The Valdai International Discussion Club will host a presentation of a new paper, “National Identity and Russia’s Future,” based on the results of the club’s 10th anniversary conference in September 2013.
At the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum on February 27, experts of the Valdai Club presented a report entitled Toward the Great Ocean-2, or Russia’s Breakthrough to Asia. This study is a follow-up to the Club’s report Toward the Great Ocean, or the New Globalization of Russia, published in July 2012 and incorporates its conclusions.
Fifty international experts from Russia and the Asia-Pacific Region gathered in Singapore for the inaugural session of the joint project, entitled “Developing the Asia-Pacific’s Last Frontier: Fostering International Cooperation in the Development of Siberia and the Russian Far East.” The aim of the conference was to analyze practical steps of the recently adopted “go-east” strategy to develop Russia’s Far East and to strengthen Russia’s interest in the Asia-Pacific Region.
The report presented at the 11th Krasnoyarsk economic forum on the 27th of February 2014 is a follow-up to the report Toward the Great Ocean, or the New Globalization of Russia, published by the Valdai Discussion Club in July 2012, and is based on the conclusions drawn in that report.
Evaluating Russia’s development index during the annual poll this year, experts of the Valdai Discussion Club spoke positively about the country's growing role in national, regional and global security, foreign policy and soft power. Most negative assessment was given to performance of Russia’s political institutions, public confidence in them and the dynamics of economic development.
The research poll analyses five basic valuable aspects of contemporary Russian identity. In particular, the respondents were proposed to reflect over following principal aspects: culture, religion, ethnicity, self-identification, patriotism etc.
Released in 2013 by New York-based Regnery Publishing Inc., the book paints a rather gloomy picture of Russia’s future, claiming that in just a few decades, the nation as we know it today will cease to exist owing to a declining Slavic population, a growing and increasingly radicalized Muslim population, and an incremental invasion of eastern Russia by Chinese immigrants. As Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, argues in the book’s preface, “That reality should be the baseline for American thinking about strategic planning dealing with Russia.”
The book was released in English by Germany’s Springer VS Publishers, explores the changes that have occurred in Russia-China relations since the Soviet Union’s collapse and the new areas of cooperation that have developed since that time, including the energy industry and Central Asian partnerships. It covers 1991 to 2012. Based on Chinese sources and Western scholarly surveys, it may be of interest to professionals who specialize in Sino-Russian relations and in the contemporary geopolitical situation in Central Asia.
Issued in mid-2013 by the UK Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House. James Sherr studies how Vladimir Putin’s Russia influences the global political situation. Having dealt with this issue for years, the author watched how Moscow tried to regain its influence in post-Soviet republics and Europe. As a member of the Valdai International Discussion Club, he has repeatedly met with Putin during the club’s meetings.
Russia is clearly still a long way from anything that we are used to seeing in the West, but the Moscow Mayoral election, bizarre as its circumstances are, show signs of a step in the right direction.
It is obvious that Russia and Vladimir Putin intend to build pragmatic cooperation with all those ready to build relations on equal and mutually beneficial terms. China is a very conven-ient partner in this regard. There is no need to remind of all the assessments made by leaders of both countries during the course of their high- and top-level meetings.
During Vladimir Putin’s annual Q&A session some members of the Valdai International Discussion Club asked him several questions. How united is the West in its desire to punish Russia? Which EU countries are in favour of isolating Russia? Is this even possible? And what is going on in Ukraine?
The clash of Russian and Western interests has given rise to a geopolitical battle. German politicians are trying to leave all doors and windows open for dialogue with Russia. Moscow does acknowledge this, and Germany is probably the only country with which it is ready to discuss European security.
The project of a Eurasian Union can be considered as a response to the consequences of neo-liberal globalisation, which led to economic and moral decline in the countries forming the Commonwealth of Independent States. It is part of a more general movement in world politics towards regionalisation.
The START III Treaty on arms reduction came into force in 2011 and is not due to expire until 2021. How effective is the agreement as a measure to limit the strategic offensive capabilities of Russia and the U.S., and do recent political differences threaten the treaty’s execution?
Russia is bankrolling a number of nuclear-cleansing projects in post-Soviet republics. Some cases in point are the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan and a number of uranium mines in other Central Asian countries. This change is explained by Russia’s new economic capabilities and its success in dealing with major nuclear challenges at home.
The composition of the fleet is currently inadequate for its missions. It has only a few old Soviet-era ships: one missile cruiser, three frigates, seven large amphibious ships, and one diesel submarine. It has not received any new combat ships since 1990, while almost all of its existing ships will need to be decommissioned fairly soon.
Today, there is a need to take note that the Eurasian debate itself is not a monolithic on the whole and in its various forms serves distinct purposes. What seems to be emerging in multiple visions where each region has its own perspectives.
The world order laid down by the Atlantic Charter was based on U.S. military and economic dominance. To all intents and purposes, Washington will maintain its military dominance for the foreseeable future. Economic dominance is another matter.
Nations involved in the Ukraine crisis pledged an easing of tensions. If that follow-through occurs, the agreement would represent a significant shift in a crisis that has been marked in recent days by the presence of Russian troops near Ukraine’s eastern border, efforts by NATO nations to show resolve and support for Ukraine, and upheaval and ethnic tension including anti-Semitism in key Ukrainian cities.
One would assume that president Vladimir Putin would be under considerable stress. But on Thursday, the Russian leader was on top form. In the marathon televised question-and-answer session in which he holds court once a year, Mr Putin appeared at ease, well prepared, and, most importantly, very satisfied with what he has recently achieved.
President Obama downplayed the chance of a military conflict with Russia over the escalating tension in eastern Ukraine, in an interview that aired Thursday, saying it's not up to either country to decide what kind of relationships Ukraine has with its neighbors.
The crisis in relations between Russia, the successor to the extinct superpower USSR, and US, the declining superpower, with European Union playing the role of an ‘attendant lord’ is a fascinating study for the student of geopolitics. The West has no means of getting out of the corner it had painted itself.
According to the Russian narrative, Washington and Brussels first went wrong by greatly overestimating the popular support and democratic credentials of the "Maidan" opposition forces that took power in Kiev in a street-backed revolt in February. And Western leaders doubled down on that mistake by rushing to support the legally dubious interim government, even though it virtually lacked representation from the country's east.