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.
During Vladimir Putin’s annual Q&A session some members of the Valdai International Discussion Club asked him several questions. How united is the West in its desire to punish Russia? Which EU countries are in favour of isolating Russia? Is this even possible? And what is going on in Ukraine?
The clash of Russian and Western interests has given rise to a geopolitical battle. German politicians are trying to leave all doors and windows open for dialogue with Russia. Moscow does acknowledge this, and Germany is probably the only country with which it is ready to discuss European security.
The project of a Eurasian Union can be considered as a response to the consequences of neo-liberal globalisation, which led to economic and moral decline in the countries forming the Commonwealth of Independent States. It is part of a more general movement in world politics towards regionalisation.
The START III Treaty on arms reduction came into force in 2011 and is not due to expire until 2021. How effective is the agreement as a measure to limit the strategic offensive capabilities of Russia and the U.S., and do recent political differences threaten the treaty’s execution?