Eurasia and Asia: development in a rapidly changing world

For its flagship project in 2014–2016, the Valdai Club studied the dynamics and prospects of forming a Greater Eurasia and its relationship with processes underway in the Asia-Pacific region. The Valdai Club first addressed this question in late 2013, anticipating many of the political changes that subsequently occurred. It has since conducted a vast amount of research and organized a series of high profile events aimed at translating those findings into action. With the situation in the U.S., Europe, and the world undergoing major changes, this issue takes on added importance and the Valdai Club continues to expand its network of related contacts and joint research activities.
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 transformation of Euro-Atlantic institutions: scenarios, risks, and opportunities

New political realities are exerting growing pressure on Euro-Atlantic institutions. In Europe, a system of asymmetric multi-polarity has de facto taken shape, increasing the risk of political tensions. NATO has once again cast itself as a tool for containing Russia, even while the Alliance itself experiences some uncertainty. The EU is discussing the creation of its own security structures, while the role of the OSCE – the only inclusive pan-European institution – has been undermined. The roles that Russia and Turkey play in the region are changing. The Euro-Atlantic policy of the U.S. remains unclear. Questions arise regarding possible institutional changes in Europe and the impact they would have on Russia, as well as the nature of the new system of European security.
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).

U.S. policy and Russian-U.S. relations

United States domestic and foreign policy are both undergoing significant changes. With the election loss the U.S. political establishment suffered in 2016, the American domestic political philosophy began changing and the country’s political system has become the main arena for the struggle between supporters of the system that existed since the end of the Cold War, and the advocates of a new polycentric world whose contours remain unclear. U.S. foreign policy has consequently become more unpredictable while the country has entered a new phase of adaptation to a world that is changing largely at odds with its will and desires. Changes in U.S. policy alter the landscape of Russian-U.S. relations. Those relations are of critical importance to not only Russia’s foreign policy, but also international relations as a whole. U.S.-related issues have become a mandatory research focus for the Valdai Club, especially because the Russian-U.S. working group will resume its activities under the auspices of the Club.
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.

The global revolt: widespread social changes and their consequences for the world order

The events of 2016 – particularly Brexit and Trump’s electoral win – illustrate the deepening tensions in leading Western countries between the elite and ordinary citizens. The struggle between the established “globalization for the elite” and the growing demand for a “globalization for all” has made the emerging social and political transformation of the West increasingly central to the global agenda. Against this backdrop, the Valdai Club has formulated the concept of a “global revolt” against the status quo. This program analyzes the social and political causes of that “revolt,” the activity of new rightist and leftist political forces, and the ways in which forces of the “old world order” are reacting to this change.
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.

New factors in global development and future challenges

The technological revolution in conjunction with socio-political changes around the world is altering the nature of traditional processes – from military action and diplomacy to systems of governance in individual states and the international community as a whole. The increasingly complex international order, coupled with the advent of powerful new technologies and processes, is permanently changing the face of the world. This research attempts to identify the outlines of those indefinite but emerging trends.
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).

The Russian economy in the face of evolving external challenges

The Russian economy remains highly dependent on external factors. It is therefore vitally important to understand any changes in those factors – from the global order and rules of the game to relations with such major world players as the U.S., China, and Japan. Another pressing concern is the vulnerability of the Russian economy – particularly the federal budget and capital flows – to external shocks. The acute shortage of drivers of economic growth necessitates a more effective use of foreign economic policy, including integration projects, as a means for spurring growth.
Programme director:

Yaroslav Lissovolik

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Chief Economist, Member of the Management Board, Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) 

He worked in the International Monetary Fund, where he was Advisor to the Executive Director for the Russian Federation in Washington (2001–2004). Yaroslav Lissovolik joined Deutsche Bank as Chief Economist (2004); he became Head of Company Research in Russia (2009), and a member of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank in Russia (2011). Yaroslav Lissovolik is a member of the Advisory Council of the Central Bank of Russia, a member of the Council on foreign and defense policy and a member of the Bretton Woods Committee. Yaroslav Lissovolik became a member of the Expert Council of the Russian government as well as the Working group on macroeconomic policy of the Presidential Economic Council (2012).

He has published books on Russia's entry to the WTO and on Russia's integration into the world economy, as well as numerous articles and papers on economic and policy issues.