Will the project take place despite the worrying political situation around the Crimea that makes us fear a conflict between Russia and other countries or even a new Cold War?
Yes, we are firmly convinced that our project needs to take place now. We believe that to cancel this project now would mean to abandon our scouting ideals.
We don’t want this to happen and can’t let it happen – as long as we see a real chance to keep our contacts and stay in control of financial risks emerging for us facilitators and passengers. We keep observing recent political development in a responsible way and recommend everyone to gain relevant information on the internet.
Is it safe to travel to Russia and Lake Baikal (via Poland and Belarus)?
At the moment, we would describe the situation in the countries on our way as safe enough. It goes without saying that we keep observing what is going on.
ScoutingTrain is a project that is eligible for the category ’youth meeting’ in the Agreement between the governments of Germany and Russia about the cooperation in the area of youth policy. The European Union, German Ministry of Family Affairs, Elderly Citizens, Family and Young People and public-private Foundation have supported parts of this project for German-Russian Youth Exchange. We keep in touch with public authorities and case officers of these. At the moment, there is no reason to assume there is any danger for our passengers. You can access relevant information on different websites.
Is it likely that ScoutingTrain might be seen as a political statement in favour of one of the parties involved into the Crimean conflict (e.g. Russia)? Would a boycott be more appropriate?
ScoutingTrain is a project made by youngsters and young grown - ups for their peers and will take place within a legal framework set by the youth associations of both countries.
Its main aim is to contribute to more understanding and friendship and to give young people a chance to connect the cultures of East and West. Especially in the political situation we are facing now we want to support youth associations and foster international understanding – the more we stay in dialogue the more peace we can achieve!