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.
Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).
Extremism is a term with many different interpretations, including in Islamic law (Sharia). No clear definition of extremism exists today, although there is a consensus that proponents of antisocial ideologies should be considered extremists.
The downing of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane over Eastern Ukraine catapults the crisis there onto the global plane. The tragic and sudden loss of so many innocent lives should put a final point to the armed conflict—or it may put the international conflict over Ukraine on a much higher and more dangerous level.
There is always room for uncertainty and interpretation in international relations. But world leaders today are no longer able to face unpleasant truths. Governments in Europe, the US and Russia face enormous challenges, and yet political leaders think that they can just shut their eyes and the problems will go away. After all, it’s easier to point out your rivals’ mistakes than to recognize your own.