The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine establishes the title of “Honorary Ambassador” of Ukraine. They will be endowed with the “advocates and promoters” of the country in the world. This was stated by Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba. Experts believe that the initiative is designed to return the interest of the world community to the problems of Ukraine. The same motive is behind Kiev’s adoption of the first strategy of public diplomacy, analysts believe. As a goal, the document calls the formation of the image of Ukraine as “a European country striving to join NATO and the EU despite external aggression.” At the same time, as the RT source in the Servant of the People party believes, such strategies do not make sense while chaos reigns in Ukraine.
“For the first time since the independence of Ukraine and the creation of diplomacy of a modern independent Ukrainian state, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduces the title of“ Honorary Ambassador ”of Ukraine. This title will be given to the “lawyers” and promoters of Ukraine in the world, ”the minister said, speaking at an online briefing.
Thus, the department intends to motivate people who “actively promote and protect the interests of Ukraine in the world”, but do not belong to the system of Ukrainian state bodies.
© Fabrizio Bensch
“In fact, the“ honorary ambassador ”of Ukraine will be the highest distinction in the field of public diplomacy in Ukraine. I am convinced that everyone who receives it will be proud that he has such a difference from Ukraine, ”added Kuleba.
According to him, the title of “honorary ambassador” will be able to receive Ukrainian and foreign citizens, individuals and legal entities, contributing to the advancement of Ukraine in the world. Embassies and consulates of the country abroad, as well as some NGOs, will be able to nominate candidates for this title.
“Lobbying Ukrainian desires”
As noted by a RT source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, with such initiatives Kiev hopes to rectify the situation, since the country has developed an extremely unfavorable reputation in the eyes of a foreign audience.
“If you open news programs on foreign channels, you can see that nothing good is said about Ukraine. Many foreigners think that cars in the country are stopped and robbed right in the middle of the road, armed gangs are wielding and corruption is rampant. Good news is rare. Therefore, the ministry wants the Ukrainians themselves to advertise the country abroad. For this they will receive decals, preferably a title. And how else to make wealthy people who can afford such activity to work for free, ”the source said.
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A RT source in the Ukrainian government believes that the country’s Foreign Ministry’s initiative will not end well.
“I think that such initiatives may be misunderstood by Western partners. It is one thing to talk about the interests of the country, and another is to personally convince European officials, for example, to reconsider the quotas for the supply of products from Ukraine. Considering that people in Ukraine do not know how to correctly lobby for interests, imagine what such “negotiations” will look like. The very first offer to give a bribe – and nothing will save the country’s image, “the interlocutor of RT believes.
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Andrey Suzdaltsev, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and World Politics at the Higher School of Economics, believes that the motive for such initiatives in Kiev was the concern of the Ukrainian authorities due to a decrease in the level of support from the West.
“Ukraine has not taken the first places in the world news for a long time. For example, Zelensky signed a decree on the “de-occupation of Crimea”, which involves the creation of a Ukrainian platform, which, according to the Ukrainian authorities, should include the largest countries. But in the world there is no excitement about this. Therefore, today Kiev uses a wide range of tools to return the interest of Europe and the United States to Ukrainian affairs, and, as a result, such initiatives appear almost every week, “the expert noted in a commentary to RT.
According to Andrey Suzdaltsev, a similar practice is found in other countries, but they usually talk about worthy people who contribute to the development of relations between states.
“However, other countries use a different term to refer to this activity. As for Ukraine, it uses “ambassadors” to draw public attention to the struggle of Ukraine, for example, against the “aggression” of Russia. It can be considered that it will be the official Ukrainian agents, which will have to promote lobbying of Ukrainian desires in Western countries, ”the expert added.
In addition to making a decision on awarding the title to the country’s “promoters”, on March 26, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry adopted a Public Diplomacy Strategy. Dmitry Kuleba also spoke about this during the briefing.
“This is a solid document that is being adopted for the first time in the history of Ukraine. The strategy has been adopted for five years, and on its basis we will develop a positive image of Ukraine abroad and communicate with partners, ”the minister said.
