The Swedish Institute’s operations in Russia and Ukraine going forward

Here we tell about how SI's operations in Ukraine and Russia are affected by Russia's aggression in Ukraine, how SI is currently working and what we are doing going forward.

SI has been operating in the Baltic Sea region for a long time and finances several projects in Ukraine and Russia. SI’s activities in Russia are part of the government’s strategy for Sweden’s support for democracy, human rights and the environment in Russia. It is available to read in its entirety on regeringe.se. 

As decided by the government SI has suspended all support to state and public actors in Russia, as previously announced. According to the government’s line, we continue to support democracy-building efforts in Russia or initiatives that include Russian change actors in exile. We follow developments in the region closely and evaluate how we can support organizations, projects and individuals in the ways that are possible based on our mission and current funding. 

At the moment, intensive work is underway to reorganize and find new opportunities to work and contribute to a positive development in the region, in the short and long term. This has involved a number of t internal decisions regarding SI’s operations. Here are some of them briefly presented: 

  • We now communicate via Telegram in the Russian-language channels as Instagram and Facebook have been blocked. 
  • Planned and ongoing calls for project support have been adjusted as Russian state actors are unable to participate. 
  • SI has suspended the planned call for a new programme, the New Partnerships Initiative, that would support international cooperation with Russia. 
  • SI has decided not to include Russian and Belarusian participants in the leadership programme Swedish Institute Management Programme Northern Europe 2022, which is implemented online. Ukrainian participants are welcome to apply from wherever they are residing. 
  • SI will continue to include Russian applicants in the scholarship programmes as it is important to support young change actors in academia, the media, and civil society. 

What do we do next? 

SI is currently working on a plan for how we can support actors in the cultural sector and civil society in Ukraine and Belarus. We are also reviewing the possibility of supporting projects that include Russian change actors. 

In parallel with these initiatives, a dialogue is underway within SI about how we can best support other actors and partner-organizations in Ukraine within the framework of our mission. 

Updated information about changes and new initiatives is communicated on si.se