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 proposed new Russian foreign policy concept speaks of applying confidence and co-operation on the basis of pragmatism with Moscow’s European partners. Yet developments over the past year have prompted fears in Russia that an undeclared cold war is already being waged. The West’s pointed refusal to recognise Moscow’s concerns and Russia’s pointedly unfriendly actions have created an atmosphere of mutual mistrust.
The reality is that the Russian gas exporter, Gazprom, is as dependent on the European market as the Europeans are on Russian gas. So a great deal of the anxiety about dependence on Russian gas really doesn’t reflect the reality, which is that Gazprom earns most of its profits exporting gas to Europe and to date Gazprom doesn’t mostly export gas to Asia, that’s the future.
Nuclear weapons remain a stumbling block in international relations. Tensions have been building over the Iranian nuclear program and could lead to a new war in the Middle East. The West and Russia might again find themselves eyeing each other across a barricade. This could damage relations for years to come.
Russia is one of the world’s largest energy suppliers and players on the energy market. It produces 9.6% of the world’s primary energy and annually invests about 4.5% of its GDP in the energy sector. Therefore, it needs to make regular and thorough analyses of global energy markets for purposes of national strategic planning and corporate investment.
The trialogue between Poland, Germany and Russia is a new phenomenon in European security policy. It is a very necessary and important instrument for the continuation of cooperation between the West and the European Union and Russia.
Britain’s return to active European politics does not bode well for Russia. With the leadership role being taken over by the French-British tandem, Russia's possibilities to continue pursuing its Euro-Atlantic strategy are narrowed, as London is working to reinforce the military and political capabilities of NATO.
The discord surrounding Syria and the upcoming presidential elections in Russia pushed news from the 48th Munich Security Conference into the background. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov presented in his Munich speech a program for Russian diplomacy for the near term. One priority is signing a "peace pact" for Europe.
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.
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.
Why did Russian officials choose to make Fogle’s case so public and then insist that it was unlikely to affect U.S.-Russia relations? The official explanation for this is that Moscow had already asked the United States to stop trying to recruit its intelligence officers—which seems like a silly and unrealistic request, since Russian agencies seem unlikely to halt similar steps in the United States—and that officials were frustrated after handling a similar case quietly earlier this year.