According to Kuleba, after the adoption of the document, Ukraine for the first time will begin to strengthen its reputation in the world “not pointwise, but systematically.”
The document outlines several main directions of Ukrainian public diplomacy. We are talking about economic, digital, scientific and educational, sports and even culinary diplomacy.
“Culinary diplomacy is a direction of public diplomacy aimed at creating a positive image of the country in the world through the promotion of national cuisine, culinary arts and local food products. The use of the culinary heritage will contribute to the strengthening of Ukrainian positions at the regional and international levels, ”the document says.
Mentioned in the strategy and compatriots living abroad. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine places special hopes and expectations on them.
“Representatives of the world Ukrainian communities of different generations and professions are deeply integrated into the societies of the host countries and are“ ambassadors ”of Ukraine,” the authors of the document say.
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs plans to improve the image of Ukraine in the international arena relying on the UkraineNow brand, which was specially created earlier for this purpose. The current strategy says that the “unified use” of the brand will allow to form a “favorable image of Ukraine”, its citizens, foreign and domestic policy, cultural values and globally change the idea of Ukraine and Ukrainians, will allow “to present Ukraine as an open modern country with European values” …
“The identity of the UkraineNow brand, which is outlined in the corresponding brand book, is recommended to be used in all image events and campaigns of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as to be placed on accompanying content, which will contribute to the development of the national brand identity and increase the recognition of the national brand,” the authors of the document write.
Recall that the logo of Ukraine was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in 2018. As the Prime Minister of the country (at that time the government was headed by Volodymyr Groisman) stated, the brand will allow “to open all the possibilities” of Ukraine.
The authors of the strategy indicated a number of goals of Ukrainian public diplomacy. One of them is the formation of the perception of Ukraine in the world as a “democratic European country, which is moving towards full membership in the EU and NATO in the face of” external aggression. ”
As Andrei Suzdaltsev noted, Ukraine is trying to appear before the world community as a country “strangled” by Russia.
“If you look closely, it becomes clear that Ukrainian diplomacy is not aimed at solving any problems, including those with neighbors. Ukrainian efforts are aimed only at receiving funds from the United States and other partners. This is a limitrophic approach, looting on the fields of geopolitical battles, ”the expert emphasized.
Object of others’ claims
That is why the strategy of Ukrainian public diplomacy is formulated in purely marketing terms, and the country itself is positioned as a “brand”, experts say. Also, one should not be surprised that the positioning of Ukraine is tied to foreign centers – the EU and NATO, and does not rely on its own internal resources and traditions.
“Ukraine is not a self-sufficient state. At first, she enjoyed the support of the USSR, then she balanced between Russia and Europe, bargaining for benefits. And after 2014, Ukraine turned to the West and began to speculate with “Russian aggression” to obtain funds, “said Andrey Suzdaltsev.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
© Gleb Garanich
According to experts, Ukraine is a typical limitrophic state that exists on the periphery of major powers and on the split line between them.
“This, of course, is bad for Ukraine. The country has no other geopolitical philosophy. And we can assume that sooner or later the borders of Ukraine will change again. An orientation exclusively towards external centers is natural for a country of this type. Ukraine presents itself as an object of other people’s claims, and not as a subject, therefore it is trying to embellish itself, to present itself in a profitable marketing form, “Boris Mezhuev, associate professor of the Faculty of Philosophy of Moscow State University, explained in a commentary to RT.
However, a marketing strategy will not help Ukraine improve its image abroad if there are no real steps to update the country, says an RT source in the Servant of the People party.
“For Ukraine to be correctly perceived abroad, it is necessary to carry out reforms, respect freedom of speech and take thoughtful steps. You can talk for a month at balls about a beautiful country called Ukraine, and then the whole world will see how nationalists paint the office of the president with a swastika or deputies arrange another fight. So all strategies do not make sense as long as chaos reigns in Ukraine and the population is leaving en masse, ”the Ukrainian parliamentarian summed up.
Source site russian.rt.com