Bonn, 25 June 2014. The recent political conflict with Russia and Ukraine indicates how completely views diverge when it comes to matters of politics, history and the future of Europe. With its ability to establish common ground in tense situations, academic exchange is an important and often underrated instrument of ''soft diplomacy''. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) introduces a new strategy for Russia and Eastern Europe, with which it aims to continue strengthening civil dialogue in the future.