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 Valdai Discussion Club Foundation, in cooperation with its partners, launched a new research project on Eurasian integration with a workshop in Shanghai on November 16-17. The aim of the project is to examine the entire Eurasian space in four dimensions and from four perspectives. The four dimensions are economic, political, security and social; and the four perspectives are Russian, Central Asian, Chinese and EU/US.
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.
The unconstitutional takeover in Ukraine was the toughest, consistent and so far most effective Western counterattack launched amid the ongoing struggle for a fairer world order. Only the naïve believe that the United States and Europe will willingly share their right to rule the world, though their belief is worthy of respect.
Apparently, Western governments bought the rhetoric about the Maidan being a popular revolution hook, line, and sinker, and expected that once Yanukovych was removed, the situation would calm down. They did not expect that his ouster "by any means necessary" would provoke such outrage in the East, and they clearly did not expect Crimea to reject the new government in Kiev.
We have witnessed the total defeat of western Ukraine, Western nationalists and the West in general, which made the unfortunate decision to support the anti-government activity. They failed to realize that the collapse of Yanukovych means the collapse of Ukrainian unity. They set fire to their own home and planted a time bomb under Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
This war would most probably not be precipitated not by direct actions of the Russian or Ukrainian governments. The more likely cause is the clash of rival armed volunteer groups on the streets of eastern Ukraine, which would lead to the progressive involvement of armed forces on either side.
Now that the State Secretary of the United States John Kerry pledged to give the new Ukrainian cabinet of ministers $1 billion in American loan guarantees, it is just about time to analyze who are the members of this new government. The most visible and the most disturbing detail is the heavy presence of Oleg Tyagnibok's Svoboda party.
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.
The military forces that Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to use “as a last resort” in eastern Ukraine are in the early stages of a major, seven-year modernization program that is not expected to be completed before 2020.
Western multinationals with big investments in Russia have faced other crises over the years. But the standoff between Russia and the West is posing a range of new challenges that threaten to undermine Western companies’ business in Russia. Russia remains a crucial market for American retail, construction and energy companies, as well as some of the biggest United States banks.
European officials were preparing sanctions against Russia and additional aid for Ukraine as diplomats acknowledged their efforts had not only failed in persuading Russia to calm the conflict but had seen the Kremlin tighten its grip on Crimea.
While Foreign ministers like Hague, and his opposite numbers in other EU states and the US can splendidly ignore economic and energy-economic realities on the ground as they set out to “punish Putin”, Europe's energy policies cast high energy prices in stone.
Analysts say Russia achieved "important steps" over the last year in modernizing submarines, aircraft and missile forces critical to its nuclear deterrent. Russia is closing in on its goal of phasing out long-range nuclear missiles dating back to the Cold War, in favor of newer technology.