The Valdai International Discussion Club is an exclusive gathering of leading Russian and international experts in the history, politics, economics and international relations. The Club’s mission is to foster a global dialogue about Russia and to provide an independent, unbiased, scholarly analysis of political, economic and social processes in Russia and the world.
The Club was established in 2004 by the Russian News & Information Agency RIA Novosti and the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, in association with Russia Profile and Russia in Global Affairs magazines and The Moscow News newspaper, the Club was named after the location of its first meeting – the city of Novgorod the Great near Lake Valdai.
Since the Club’s inception, its conferences have been attended by more than 600 representatives of the international academic community from over 50 countries. Valdai Club is recognized both in Russia and abroad for its commitment to intellectual endeavor. Meetings of the Valdai Club have been attended by the Russian President and Prime Minister, as well as Russian and foreign politicians and public figures.
The Valdai Club Advisory Board is responsible for planning the themes of the Club’s work and approving new members. The Board includes the most influential members who have been in the club since its inception and attended most of its annual conferences. The first Board is comprised of Svetlana Mironyk, Sergei Karaganov, Tim Colton, Piotr Dutkiewicz, Feng Shaolei, Toby Gati and Alexander Rahr.
This website, which brings together contributions by participants in the Valdai Club meetings, provides a platform for incisive and informed analysis by the world’s leading commentators on the Russian scene.
Views expressed are of individual members and contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Ukraine has not preserved its 1991 borders. The signing of the Geneva memorandum on April 17 reaffirmed the willingness of Russia, the United States and EU countries to reach a compromise. While the sides continue to trade tough talk and symbolic sanctions, the Kremlin and the White House are also holding a parallel dialogue on the coordinated geopolitical revision of Eastern Europe.
Europe is not an alien civilization to Putin. If the Russian world wins, the European family would likely offer a place – possibly the pride of place – to a new and better Russia, with its large population consisting of many ethnic groups. By incorporating Crimea, Russia has not left Europe but has re-entered it after 20 years of living in isolation.
The Valdai Discussion Club presents its new paper, “National Identity and Russia’s Future,” based on the discussions at the club’s 10th anniversary conference in September 2013 and subsequent work of the expert groups. The paper attempts to answer the most fundamental of questions: Who are the Russians, and what does their future hold?
The President talked about sincerity as a fundamental value that can effectively counter the harsh information war waged against Russia by Ukraine on behalf of the US, and, to a lesser extent, the EU. Russia has moderated its response, helping Ukraine and the US to shine, as the saying goes, in all their beauty and ugliness.