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  Thursday, October 29, 2020
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Russia must develop its own national ideology as soon as possible to gain respect on the international arena
Russia must develop its own national ideology as soon as possible to gain respect on the international arena, an influential presidential aide said Wednesday. Vladislav Surkov, a deputy head of the Kremlin administration widely considered to be the administration's chief ideologist, told a round table in the Russian capital that the country had to adopt an ideology to survive. "If a nation does not create its own images and ideas, and does not communicate them to other nations, it does not exist in a political and cultural sense," he said at a meeting organized by government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta. Surkov is credited with coining the term "sovereign democracy", meaning that Russia should develop its own version of democracy on its own terms and without foreign interference. A law enacted earlier this year to restrict the activities of nongovernmental organizations financed from overseas aimed to curb foreign influences on Russia's still comparatively young democratic processes. And the deputy administration chief went further today, saying Russia risked losing its standing in international affairs if it failed to act in the ideological field. "If we do not develop our social ideology, a national ideology accepted by the majority of citizens, no one will ever take us seriously," he said, though he added that Russia should seek to stand up for its interests in the right way. "It is essential to understand the importance of dialogue," Surkov said. "We must have our own voice in the European discussion as we did in the Soviet times." "If we consider ourselves an independent nation, we must participate in the dialogue and talk with other participants in an appropriate tone," he said, adding that Russia was a participant in the democratic process. "Democracy is a process, not a fact," Surkov said. "It is not communism, which has to be built and then start the era of post-mortem adventures; it is a cultural issue in many aspects." He said the concept of sovereign democracy reflected the democracy of a sovereign state and "appeals to the dignity of the Russian people and the Russian nation. It is about who we are." "The issue of terminology and image-making is very important because the process of their creation is a characteristic of a proactive nation," the Kremlin official said.
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