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19 Feb, 2008 14:26

Cracking clichés about Russia in Paris

Russia has opened its first think-tank abroad in the French capital Paris. The Institute for Democracy and Co-operation has been set up to improve Russia's image in the West.

It's being financed by the country's business community.

Its founders say the goal of the institute is to dispel some of the clichés the West believe to be true about Russia.

“Our goal in the beginning will be to make a difference. We don't want to use slogans. We want to win trust as a serious organisation that makes Russia's political, social and cultural presence felt in the world,” said Natalya Narochnitskaya, director of the organisation’s European office.