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.
President Bashar al-Assad can’t suppress the rebels, and they are unable to overthrow him. A direct foreign invasion is unlikely, especially without backing from Security Council, which is being blocked by Russia and China. A diplomatic solution is possible only if there is a basic mutual understanding about the situation in Syria.
Almost three months have passed since the European Union (EU), backed by a number of other countries, imposed an embargo on Iranian oil imports. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), during this time Iranian oil exports have fallen by two-third, from three million barrels of oil per day in July 2011 to about one million barrels in July 2012.
The wave of pogroms against American embassies in Arab countries and killing of the US ambassador to Libya caused fear and deep disappointment, because it showed that those who prevail in this part of the world are keen to use violence and extreme approaches to dominate the agenda.
The Middle East is experiencing a tectonic shift, and the contours of the ensuing fundamental change are still pretty vague. Both Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush helped create the conditions for this change, but subsequent events have assumed their own logic and are following a script that does not depend on external forces.
Moscow will not scale down its peaceful co-operation programmes with Damascus. The only exception is new contracts for arms supplies. Even so, Russia’s willingness to continue its economic and political dialogue with Damascus, despite the bloodshed in Syria, does not mean Moscow will enter the war to support the incumbent President Bashar Assad.
Iran is getting ever closer to obtaining a nuclear bomb and wants to get the ultimate insurance policy against a possible military attack. Moscow is doing everything for Tehran without asking for anything in return. Russia is pulling Iran’s chestnuts out of the fire and at the same time is allowing Tehran to walk all over them.
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.