CCI’s September 2019 Delegation Arrived Moscow Sept 2
I received this letter from Sharon Tennison this morning. She encouraged all of us to share it.
Subject CCI’s September 2019 Delegation Arrived Moscow Sept 2
From Sharon Tennison
Date Sun 23:39
Dear CCI Friends and Subscribers,
A belated note to you. The rigors of getting our large CCI delegation to Moscow on September 2, plus starting Expert meetings less that 24 hours later (for a total of 10 such meetings) plus a visit to the new Gulag Museum, didn't allow time to inform you until now. Today we finished our meetings in Moscow and flew to our regional cities across Russia.
Here is the recap: The four days in Moscow unfolded with speakers on the international, domestic, political, security and economic environments in Russia today. We had two-hour Q&A sessions with independent TV journalist Vladimir Pozner; strategic and nuclear weapons analyst Vladimir Kozin; political analyst Peter Kortunov, standing in for Andrey Kortunov of the Russian International Affairs Council; Pavel Velikhov, son of Evgeny Velikhov, Gorbachev's partner in building peristroika and glasnost; Richard Sobel, U.S. businessman in Moscow for 30 years; Chris Weafer, CEO of Macro Advisory and former chief strategist at Sberbank, Russia's largest state bank; Dr. Vera Lyalina and Dr. Igor Borshenko, on Russia's private and public medical care; Dmitri Babich, TV journalist; Alexander Korobko, documentary filmmaker and two young persons from Donbass. President Gorbachev's health prevented him from speaking to the group this year, but his trusted translator Pavel Palazhchenko spoke with us. In addition we had the opportunity to speak to numerous young Moscovites from a number of professions arranged by a Moscow friend of CCI. All of this in four days!
The quick take-aways from our discussions:
–U.S. abrogation of arms control agreements and the continuing expansion of U.S. military bases and U.S./NATO military deployments around the Russian boarder have Russian security experts and citizens extremely worried.
–Sanctions from the annexation of Crimea are having both positive and negative effects. New Russian industries have been developed to provide foods and goods not available due to U.S. sanctions. This is making Russia "food independent" which is great, but loans for expansion of small and middle size businesses are difficult to obtain.
–The Russian economy has slowed from the rapid growth of the past decade. However, no country can continue to grow at the rate Russia did during the past decades. To stimulate the economy, the Russian government has a new five-year National Projects plan that will put $400 Billion or 23% of the GDP into the economy through big infrastructure projects. The Putin administration is staking its bets for economic growth on these projects to forestall social unrest due to stagnate wages, lowering of social benefits and other potentially disruptive issues that could affect the political environment.
Today September 7, the entire CCI delegation broke into dyads and tryads to visit 23 Russian cities, and tonight are likely already asleep in up to 10 time zones across Russia. CCI Regional Coordinators in Barnaul, Simferopol, Yalta, Sebastopol, Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Kungur, Perm, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk, Orenburg, Perm, Sergiev Posad, Torzhok, Tver, Ufa, and Yakutsk will introduce members of our delegation to life outside of Moscow. This major logistical challenge has gone smoothly except for our most experienced traveler, Ann Wright, who missed her plane to Yakutsk! Traffic between our Oksana Hotel and Domodedova airport on the south side of Moscow took over 4.5 hours and by that time the plane had taken off. Beware if you use DME airport in the future!
With politicians and government officials taking decisions today that create DEATH AND DESTRUCTION for citizens of our world, we MUST stand for POLICIES THAT ENCOURAGE LIFE, not war and death. They MUST take into consideration the hopes and dreams of fellow citizens of our world, no matter where they live, THEY WANT TO LIVE IN PEACE with opportunities for their children, instead of death and destruction for democratic and ideologically drive purposes!
Expect a shower of FotoJournals and reports over the next three weeks.
Please forward them to your friends, families, colleagues and business partners.
For those who resist, ask them to sign up for 2020 CCI trips to Russia to examine this country themselves.
Russia is not a perfect country, nor are we. It's time to clean up our own country rather than demonizing and maligning Russia.
No proofers around, please excuse midnight errors. S.
Center for Citizen Initiatives
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