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.
Twenty-five years after the Chernobyl disaster, Eastern Europe is still clinging to nuclear power. The anti-nuclear movement is essentially non-existent, but experts say 'green' energy is still a viable alternative. Belarus and Ukraine also see nuclear power as the way forward. Ukraine has four nuclear plants and there are plans for a Russian firm to build two more reactors at one of them.
After the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, Poland saw itself as being the leading state in East-Central Europe. The objective clash of interests between Warsaw and Russia has its roots in that perception. First, Poland is interested in seeing a strengthened U.S. presence in Eastern Europe and NATO mechanisms. Poland’s political elite feel they need a powerful ally to counterbalance Russia and Germany.
According to one likely scenario for the period up to 2035, European economies will continue to experience moderate growth. Because energy intensity will decrease, overall energy demand will more or less stagnate. But gas demand will grow because gas will come to substitute coal and nuclear energy in electricity production. By 2035, European gas demand is likely to have increased by about 100 bcm.
Any oil price rise as the result of Libyan chaos will benefit Russia’s economy. Russia can afford much more when oil is $110/barrel than when it is at $60/barrel. For Russian officials who might see international relations as a zero-sum, a lengthy American entanglement might seem beneficial.
Washington and Moscow should quickly launch a new round of negotiations aimed at further reductions of their nuclear forces. They should aim for a limit of no more than 1000 deployed strategic warheads, with corresponding reductions in deployed strategic delivery vehicles.
The situation in Japan, unless it deteriorates dramatically, is unlikely to seriously influence the development and modernization plans of those countries that have been developing the nuclear power industry for a long time. The main reason is that no alternative energy source on the table today can match nuclear power in capacity terms.
Today, nine states, including North Korea, possess nuclear weapons, with five of them located in Asia. With the exception of China, four of these countries are not signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty: India, Pakistan and Israel never signed it, while North Korea pulled out of it in 2003. With collective security such a hard goal to achieve, no one wants to be the first to give up the nuclear sword.
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.