4th annual conference of the Middle East Dialogue of the Valdai International Discussion Club, titled “Islam in Politics: Ideology or Pragmatism?”, will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco, on May 14-15.
Issues of commonalities and differences in the Muslim communities of Russia and Canada, as well as problems of their integration into the legal frameworks of their respective countries, were the main topics of discussion at the conference Muslims in Russia, the CIS, and Canada: Cohabitation and Cooperation
The conference Muslims in Russia, the CIS, and Canada: Cohabitation and Cooperation presented by Carleton’ Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, the Department of Political Science, the Carleton Centre for the Study of Islam, and the Valdai Discussion Club is to be held on March 8, 2013 at the Carleton University, Ottawa.
The analytical report “Russia’s Economy: after Transformation, before Modernization” was prepared after discussions at the Valdai Discussion Club Summit held on October 21–22, 2012. The report incorporates many of the conclusions on Russia’s political development contained in the 2011 Valdai report “Russia Should Not Miss Its Chance: Development Scenarios”.
The Russia Development Index (Valdai Index) reflects the combined opinion of the world's leading experts on Russia as regards Russia’s political, economic, social, cultural and international performance. The annual poll aims to study changes in Russia’s development trends over a year. It is important that respondents assess not the current situation, but changes.
The analytical report “Military Reform: Toward the New Look of the Russian Army” summarizes the results of the conference of the Valdai Discussion Club Defense and Security section titled “Modernization of Russia’s Armed Forces and Cooperation in International Security” which was held on May 25-27, 2011 in Moscow.
According to one likely scenario for the period up to 2035, European economies will continue to experience moderate growth. Because energy intensity will decrease, overall energy demand will more or less stagnate. But gas demand will grow because gas will come to substitute coal and nuclear energy in electricity production. By 2035, European gas demand is likely to have increased by about 100 bcm.
Any oil price rise as the result of Libyan chaos will benefit Russia’s economy. Russia can afford much more when oil is $110/barrel than when it is at $60/barrel. For Russian officials who might see international relations as a zero-sum, a lengthy American entanglement might seem beneficial.
The partnership between Rosneft and BP could become the first project to successfully produce major volumes of oil in the Arctic, which would give the companies experience and comparative advantage over competitors.
The exchange of shares between BP and Rosneft allows both companies freedom of manoeuvre, but it suggests a commitment at the level of intensity that has hitherto characterized relations with some German companies and Russian energy businesses.
The Arctic, along with the Antarctic, is the last region in the world that has remained untouched and intact. The Russian companies are entering international markets, but they need to be prudent when it comes to environmental issues in the Arctic.
The global energy market is going through large-scale changes, some of which may reach their final phase by 2017. There are increasing signs that the traditional code of relations between energy producers and consumers, established in the last quarter of the 20th century, is becoming a thing of history. Mechanisms for regulating the global energy market no longer work. Competition between consumers, fueled by the emergence of new powerful players, like China and India, is obviously increasing.
The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is one of the most important foreign policy initiatives taken by Russia along with five other countries. Both Russia and China want to reduce the threat of separatism and western influence in the region. Emergence of SCO provoked new international order.
Iran has made varying degrees of progress down the tracks—enrichment, weaponization and delivery system—needed to have a viable nuclear weapon. How far will it proceed? One option is to build a bomb and, to show the world its nuclear prowess, conduct a test. But that option poses real risks for the Iranian government.