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.
Even if the Ukrainian crisis is settled and everything gets back to normal, relations between Russia and NATO in terms of trust will not be back at the starting point. We are talking about a crisis of expert potential in Western countries. This is very dangerous because incompetent people talk about serious things.
Military exercises are held in order to prevent a war rather than prepare for one. If a potential enemy knows and sees that the Russian Army is constantly improving its skills and adopting state-of-the-art combat equipment and combat support systems he will hardly risk aggression against these Armed Forces and the country they defend.
Many experts take quite a sceptical view of the chances of the conference in Paris to achieve real results, taking into consideration the experience, among other things, of the meetings in neighbouring Switzerland to discuss some severe international crises of the recent past.