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.
The United States keeps 180 B61 thermonuclear bombs at six air force bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey, which can be delivered to their targets by F-15E and F16 fighters. Germany and Italy use Tornado fighters which can also carry these thermonuclear bombs. Russian generals would be careless to ignore these obvious national security risks and to not try to prevent a hypothetical nuclear strike.
How far can the confrontation between Russia and the West go? Is there a line where the two sides will stop before starting with a clean sheet? So far, the confrontation has only been growing. The Cold War II may begin any day, if it is not already underway. It appears that the West and the Kremlin have no answers to these questions.
The polarization of the Asia Pacific Region is in the way of Russia’s new Asian strategy. The Obama administration’s policy of containing China will lead to a split in the region. This puts Russia in a difficult situation where it’ll have to choose between a strategic partnership with China and the advancement of its relations with the South-East Asian countries.
Many in the West regard the Putin’s Russia with suspicion and see her as aggressive. Many elements of the new Russian idea seem to base on a pure rejection of Western liberalism. To be effective, Russia has to become more attractive – for her own people and foreigners, who share traditionalistic-conservative ideals. Russia’s new conservatism must be formulated in the form of “soft power”.