Ural Federal University: 130 Years of Franco-Russian Alliance- Problems and Challenges of Bilateral Cooperation

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Nestor-Istoriya Publishing House has published a collection of articles including materials of the All-Russian Scientific Conference “130 Years of Franco-Russian Alliance: Problems and Challenges of Bilateral Cooperation” held at Ural Federal University on December 3-4, 2021. The conference brought together Russian and foreign scholars engaged in research of specific features of Franco-Russian and Franco-Soviet relations in the 19th – first third of 20th centuries. The significant period of the Franco-Russian military convention before the Second World War was in the focus of attention of the researchers. The participants of the conference demonstrated a wide range of topics related both to mutual attraction and contradictions in the Franco-Russian dialogue. Much scholarly attention was devoted to the problems of the image of the Other, the influence of mutual cultural stereotypes, reactions and perceptions of the First World War and intervention by elites and public opinion in both countries (papers by Olga Porshneva, Kirill Konev, and Andrey Pavlov).

The presentations on the professional evaluation of mutual cooperation or confrontation were widely discussed. The speakers paid attention to how Franco-Russian and Franco-Soviet relations, problems and prospects of bilateral interaction were reflected in the reports and accounts of military representatives, diplomats, and in the writings of intellectuals (Andrey Bodrov, Stanislav Yudin, Iskander Magadeyev, Vasiliy Molodyakov, Aleksandr Vershinin). The specifics of public representation of relations between the two countries represented by the Russian press were discussed by Svetlana Limanova and Ekaterina Kamenskaya. Cultural issues were reflected in Tatyana Platonova’s presentation based on the materials of Soviet literary magazines; Lyudmila Budrina, in turn, demonstrated how the carved stone industry in Russia/USSR turned out to be a factor in the political dialogue between France and Russia. In addition, the analysis of the strategic and political preconditions for the rapprochement between the two countries, its crisis points, and the place of Franco-Russian cooperation in the system of international relations was discussed by Vladimir Zemtsov, Ekaterina Romanova, Aleksandr Ostapenko, and Yulia Galkina.

The long history of relations between Russia and France has shown that periods of estrangement and the interruption of bilateral contacts have not led to a complete breakdown of ties. An important role in the rehabilitation of the dialogue was played by the desire to establish a balance of power and to ensure the stability and security of international relations, both in Europe and on a global scale.

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