15:47 09/21/2017 Yuri Nemtsev, columnist for the journal “International Affairs”
The Embassy of Grenada only recently opened in Russia, the first ambassador of this Caribbean state was appointed in April 2017. During this short period, Grenada indicated its active position in the development of relations with the Russian Federation on a broad agenda. A special place in this list is occupied by the cultural ties of our countries. As previously noted in the interview to the magazine “International Life” Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Grenada in Russia, Oleg Firer, the Caribbean culture is practically not represented to date in our country. He also said that he would like Grenada to become a sort of “cultural gateway” of the Caribbean countries in Russia (the full text of the interview with the ambassador can be found at the link: https://interaffairs.ru/news/show/17877).
The first steps in this direction have already been taken by our countries. In July, hearings took place in the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, during which both sides expressed interest in developing further cooperation on a wide range. In particular, responding to a proposal from the Russian side, the Ambassador of Grenada expressed his readiness to conduct cross cultural days in 2018.
Kemal Nicholson, Assistant to the Ambassador of Grenada in Russia, shared his plans for the further development of the Russian-Grenada dialogue in the cultural sphere.
“International life”: What steps are being taken in this direction by your country’s leadership and the Embassy of Grenada in Russia?
K. Nicholson: From November 1-3, it is planned to hold an economic, media and academic forum in Grenada called “New Dawn 2017”. This is a key event, co-organized by the Government of Grenada, the Embassy of Grenada to the Russian Federation and the Bering-Bellingshausen Institute. As the host, Grenada invited a well-known Russian journalist and public figure Sergey Brilev to the forum. The forum is expected to involve a large number of guests from both Grenada and Russia. The main goal of the forum is to initiate a dialogue and identify the most promising areas of potential cooperation. The basis for the event was Grenada’s decision to open its embassy in the Russian Federation in April 2017, to strengthen and develop diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In addition, in our immediate plans, the creation of a trade house “My Caribbean”, which will both promote products and goods from the Caribbean countries, and develop bilateral trade between the Caribbean region and the Russian Federation. The trade house will be responsible for marketing a wide range of Caribbean products, culture and promotion of our countries to the Russian market.
“International life”: At a meeting with representatives of the Civic Chamber of Russia in July of this year, it was a question of organizing cross cultural days in 2018. Did you manage to advance in this matter? What activities are expected?
K. Nicholson: Yes, we intend to hold a day of Caribbean culture in Russia in the coming year. This event is planned to be held with the participation of all interested partners in this field on both sides.
“International life”: Traditionally, the younger people are the more open layer of the population for everything new. Are there any plans to organize student, youth, school festivals? Will your country be represented at the Festival of Youth, which will be held in October this year in Russia?
K. Nicholson: We believe that young people are indeed very important, especially in the formation of cross-cultural understanding, and intercultural exchanges among young people are an effective tool to promote this understanding in some way. As for our participation, a delegation of students from Grenada will come to the Festival of Youth, which will be held in Sochi in October.
“International life”: A special place in the development of cultural relations is the study of Russian by representatives of both Grenada and other Caribbean states. The issue of studying the Russian language on the basis of Caribbean universities was preliminary studied. Did you achieve any results in this area?
K. Nicholson: In recent years, many Russian students from Grenada have studied at Russian universities, who have studied Russian and succeeded in this. Speaking about the future, our countries must continue to create opportunities for promoting languages, in particular the Russian language, as a building block for intercultural ties. In July this year, we began working with the “Russian Worldwide” project to study Russian on the basis of Grenada University. Positively adjusted in this respect.
“International life”: What would you like to add to our readers?
K. Nicholson: At present, relations between Grenada and the Russian Federation continue to develop. On September 20 during the UN General Assembly Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Elvin Nimrod, the Foreign Minister of Grenada, signed an agreement on a bilateral visa-free regime between the countries. We look forward to the continuation of this kind of positive initiatives with our Russian partners.
“International life”: Thank you, Mr. Nicholson, for an interesting interview.