4th annual conference of the Middle East Dialogue of the Valdai International Discussion Club, titled “Islam in Politics: Ideology or Pragmatism?”, will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco, on May 14-15.
Issues of commonalities and differences in the Muslim communities of Russia and Canada, as well as problems of their integration into the legal frameworks of their respective countries, were the main topics of discussion at the conference Muslims in Russia, the CIS, and Canada: Cohabitation and Cooperation
The conference Muslims in Russia, the CIS, and Canada: Cohabitation and Cooperation presented by Carleton’ Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, the Department of Political Science, the Carleton Centre for the Study of Islam, and the Valdai Discussion Club is to be held on March 8, 2013 at the Carleton University, Ottawa.
The analytical report “Russia’s Economy: after Transformation, before Modernization” was prepared after discussions at the Valdai Discussion Club Summit held on October 21–22, 2012. The report incorporates many of the conclusions on Russia’s political development contained in the 2011 Valdai report “Russia Should Not Miss Its Chance: Development Scenarios”.
The Russia Development Index (Valdai Index) reflects the combined opinion of the world's leading experts on Russia as regards Russia’s political, economic, social, cultural and international performance. The annual poll aims to study changes in Russia’s development trends over a year. It is important that respondents assess not the current situation, but changes.
The analytical report “Military Reform: Toward the New Look of the Russian Army” summarizes the results of the conference of the Valdai Discussion Club Defense and Security section titled “Modernization of Russia’s Armed Forces and Cooperation in International Security” which was held on May 25-27, 2011 in Moscow.
The immanent dynamic of Putin’s system points to another direction, that of a strengthening grip on civil society, a further repression of individual freedoms combined with an aggressive foreign policy in the post-Soviet space, possibly including revisionist territorial claims.
Anne Applebaum studies the formation of Soviet rule in Eastern Europe during the first decade. She describes how security services were gradually established in Eastern European countries with a view to controlling all aspects of life.
This book, the author’s first major study on Russia, was printed by Iwanami Shoten Publishers in October 2012. Chikamasa Sato, who currently works as head of the Moscow office of Japan’s largest national news agency Kyodo Tsushin, describes himself as an “independent researcher free from any pressure whatsoever by organizations and individuals,” which doubtless increases readers' interest in the new book.
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.
Over two decades China has made a huge success in implementing its long-term foreign strategic policy while Russia is still struggling to engage Africa. A critical assessment shows that Russia's problem of winning Africa back stems primarily from lack of political will and concrete policy agenda. After the collapse of the Soviet system, Russia revised its foreign policy concept which underlines new directions to develop political contacts and expand economic cooperation, but in the case of Africa, policy implementation has been slow and most often with little vigour and business-like flavour.
In light of the present situation in the Middle East, Russia and Israel find themselves facing common challenges. Under these newly emerging situations, Russia sees its partnership with Israel as a potential asset in resolving acute regional issues. From a Russian perspective, the compatibility of Israeli and Russian interests could contribute to such a partnership.
The failure of the Islamist political parties who came to power in the dramatic events of the Arab Spring would allow the military to reenter the political arena. Political Islam was successful in the opposition, but it could fail in power, as the negative experience of Egypt and Iraq have shown.
The Lebanese experience in resolving inter-religious conflict may provide clues for resolving the situation in Syria, said Secretary General of the Lebanese National Dialogue Party Fouad Makhzoumi at the Valdai Club Middle East Dialogue in Morocco. About 100 political and public figures and experts on the Middle East from Russia, the Middle East and North Africa and the West are discussing the future of political Islam in the Arab world.
The fifth BRICS Summit declaration reflected confidence and hope for future cooperation. The BRICS acronym, created by Goldman Sachs five years ago, brought together the five fastest-growing emerging economies.
Russia’s primary interests in the region include maintaining sociopolitical stability and regional security, which comprises issues as varied as the fight against Islamist extremism and the drug threat, nuclear nonproliferation, and border control.
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.
The Russians are reading the map well and are aware that in the current situation Assad does not have the means to deter Israel from attacking Hezbollah-bound arms convoys. This is why Putin's aides leaked to the press that Moscow will finally transfer to Syria three S-300 missile batteries.
By markedly boosting Syria’s defences, Russia has brought about greater equilibrium in the regional balance of power. In turn, its move could well infuse new life in finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis, based on negotiations where neither side is deprived of trump cards.
Within 20 years the Northern Sea Route across the northern coast of Russia could offer an alternative way to transport goods from northeast Asia to Europe during summer. In the short term, the most pressing issue for China is what tariffs Russia will impose for passage through its coastal waters and the use of ice breakers.
After almost a decade of absence and neglect, the Kremlin is "rediscovering" Africa. This time around, in contrast with the Soviet past, it is entering Africa without the driving force of an ideological obsession.
Russia has sent a dozen or more warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Syria, a buildup that U.S. and European officials see as a newly aggressive stance meant partly to warn the West and Israel not to intervene in Syria's bloody civil war.
Russia has sent advanced antiship cruise missiles to Syria, a move that illustrates the depth of its support for the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad, American officials said Thursday.