Shvydkoi expresses hope that cooperation between Russia, West in culture, science will be restored when acute period of Ukrainian crisis ends
MOSCOW. March 3 (Interfax) - The suspension of international cultural and scientific cooperation between Russia and several foreign countries is temporary, and it may resume as soon as the acute military-political period is overcome, Russian presidential envoy on int'l cultural cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi told Interfax on Wednesday.
"The situation is rather complicated and indeed, many collectives, many institutions are temporarily putting relations on hold. Several foreign culture ministers have made such decisions. Nonetheless, it seems to me that this situation is temporary," Shvydkoi said, commenting on the decisions by several foreign states to halt cultural and scientific cooperation with Russia over the Ukraine situation.
"Nothing like this took place during the period of Cold War or the Cuban Missile Crisis or the Afghan War. The things going on today cause regret, to say the least, because one way or another, in my view, the acute military-political period will end, and cultural and scientific ties will begin restoring. I don't think this will be a very easy process, but one should look to the future," he said.
In several countries, Russian artists "are basically being forced to condemn their own country," he went on to say. "Such pressures cast serious doubt [on the notion] that our European colleagues are committed to the fundamental principles of cultural and scientific cooperation, which imply that culture and science are above politics," the Russian presidential envoy said.
Russia does not break any ties and remains open to cultural cooperation, while the decisions of some international festivals to refrain from inviting Russian participants are only regrettable, he said.
"The period of military-political escalation will end, and over time, an opportunity will arise for starting new contacts," Shvydkoi said.
A number of Western nations earlier decided to break up cultural and scientific cooperation with Russia over the situation in Ukraine. Foreign theaters and artistic collectives began refusing to cooperate with Russian artists, including Valery Gergiev, Denis Matsuev, Anna Netrebko and others. The organizers of the Cannes Film Festival have decided against receiving any official delegation from Russia this year.
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