On 10 June 2019 the fifth annual round of ‘Primakov Readings’, the high-profile international forum named after renowned academician, former Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Yevgeny Primakov, started its 2-day run at the World Trade Center, Moscow. This year the ‘Readings’ were named “Confrontation Revisited: Any Alternatives?” The forum brought together about 80 leading experts from 30 countries and over 600 decision-makers and representatives of Russian and foreign think tanks, universities and public authorities to exchange their views on the most challenging issues of international politics, security and world economy.
Ambassador Jayatilleka and Madame Sanja Jayatilleka were invited to take part in the ‘Primakov Readings’ International Forum 2019 by Director of IMEMO, Prof. Feodor Voitolovsky earlier this year, when Ambassador Jayatilleka visited the Primakov Institute for the first time.
President Vladimir Putin’s address was read out by Aide to the President of the Russian Federation Yuri Ushakov. In his message Vladimir Putin said “Indeed, the world has reached a dangerous stage, and international relations are in a state of flux.” He noted that the subject of ‘Primakov Readings’ ”encompasses a wide range of pressing issues" such as “increasing risks to international security and stability, the degradation of the arms control system”.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov addressed the Forum on the second day. Foreign Minister Lavrov emphasized that “strategic stability and arms control remain the pressing issues”. He added that “the international community has yet to defeat international terrorism”.
In addition to Russian experts, panelists from India, China, Europe, US and Iran made presentations. Ambassador Jayatilleka made several interventions during the Q&A period of the Panel Discussions, and posed a question to Foreign Minister Lavrov. Seven Panel Discussions covering ‘Retreat of Western Liberalism and New Competition of Great Powers’, ‘EU as Emerging Global Strategic Actor’, ‘Middle East Paths to Stability: Risks and Opportunities’, ‘Asia Pacific: Prospects for Growth and Rise of Contradictions’, ‘New Cold War: How Long till a Thaw?’, ‘World Without Rules – the End of Arms Control System?’, ‘Divided Societies in a Divided World: Values, Identities and Ideals’ were held within the framework of the ‘Primakov Readings’.