The Valdai Discussion Club Foundation, in cooperation with its partners, launched a new research project on Eurasian integration with a workshop in Shanghai on November 16-17. The aim of the project is to examine the entire Eurasian space in four dimensions and from four perspectives. The four dimensions are economic, political, security and social; and the four perspectives are Russian, Central Asian, Chinese and EU/US.
Over 200 Russian and foreign experts attended the 10th meeting of the Valdai Club. The participants focus on analyzing the internal processes and external challenges to work out a vision of Russia in the future.
Evaluating Russia’s development index during the annual poll this year, experts of the Valdai Discussion Club spoke positively about the country's growing role in national, regional and global security, foreign policy and soft power. Most negative assessment was given to performance of Russia’s political institutions, public confidence in them and the dynamics of economic development.
The research poll analyses five basic valuable aspects of contemporary Russian identity. In particular, the respondents were proposed to reflect over following principal aspects: culture, religion, ethnicity, self-identification, patriotism etc.
This report is based on discussions held at the Valdai Club's Middle East Dialogue conference, which took place in Marrakesh, Morocco, on May 14-15, 2013. The event was attended by high-profile politicians from the Middle East and North Africa, including leaders of Islamist movements, as well as prominent experts, analysts and journalists from Russia and around the world.
It is the common wealth, or the accumulated and permanently growing public wealth that has real significance. A growing national economy as such is a factor of attraction. Broadening markets promise lucrative contracts to any economic partner.
Today the world is about to make a new technological breakthrough which is linked with the interaction of information and communication technology, and the development of medicine and biotechnology. Russia’s certain achievements in these spheres will allow it to become a serious global player.
International business in Russia works in different ways. Businesses come and invest in Russia, but these investments are limited due to the considerable barriers of bureaucracy, law, lack of trust and local business behavior. So what is the problem with Russia?
Investments among BRICS countries are staying on the very low rate. At the moment BRICS countries mainly invest to developed countries (USA, EU), and also to countries which are close with their geographic position. The BRICS Development bank could play the role of new integral institution.
A week before the fifth BRICS Summit in Durban Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the Concept of Participation of the Russian Federation in BRICS. Today different global government frameworks like G20, where Russia is presiding this year, and BRICS meeting this week are in search for the new financial architecture in the modern world.
According to various pragmatic criteria, Russia should be an attractive country for foreign investment: its increasing transit economy, significant energy sources, and the availability of undeveloped territory are all important factors. However, experts believe that the percentage of foreign investment in Russia remains fairly low. There are other aspects of Russian business that are not translated or described in textbooks.
Instead of establishing a new state-owned corporation, the government should take a completely different approach to making Siberia and the Far East prosperous. Russia is a natural balancing force in the region, rather than just China’s sidekick. Yet, for some reason, this is more evident when the situation is viewed from Siberia rather than from Moscow
New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.
The structure of Nagorno-Karabakh is a Canton-like. There were regions dominated by the Azerbaijanis, there were regions dominated by the Armenians. Without the return of all the people who would like to go back there, we cannot talk about any recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh or discussions of this issue.
Violent suppression of protests can lead not to stabilization but just the opposite. It forces Yanukovych to seek solidarity only in Moscow. It puts Russia in a position where it will again be involved in Ukrainian politics. And in this murky swamp, we have repeatedly gotten bogged down.
The consequences of marketisation and competitive capitalism in Russia not only changed the form of inequalities but greatly amplified them both between and within regions. There is a polarisation between the rich and the poor in the richest areas which is paralleled, though to a slightly less unequal extent, in the poorer regions. The same economic principles work in all regions, despite some being more poorly endowed than others.