On May 5, Alexander Sungurov, a well-known political scientist, Head of the Department of Applied Political Science of the National Research University Higher School of Economics – St. Petersburg, President of the Interregional Humanitarian and Political Science Center “STRATEGIA” (St. Petersburg) paid a supreme humanitarian visit to Smolensk . In Smolensk, Alexander Sungurov held several informal meetings with civil activists and NGO leaders.

Currently, the STRATEGY Center is restructuring and reactivating its current network, therefore, during the meetings, issues related to the possibility of cooperation and the development of interregional relations are mainly discussed. Including opportunities and prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation between Smolensk and St. Petersburg non-profit organizations, including the STRATEGY Center and the youth association MOST (Youth Strategy). The participants also discussed the problems that Russian NGOs face in connection with economic problems in the context of surveillance and counter-sanctions.

“Meetings in Smolensk once again confirmed that the projects related to education, communications and potentially professional communities are most in demand. The most interested young active people arise in such projects,” said Alexander Sungurov. – “Our task, as the older generation, is to help young people in this adaptation, occupying the position of advisers and teachers.”

As a result of the meeting, the participants came to a common opinion that it is necessary to develop and strengthen the horizons of communication between NGOs (both public and international), including the development of an expert network and the conduct of sociological research. Including studies aimed at identifying sustainable non-governmental organizations that continue their work in Russia and maintain financial independence. Opportunities are also discussed to promote closer interaction between NGOs and private business, which is also going through hard times today. It is important to understand that the founders of branch societies are private enterprises, as well as non-profit non-governmental organizations.

“The development of cooperation between NGOs and private business in Russia requires close attention and support,” emphasized Svetlana Voevodina (head of the “Expert Group – NPO Smolensk”), “According to preliminary observations, lately entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to the work of the non-profit sector, bringing professional management and new technologies to the work of NGOs, which significantly increases the sustainability of organizations. In turn, this is a sustainable professional cooperation.