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.
Whoever will stand for the presidential election (and I have no doubt that the Putin–Medvedev tandem will smoothly reach that decision and announce it within a few months), national politics are always anchored in society and its political economy. From that perspective, the formation of the Russian People’s Front may have much deeper purposes. Let’s try to decipher these.
In view of Russia’s own efforts to build closer relationships with many Western countries as well as the West’s major organizations, its anxiety about the “near abroad’s” further inclusion into Western structures looks illogical. A hypothetical NATO and EU membership of Ukraine, for instance, would – if it ever happened – create a powerful impulse for the deepening of Russian-Western cooperation.
Cooperating with other SCO member countries in the fight against terrorism is beneficial in solving military and security-related issues and also to eliminate the obstacles in the economic and social spheres. China is actively pushing for greater anti-terrorism cooperation.
Many representatives of China’s north-eastern provinces push for the need to coordinate the economic policies of the border regions of Russia and China and indeed their co-development. The Chinese regions raise this topic at the annual meetings of the Russian-Chinese intergovernmental border cooperation commission.
On May 26-27, Carleton University of Ottawa hosted the two day conference Canada, Russia, Norway: Dialogue and Cooperation in the Arctic. It was the first trilateral conference involving the most active Arctic countries and their partners, for whom the Arctic is home. It drew over 100 dignitaries, regional officials, researchers and businessmen.
Russia and neighboring countries are not interested in a quick US withdrawal, as it could lead to the Taliban’s return to power, or – probably even worse – chaotic civil war in the country with inevitable spillover into all bordering territories. Meanwhile, neighboring countries do not want US bases permanently stationed in Afghanistan either.
Russia is a vast country that is exceptionally rich in mineral resources. Therefore, a fairly commonly held view is that prospecting for minerals outside Russia, for example, in Africa, is not a sensible proposition. Does this viewpoint reflect the way things really stand?
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.