THE ACTIVITIES OF THE INSTITUT RAMON LLULL IN THE CONTEXT OF MULTICULTURAL COLLABORATION BETWEEN SPAIN AND RUSSIA
Language is the main means of communication between people. It allows us to express thoughts and emotions, helps us learn and teach. Language is a basic way of culture and traditions transmitting, as well as solving many other vital tasks. The official motto of the European Union is "United in diversity". This means that the multitude of cultures, traditions and languages in Europe is a positive capital for the continent. Undoubtedly European countries are a prime example of linguistic and cultural diversity. In Spain along with Spanish (Castilian) there are four co-official languages: Catalan, Galician, Basque and Aranese. It has not been an easy task to conserve multilingualism in Spain. This is the result of a complex process of deliberate saving of cultural and linguistic identity both between different regions and peoples of Spain and in the international scene. In the European Union, Catalan is the 14th language by the number of speakers, in the other words, it is spoken much more often than languages such as Slovakian, Lithuanian or Danish. Catalan is coofficial language in the Spanish autonomous regions of Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands. Also, it is the only official language of the independent state of Andorra. Moreover, Catalan is spoken in the French department of Pyrenees Orientales and in the Italian city of Alghero in Sardinia. Today, the main instrument for popularizing Catalan culture and conducting activities to the spread of Catalan language abroad is the Institut Ramon Llull. In recent decades, the interest in learning Catalan as a foreign language has grown in the Russian Federation. Objectives The purpose of this paper is to study the policy of cultural and educational cooperation between Spain and Russia in the field of the dissemination of the Catalan language at the present stage. In doing so, special attention is paid to the analysis of the activities of the Institut Ramon Llull in the Russian Federation and its importance in promoting the Catalan language in the cultural and educational space of Russia. Methodology In this paper, we propose a systematic approach to analysing the cultural diplomacy of Spain in Russia as a set of interrelated elements, which has a goal, resources and communication with the external environment and goes through different stages of development. The use of the comparative method allows to compare the mechanisms of implementation and the specifics of the promotion of national languages through cultural diplomacy in a foreign cultural space. The authors use general and special scientific methods of historical research - analysis and synthesis, thanks to which the development and the existing position of the Institut Ramon Llull are studied. Results The authors conclude that today it is impossible to imagine a modern society without the intercultural communication. Being different in their traditions, languages, religions and values, peoples develop to some extent through interaction. Therefore, due to the intense activity of the Institut Ramon Llull citizens of the Russian Federation have the opportunity to explore the study of the rich Catalan culture and language, which in turn has a positive effect on the evolution and the strengthening of international relations not only between Russia and Spain, but also the European Union as a whole.