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.
The reality is that the Russian gas exporter, Gazprom, is as dependent on the European market as the Europeans are on Russian gas. So a great deal of the anxiety about dependence on Russian gas really doesn’t reflect the reality, which is that Gazprom earns most of its profits exporting gas to Europe and to date Gazprom doesn’t mostly export gas to Asia, that’s the future.
Russia is one of the world’s largest energy suppliers and players on the energy market. It produces 9.6% of the world’s primary energy and annually invests about 4.5% of its GDP in the energy sector. Therefore, it needs to make regular and thorough analyses of global energy markets for purposes of national strategic planning and corporate investment.
Given the crisis and the plummeting demand, Gazprom agreed to index 15% of the supplied amounts to spot prices, which at the time were significantly below the prices pegged to petrochemicals. It also introduced additional conditions in connection to the unique situation on the global gas market.
Nabucco and South Stream are very different in both concept and structure, and this is important for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each project. Nabucco is a mercantile pipeline. It is being developed and financed by gas companies with backing from the European Union.
Collective research "Russian Energy Security and Foreign Policy" , edited by Adrian Dellecker and the Valdai Club member Thomas Gomart was simultaneously published in the USA and Canada. This book provides an original and thoroughly academic analysis of the link between Russian energy and foreign policies in Eurasia, as well as offering an interpretation of Russia's coherence on the international stage, seeking to understand Russia and explain its behavior.
In recent years one of the main aims of the EU energy policy was to reduce dependence on Russian energy. However, the start of 2011 has prompted to take a different view on the security of energy supply to Europe, especially given an unprecedented increase in gas demand observed in the European market in 2010.
EU's energy strategy envisages, among other things, relieving the Union's dependence on Russian gas. Everybody admits that this is going to require some huge spending. At the same time, moving away from Russia's gas directly contradicts the intention of many EU states to wind down atomic energy production.
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.