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.
The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.
Russia’s anti-corruption campaign looks like an attempt to “nationalize” the state elite by increasing their stakes in Russian institutions. To this end, bureaucrats have been banned from possessing foreign shares, bank accounts and certain other assets. Yet statistics show that the Russian public would be in favor of even stronger measures.
If citizens of Russia believe that a country whose population consists of 24% pensioners is capable of giving up migrants and letting pensioners clean courtyards, drive buses or work at construction sites, they should realize that they will have to pay for this. Not a single country has managed to find a solution to the migrant issue.
The liberal, Western-oriented camp that calls itself the “non-systemic” opposition is concentrated in Moscow and is very small on a national scale. However, this is the only opposition that is noticed by the West and as a result they will probably grow even more hysterical in their hatred of the Russian government. The same concerns NGOs with foreign aid.
The President’s best decision during his first year in office is the start of an anticorruption fight and the dismissal of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov (replaced by the popular Sergei Shoigu). As for his worst decision, it is appointing Dmitry Medvedev as Prime Minister, something that sparked quite a serious negative reaction.
Moscow has announced its intention to establish a military air base on the territory of neighboring Belarus. This could very well be a response to U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense shield in Europe. The air base in Belarus is likely to act as a kind of shield against any potential unpleasantness that could arise over the ABM system in Poland.
It is the common wealth, or the accumulated and permanently growing public wealth that has real significance. A growing national economy as such is a factor of attraction. Broadening markets promise lucrative contracts to any economic partner.
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.