Russian International Studies Association

Russian International Studies Association

“Ibero-American World. Russian Perspective” Session at the XIII RISA Convention

“Ibero-American World. Russian Perspective” Session at the XIII RISA Convention

October 14th, MGIMO University hosted a session to honor the memory of MGIMO Professor Alla Zenkovich entitled “Ibero-American World. Russia Perspective” in the framework of the 13th RISA Convention.

The event was attended by the Deputy Director of the Department of Latin America of the Russian MFA Nikolai Sophinskiy, the Scientific Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Latin America Vladimir Davydov, the Vice-President of Prosveshcheniye Pavel Zenkovich, the diplomats from the embassies of Nicaragua, Cuba and Mexico to Russia, as well as MGIMO faculty.

In his welcome address, Nikolai Sophinskiy noted the enormous contribution made by Alla Zenkovich into training experts in Latin American studies and spoke about the peculiarities of the Ministry’s work in Latin America against the backdrop of the competition between the USA and China in the region.

“For us, the USA is primarily associated with the sanctions policy; for us, the presence in Latin America is always connected with overcoming this barrier of sanctions, but what’s typical of the region is that no country support the anti-Russian restrictions. We follow China very closely, we like how they work and create infrastructure, their own financial mechanisms. We study this experience, and, to some extent, we try to use it,” stressed Mr Sophinskiy.

Speaking about the prospects for the development of the relations with Latin American countries, Vladimir Davydov noted radical changes in the relation of regional authorities towards Russia. In his view, now the countries of the continent look at Russia “freely, without bias, critically, beyond the ideological lens”, which allows us to count on deeper ties with all states of the region.

The First Vice-Rector of MGIMO Gennadii Tolstopiatenko and Alla’s son Pavel Zenkovich inaugurated the room named after Alla Zenkovich.

The Ibero-American sessions will also include meetings entitled “Modern Spain: Challenges and Prospects” and “Latin America at the Modern Stage: Challenges and Prospects for Development”.

Alla Zenkovich (1950–2019) was a prominent interpreter, lecturer at the Spanish Language Department at MGIMO, author of several textbooks on the Spanish language. She received numerous awards and medals, including the Jesús Menéndez Internationalist Medal (the Republic of Cuba) for her courage during the Gulf War in Baghdad, the Francisco de Miranda Order in the degree of Forerunner (the Republic of Venezuela) for developing relations between Russia and Latin America, the Certificate of Merit of the Russian Foreign Ministry for long and conscientious work in the Russian Foreign Ministry system.

Since 2000, Alla Zenkovich had worked as an official interpreter during state and working visits to Moscow of  President Hugo Chavez of the Republic of Venezuela, President Ricardo Lagos of the Republic of Chile and President Vicente Fox of Mexico, Presidents Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Evo Morales of Bolivia, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador as well as the foreign ministers of Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina

The 13th Russian International Studies Association Convention is held at MGIMO on October 14th-16th, gathering around 1 000 researchers from various countries of the world. The Convention is organized with the support of “Priority 2030” strategic academic leadership program aimed at shaping an academic environment for implementation of cutting-edge technologies and knowledge in the Russian economy.