War and Peace in the 21st Century. Presentation of the Valdai Club Report in Paris

15.02.2016

The world has entered a new zone of turbulence. The Valdai Club report attempts to offer a systematic view and a rational explanation of the current situation in the world.

On February 10, 2016, the Valdai Discussion Club presented in Paris its annual report «War and Peace in the 21st century. International Stability and Balance of the New Type».

The event was attended by representatives of both chambers of the French parliament - the National Assembly and Senate, diplomats from the European and CIS countries, as well as representatives of scientific and academic circles, journalists. Among guests were Hélène Carrère d'Encausse, Permanent Secretary of the French Academy, Jean-Pierre Chevènement, French President's special envoy for relations with Russia and former Minister of Defense, Thierry Mariani, member of Parliament and vice-President of the France-Russia friendship group, A.A.Trubetskoy, co-chairman of the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association, Ivan Blot, former MEP and well-known known political scientist and blogger, Xavier Moreau, author of the book "Ukraine, pourquoi la France s’est trompée?".

According to Andrey Bystritskiy, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club, what is now happening in the Middle East is very similar to what happened in Russia at the turn of 19-20 centuries. Three general points should be mentioned: the disintegration of traditional society (breakup of traditional farming community in Russia and the Muslim society), a large number of young people who find themselves in cramped conditions in outskirts of the cities, as well as the increase of the number of educated people. But this educated youth has limited vertical mobility and has nowhere to go. Inside this cocktail a dream of a beautiful world is born with no sorry to die for. The communists thought that the development of the world would cease with the victory of communism. Many modern terrorists think the same. And a huge number of people from France, the United States and Russia can become citizens of the imaginary Islamic state. This is a great temptation, especially for young people who are not very confident about the future. You can counter this only with unity and enthusiasm, akin to what moved the French, English and Russian people in the fight against Nazi Germany.

The world has entered a new zone of turbulence. The Valdai Club report attempts to offer a systematic view and a rational explanation of the current situation in the world. We have described possible elements of the movement towards new stability and a new balance of power, which we need to create to ensure sustainable and successful development, Bystritskiy said.

Former French Defense Minister Jean-Pierre Chevènement pointed out, that nations and individual states would play an increasingly important role in international relations, and not unions and associations. The world is different, and it also concerns the West. Europe is formed by countries with their own interests. France and Russia need to develop a more close cooperation.

Russian Ambassador to France Alexander Orlov added that the challenges facing the world today required joint efforts. According to him, we need to support and strengthen the social basis of bilateral relations between Russia and France, in spite of differences on certain issues, to develop ties between the business communities and political parties, to promote exchanges between young people.

Arnaud Kalika, expert on international security issues at Meridiam, said that regarding ISIS (banned in Russia) the most important question whether it is a state or non-state. If this is a state, the decisions should be political. However, there is no common understanding on this issue. There is also no common political goals of different coalitions in the region. That is why it is difficult to predict the development of situation in the Middle East.

Ivan Blot, former member of the European Parliament and French National Assembly, said that the Valdai Club report showed the complexity of the world today and the slow decline of the United States dominance. As to ISIS, it is impossible to fight against passion with only abstract ideas. We can fight against passion only with other passion, with patriotism and traditional values. ISIS is a kind of state that organizes terrorist attacks. It's necessary to destroy it. It's also necessary to destroy terrorist elements in other countries of the world.

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