Eurasia in the 21st century: Russia’s role and prospects for the future

The emergence of Eurasia as a unified interdependent entity is a complex process reflecting both the logic of regional development and global trends towards the ‘new regionalism’. Nevertheless, the process of Eurasian regional integration is subject to complex and contradictory ambitions, with the possibility of achieving significant public goods for Eurasia itself as well as for the region’s partners in greater Europe and greater Asia. Eurasia is currently one of the strategic directions for Russian development. The programme focuses on discussion of models of development for a new Eurasia and its possible configurations.  
Programme director:

Timofei Bordachev

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Director, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics

PhD in political sciences, Saint Petersburg State University (1999). The coauthor of more than 200 analytical materials for public authorities of the Russian Federation concerning internal development of the European Union and the Russia-EU relations in 2004–2009. Аnalytical reviews were being prepared by a working group, comprising representatives of Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Council on Foreign and Defence Policy (CFDF) and the Institute of Strategic Studies and Analysis (ISSA) and headed by Sergey Karaganov.

As a researcher specializes in Russian-European relations, foreign policy of the European Union, public-private relations in Europe, the European and international security. The author of the academic works published in Russia and abroad.

The Middle East: An arena of confrontation or collective action?

As old ties in the region are being broken and new relations emerge, the crisis of statehood has entered the stage of the de facto disintegration of states, a ‘war of all against all’, the shaping of new political and military realities, and the possible creation of new states on the ruins of the Sykes-Picot system, whose hundredth anniversary will be marked this year. The scourge of radical Islamism is spreading across the world, affecting Europe and Russia as well as many other countries which have become the subject of terrorist attacks. The objective of this thematic strand is to research the fundamental dynamics of developments in the region, the impact of the Middle East crisis on Russia and Eurasia, to identify the most probable scenarios, as well as to outline potential solutions. The factors shaping Russia’s approach to regional crises and challenges will be an important part of this programme.
Programme director:

Ivan Timofeev

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Director of Programmes at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) 

He is responsible for the intellectual performance of RIAC, managing its programmes and projects. His personal background at RIAC includes working with Russian and foreign diplomats, governmental officials, experts, businessmen and NGO-leaders regarding Russia’s foreign policy and public diplomacy. Since 2015 he also heads Euro-Atlantic Security programme at the Valdai Discussion Club. 

Before joining RIAC, Ivan Timofeev was the Head of Analytical Monitoring Centre and Associate Professor at MGIMO University (2009–2011). He was awarded a doctoral degree in Political Science at MGIMO (2006).
Ivan Timofeev is an author and co-author of more than 70 publications, issued in Russian and foreign academic press. He is a member of editorial board at the Comparative Politics. He was elected as a Professor of the Academy for Military Science (2013).

War and security in the 21st century

In conditions of growing confrontation, the role of military power in international politics is growing. Those who possess military power strive to improve their capacities and are finding new ways to deploy their forces. At the same time, co-operative elements have not disappeared, and there remains significant potential to find new forms of engagement and conflict resolution. This poses the question of establishing a new global security regime and maintaining strategic stability. The objective of this programme is to analyse the transformation of military power, new forms of its use, its potential as a foreign policy tool, and to explore new opportunities for trust building and risk minimisation.
Programme director:

Andrey Sushentsov

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Political Analyst and International Relations Scholar at MGIMO University 

He is also managing partner with the Moscow-based consulting agency Foreign Policy Advisory Group. PhD in international relations of MGIMO University. His publications include books on U.S. politics and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq: America’s Small Wars (2014), and Essays on U.S. Politics and Regional Conflicts (2014) published in Russian, as well as articles and reports on U.S.-Russian relations and Russian policies toward Georgia and Ukraine. In his field-based research, he pays special attention to collision of U.S. and Russian interests in post-soviet space, particularly in Ukraine and in the South Caucasus. He edited a volume of Russian perspectives on international security issues titled Contours of disturbing future. Russia and the World in 2020 (2015).


Andrey Sushentsov was a visiting researcher at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (2007) and at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (2008). He was a visiting professor at Rome LUISS University (2013) and at Armenian State University of Economics (2014). He was an EASI-Hurford fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2015).

Regionalisation of the world and the new type of interdependence

The emergence of trade mega-blocs on the one hand and increasingly obvious impact of politics on the economic processes on the other, signal the end of ‘universal’ globalisation of the sort previously based on the WTO and some other institutions of international governance. The combination of economic interdependence and geopolitical rivalry shapes a new type of international associative life and creates new interstate groupings that are both more exclusive that the earlier ‘universal’ institutions and more explicitly tied to geopolitical configurations. The objective of this programme is to research the possibility of new approaches to cooperation in a world that is fragmented but ultimately integral in principle and substance. The analysis will also focus on ways of managing contradictions and minimising mutual harm when economic conflicts arise.
Programme director:

Dmitry Suslov

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Deputy Director at the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow

Dmitry Suslov conducts research on various issues of international relations, including US foreign and domestic policy and Russia-US relations, Russian foreign policy, Russia-EU relations. He regularly consults the Russian government institutions and business enterprises on these and other issues. He is also a Senior lecturer at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs of the National Research University Higher School of Economics since 2006, as well as Deputy Director for Research at the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy since 2004. Dmitry Suslov has co-authored several books (incl. The U.S. Policy in Asia Pacific (2014), Non-Military Instruments of the Russian Foreign Policy: Regional and Global Mechanisms (2012); Russia: a Strategy for the New World (2011); Russia vs. Europe. Confrontation or Alliance? (2009); Russia and the World. A New Epoch (2008); The World Politics (2008); The World Around Russia: 2017 (2007). At the Higher School of Economics (School of World Economy and International Affairs) he teaches courses on the US Domestic and Foreign Policy, Introduction to International Relations, Global Governance, US-Russia Relations, and Russia-EU Relations.

Russia and the EU in a changing Europe

The old model of relations between Russia and the European Union has run out of steam, but both sides face serious development problems, which force them to revisit their strategies. The programme objective is to try to understand how Russia-EU relations could look after the current crisis.
Programme director:

Oleg Barabanov

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Professor of MGIMO University; Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences

As a programme director of the Valdai Club Foundation he is сoordinating the expert programme on Global Alternatives; Academic Director of the European Studies Institute at MGIMO University since 2015; Professor at School of World Economics and Global Politics at National Research University Higher School of Economics since 2009.

Previous positions: Lecturer, History faculty, Lomonosov Moscow State University (1994–1996); Senior Research Fellow, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (1997–2004); Associate Professor, Professor at MGIMO University since 2000; Head of Directorate for Research Policy at MGIMO University (2005–2008); Head of Department of EU Politics at European Studies Institute at MGIMO University (2007–2014).

Co-author of the Valdai Discussion Club publications on ‘Creating Central Eurasia’, on relations of Russia with China and U.S., on ‘nuclear fears’ after the Ukrainian crisis. Author of 6 research monographs.