INVESTIGATION: WHO IS BEHIND THE “DIALOGUE OF CIVILIZATIONS”?

«Der Spiegel» journalists found out that the Research Institute “Dialogue of Civilizations” or DOC, a pseudo-analytical center headquartered in Berlin, is working on the themes of the Kremlin in Europe, and its connections are drawn to the Austrian Ministry of Defense, the website of the European Expert Association writes.

DOC’s co-founder is Vladimir Yakunin, a Russian oligarch and former head of Russian Railways. Yakunin is included in the sanctions lists of the USA, Canada and Australia.

«Spiegel» writes that DOC is part of a network that is being used to strengthen Russian influence, especially in NATO countries, and to promote Moscow’s interests to the West. The organization has been operating since 2016 and has offices in Germany, Austria, Belgium, India and, of course, Russia.

To expand its network, DOC is forging strategic alliances with particularly important partners, including the Austrian Ministry of Defense. The Ministry says that there was no cooperation, but “participation” in projects with DOC in 2017-2019.

The Kremlin is investing significant resources in informational offensive actions against Europe and the West. It uses think tanks, research institutes and charities to promote Kremlin-friendly narratives among Western elites and thus to influence political decision-making process.

Yakunin created the think tank DOC as the successor to the political institute he founded in Vienna in 2002. Former Secretary General of the Council of Europe Walter Schwimmer (ÖVP) is listed on the DOC website as a co-founder. In addition to Schwimmer, the DOC’s supervisory body also includes former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer (SPÖ) and former Czech President Vaclav Klaus.

Source: Der Spiegel

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