO's Paris center is an expert in promoting Russian influence among young people and in higher education. Darya Loyola, who first worked as a promoter of academic exchanges between Russia and France, has been teaching in Paris universities since 2013 and, in 2018, presented her thesis on the evolution of Russian university policy between 1917 and 2017 to a jury composed of French The Russian specialist Hélène Carrère d'Encausse and Vladimir Filippov, rector of the People's Friendship University of Russia. Behind the scenes, he is also president of the Youth Commission of the Coordinating Council of Russian compatriots in France, led by Professor Georgi Chepelev of the Paris 8 University.
In addition to Konstantin Volkov, the board of directors of the new RGO center includes the Russian commercial representative in France, Mikhaïl Makarov, Pierre Malinowski, head of the Foundation for the development of Russian-French historical initiatives and the photographer-researcher Cyril Semenoff-Tian-Chansky . The council also includes the Russian honorary consuls in Biarritz and Lyon, Alexandre Miller de la Cerda and François Turcas respectively, both in the cities where the RGO plans to organize temporary exhibitions in the coming months.
During the inauguration ceremony, Loyola received a letter of thanks for her work in promoting Franco-Russian relations from the Russian Ambassador to France Alexeï Mechkov who acts on behalf of the Government Commission for the Affairs of compatriots abroad. Also present at the event were Vladimir Kolossov, Vice President of the RGO and Deputy Director of the Geographical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Secretary General of the French Geographic Society Jacques Gonzales, Irina Dubois of the Association for Franco-Russian Dialogue and Michel Muszynski, president of the French Association of Russians. Gazprom's representative in France Yuri Virobian and the representative of Russian railways in France Maxime Lariitchouk were also seen.
In order of protocol, the RGO has been led by the current Russian defense minister Sergey Shoygu since 2009, and Vladimir Putin is chairman of his council. The rest of the board is a mosaic of some of the most influential businessmen in Russia, including oligarch Oleg Deripaska and his rival Vladimir Potanin, Petr Aven head of Alfa-Bank and co-founder of Alfa Group and LetterOne Holdings. , Uzbek steel and telecommunications tycoon Alisher Usmanov, Putin's special adviser Sergey Ivanov and the presidents of Lukoil, BP, VTB Bank, Sistema, Gazprom, Sberbank, Novatek, Rosneft, Yandex and Rostec. Other current board members are Albert II of Monaco and Jack Ma, founder of the Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba.
The RGO claims to have 22,000 members, including Duma member Konstantin Zatulin, who also founded the Institute of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which has been dealing with the cause of Russian compatriots abroad for decades and recently proposed a new law on voluntary reinstallation.
The Parisian offices of the RGS are likely to closely follow the celebrations of the bicentenary of the Societe Francaise de Geographie which will take place on December 15 in the great amphitheater of the Sorbonne University. Putin and Shoygu were invited as leaders of the RGO.
Ultimately, more than a geographical society it would seem to be a supranational Masonic lodge … but these are only inferences.
This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/mondo/societa-geografica-russa-centro-parigi/ on Mon, 27 Sep 2021 07:06:38 +0000.