Following the break-up of the Soviet empire, Russia is also in search of a new national identity, a nationalnaya ideya. 37 A viable vision for the twenty-first century will see further integration of the Russian people in the world economy. Targets for guiding domestic enterprises towards higher levels of competitiveness and technological progress would make this vision more realistic. If Russia succeeds, it could become a fast-growing economy. Culture is reflected in the education system. Strong intercultural understanding needs to be fostered right from school; this requires an education policy with a strong focus on foreign languages and teaching of other civilizations and cultures.
Russian managers will need to be prepared and trained for future collaborations with foreign partners. Training programmes on the 'soft factors' of cross-border management are now common in western Europe; they include special management and language courses for all staff levels (managers, technicians, support staff). Such courses should be included in university programmes.
The government has begun efforts to sensitize managers and students to international business. Under a new presidential scheme, for example, selected young Russians are sent abroad for top management training in the G7 countries. 38 For the five-year programme, travel costs are met by the Russian government, while host countries and enterprises cover training expenses. Unfortunately, the project was discontinued because of the financial crisis. The EU finances training of young Russian managers who are sent for practical training to European companies. 39