Executive Director – International, Russian News and Information Agency RIA Novosti. Executive Director, Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club, Member of the Foundation Council; Member, Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.
Previous positions: Assistant to the Official Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Diplomat, Embassy of Russia in London; Deputy UK Bureau Chief, RIA Novosti; Head of International Projects, RIA Novosti.
Research interests: Russian foreign policy, public diplomacy and the role of the media in the foreign policy process.
Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.
Vladimir Putin highlighted the need “to catch the Chinese wind in the sails of our economy” and to “work toward creating a harmonious community of economies from Lisbon to Vladivostok,” which is in line with the concept of the “Alliance of Europe” proposed by Valdai Club experts in 2010. It is logical that Russia is ready to help Europe, because the European Union is Russia’s largest trade partner and export market.
Russia and the United States are actively resetting their relations and have reached important agreements in the sphere of strategic offensive arms. Mutual consensus on the non-proliferation issue will also facilitate expanded dialogue on the Iranian nuclear program.
Security issues dominated the second day of discussions at the 6th summit of the Valdai Discussion Club in Yakutsk. Sessions held on the topics of a nuclear reset and Euro-Atlantic security architecture illustrated the significance of the impasse on both tracks and the need to continue the debate.
In an area of vital importance to Russia – its “Near Abroad” – Russia-U.S. interests are next to conflicting. Washington has never officially abandoned the idea of NATO expansion into Ukraine and Georgia, which is considered by Moscow as threatening its national security. Meanwhile, the stimuli to anti-Russian political forces in the CIS countries continue.