Russian Foreign Ministry expands web presence at Putin's instructions

The Russian Foreign Ministry has got down to the implementation of President Vladimir Putin's instructions to master Internet channels for promoting Russia's position in the world, Kommersant daily reported on Monday.

The president gave the Foreign Ministry the task of making digital diplomacy a foreign policy instrument at a conference of ambassadors and mission heads last week, the newspaper says.

"We should be explaining our approaches time and again on various platforms and employing new technologies until we bring them home," a Kommersant source quoted the head of state as saying.

Kommersant says that the first official ministry channel on YouTube was launched last week. Soon the ministry will appear on Facebook. It will update its website by the end of the year.

According to the daily, the main attention will be paid to expanding the presence of Russian diplomats on Twitter. To this end relevant instructions are being sent to all embassies and special courses have been organized at the Diplomatic Academy.

Today the Russian Foreign Ministry has a little over 40 Twitter accounts but not all of them are regularly updated.

"Before Vladimir Putin's speech skeptics said that digital diplomacy was only a tribute to fashion. However, President Putin clearly said that one can no longer do with traditional methods alone. New methods must be mastered in any case," the newspaper source told the daily.

Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov and Russian ambassador to Great Britain Alexander Yakovenko are regarded as locomotives in terms of adopting IT technologies, the newspaper says.

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