The winner of the Valdai Club Award in 2018 is Dominic Lieven, who received an award for his scientific contribution to the study of Russian history. The award ceremony was held as part of the 15th Annual Valdai Club meeting in Sochi.
On Monday, October 15, the Valdai Club Award ceremony took place in Sochi. The Award, established in 2016, is given for a significant contribution to understanding and explaining the changes in world politics. Its second winner was the British historian Dominic Lieven, author of works on the history of the Russian Empire.
Opening the ceremony, Andrey Bystritskiy, Chairman of the Board of the Valdai Club Foundation, recalled the history of the Award’s establishment, and invited to the stage the first winner Vitaly Naumkin, scientific director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who last year was unable to attend the ceremony. Academician Naumkin in his speech expressed his gratitude to the Council of the Valdai Club Academy for the award and said that, in accordance with the Statute on the Award, its monetary equivalent was spent on a study of Russian-Saudi relations, which resulted in a recently published monograph.
The list of nominees for the 2018 Prize was announced. In total fourteen scientists were nominated, but only six were in the shortlist: Sergey Karaganov, Dominic Lieven, Piotr Dutkiewicz, Richard Sakwa, Angela Stent and Alexander Kuli. Fyodor Lukyanov, research director of the Valdai Discussion Club, addressed the ceremony participants. He noted that Valdai’s values - openness and dialogue - remain in demand in the modern world and recalled the tragic fate of Jamal Khashoggi, who participated in last year’s Middle East Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club. According to Lukyanov, despite the fact that Khashoggi’s views “did not always correspond to those promoted by the Valdai Club, he firmly advocated interaction, partnership and cooperation,” and his recent death in unexplained circumstances shows how much the world rolled back to outright barbarism which interferes with the lives of people doing their job. “The idea of the Valdai Club Award,” he stressed, “was largely due to the fact that we need to understand what should be done so that such things do not repeat.”
While the Council of the Valdai Club Academy was voting, Nadezhda Lavrentieva, Executive Director of the Club, handed the insignia of the Valdai Club to particularly active experts, continuing the tradition established at the ceremony of 2017. This year, insignias were given to Sergey Karaganov, William Wohlforth, Reinhard Krumm, Taisuke Abiru, Robert Legwold, Andrew Kuchins, Rein Mullerson, Pascal Boniface and Vitaly Naumkin.
The name of the Valdai Club Award winner was announced by Andrey Bystritsky. This year the laureate was Dominic Lieven for his scientific contribution to the study of Russian history. Since the winner was unable to attend the ceremony, he was represented by the well-known Russian historian and Valdai Club veteran Alexey Miller, who also deals with the history the nineteenth-century Russian empire.
At the end of the ceremony, a special award for contribution to the development of the Valdai Club was given to Piotr Dutkiewicz, who has been participating in the work of the Club since its foundation. The award was presented by Andrey Bystritsky and Andrey Fursenko, Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation.