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Kudrin’s Civil Forum

It sounds as though speakers had their work cut out for them at the recent All-Russian Civil Forum, hosted by former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin in Moscow, where discussion groups aimed to develop an ‘Agenda for Russia’.  Vladimir Ryzkhov has a piece about the gathering in The Moscow Times, where he notes a cooling of the ‘old romance between the authorities and civil society’.

During the final evening session, the four moderators summed up the results of the discussions. The day of collective brainstorming produced numerous novel ideas for solving the country’s problems. […]

On the whole, the forum participants’ diagnoses of society’s ills and their proposals for rectifying them fall within a social framework emphasizing liberal values, the rule of law, a social market economy, the precedence of the individual and society over the state, institutional reforms and the protection of human rights. Participants also devoted significant time to discussing the law requiring NGOs that receive even partial funding from abroad to label themselves as “foreign agents,” and gave a standing ovation to the suggestion that the forum appeal to Putin and the State Duma to repeal it.