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.
In the midst of a significant American political crisis, it is easy to forget that twenty years ago, Russia’s former president Boris Yeltsin shelled Moscow’s White House—where the country’s parliament met at that time—in a considerably more dramatic and probably more consequential executive-legislative conflict than today’s in Washington. Yet Americans would do well to remember the events that led to the October 1993 crisis.
Four hundred years have passed since Mikhail Romanov, the first tsar of the Romanov dynasty, ascended to the Russian throne. The 300th anniversary was marked by a nationwide celebration during the reign of Nicholas II, the last Russian emperor. One hundred years later, we are still evaluating the place and role of the Romanovs in our history.
The State Duma has received a bill stipulating fines and prison terms for denying or justifying Nazi crimes and criminals, or for condemning the outcome of the Nuremberg Trials. Some historians fear this would make it difficult to draw objective conclusions on the events of World War II. Supporters of the bill emphasize that it may help combat attempts to rewrite history.
A grey cardinal, a con artist, fortune’s darling, the face of the era – Russian and foreign experts agree on one thing: the late Boris Berezovsky was an extraordinary and at the same time contradictory man.
Berezovsky is an extreme example of the contradictions of Russia's move towards a capitalist democracy. On the one side he was one of the leaders of the new business class, while on the other he demonstrated the inability of this new business class, the so-called oligarchs in the 1990s, to subordinate themselves to the rule of law.
How far can the confrontation between Russia and the West go? Is there a line where the two sides will stop before starting with a clean sheet? So far, the confrontation has only been growing. The Cold War II may begin any day, if it is not already underway. It appears that the West and the Kremlin have no answers to these questions.
The polarization of the Asia Pacific Region is in the way of Russia’s new Asian strategy. The Obama administration’s policy of containing China will lead to a split in the region. This puts Russia in a difficult situation where it’ll have to choose between a strategic partnership with China and the advancement of its relations with the South-East Asian countries.
Many in the West regard the Putin’s Russia with suspicion and see her as aggressive. Many elements of the new Russian idea seem to base on a pure rejection of Western liberalism. To be effective, Russia has to become more attractive – for her own people and foreigners, who share traditionalistic-conservative ideals. Russia’s new conservatism must be formulated in the form of “soft power”.
Last week, the Russian Federation marked the 20th anniversary of its Constitution; the Russian president delivered his annual State of the Nation Address before the Federal Assembly; as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, he also met with the military top brass. This is an opportune moment to sum up the state of Russia in 2013 and look ahead, in terms of its political system, economic, foreign, and security policies.