On September 21, PSSI organized a brainstorming session with project partners to discuss the details of recently launched projects that deal with the extent of Russia's influence activities in Central Europe.
The first session addressed a project The Development of economic relations between V4 and Russia: Before and After Ukraine (funded by the International Visegrad Fund), whose aim is to examine in what ways economic cooperation between Visegrad countries and Russia has been affected by the crisis in Ukraine. This undertaking will also address the respective countries' bilateral instruments to promote economic cooperation and shed light on the effect of sanctions regime in a number of selected sectors.
The second panel focused on a project Raising Awareness of Russian Soft Power in Central Europe (funded by the National Endowment for Democracy). It seeks to examine the variety of Russian influence activities in three different but related areas: a) economic and financial tools, including asset purchases and acquisitions by Kremlin affiliated businesses, that foster trade and energy dependencies; b) political and cultural tools, including the activities of Russian Centers of Science and Culture, as well as support for pro-Kremlin groups; c) disinformation tools, including support for illiberal outlets and online trolling activities, but analyzed within the broader context of other influence activities.
The overall aim of this brainstorming session with project partners was to agree on a common research methodology, timetable of planned outputs and promotion strategy.
Among participating organizations were:
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