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, Valdai Club Foundation. Ph.D. in Political Science; Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Director of Studies, Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP); member of the Advisory Committee of the Eurasian Economic Commission.

Research interests:

  • Eurasia; Russia’s Pivot to the East; Silk Road Economic Belt, Eurasian economic integration

  • EU development

  • Russia – EU relations,

  • EU foreign policy,

  • European and international security.

Co-author of Valdai Discussion Club reports including the series “Toward the Great Ocean” (Toward the Great Ocean, or the New Globalization of Russia; Toward the Great Ocean—2, or Russia’s Breakthrough to Asia; Toward the Great Ocean - 3. Creating Central Eurasia. The Silk Road Economic Belt and the Priorities of the Eurasian States' Joint Development; Toward the Great Ocean 4: Turn to the East. Preliminary results and new objectives), numerous analytical reports for public authorities of the Russian Federation on the internal development of the European Union and Russia – EU relations, author of numerous articles in Russian and foreign media.

Selected books (or chapters):

In co-authorship with  Skriba A., Kazakova A. Conjunction of the EAEU and Silk Road Economic Belt, in: Asia-Pacific News Brief. New context and economic cooperation opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region and Eurasia / Отв. ред.: M. V. Larionova. Issue 1 (4). M. : RSPP, 2016. (Chapter).

Eurasian Russia in the 21st century, in: Russia's "pivot" to Eurasia. L. : European Council on Foreign Relations, 2014. Ch. 2.

Skriba A., Bordachev T. V. Russia’s Eurasian Integration Policies, in: The Geopolitics of Eurasian Economic Integration. L.: London School of Economics and Political Science, 2014. Ch. 2.

Selected articles:

Russia's pivot to Asia has mixed results, say experts //The Straits Times. 14/12/2016.

Bordachev T. V., Kazakova A. V., Skriba A.S. Institutions for Peaceful Eurasia // International Organisations Research Journal. 2016. Vol. 11. No. 2. P. 24-39

Russia and the European Union: Lessons Learned and Goals Ahead/ Россия и Европейский союз: извлеченные уроки и намеченные цели // Strategic Analysis. 2016. Vol. 40. No. 6

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

Ivan Timofeev leads the program “Contemporary State” at Valdai Discussion Club. Also he has been a Director of Programs at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) since 2011.

Ivan Timofeev has been a Director of Programs at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) since 2011.  He is responsible for the intellectual performance of RIAC, managing its programs 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 a “Contemporary State” program at Valdai Discussion Club.

Before joining RIAC, Dr. Timofeev was the Head of Analytical Monitoring Center and Associate Professor at MGIMO-University (2009-2011).He was awarded a doctoral degree in Political Science at MGIMO in 2006. He has a Master of Arts in Society and Politics (Lancaster University and Central European University, 2003) and a B.A. in Sociology (Saint-Petersburg State University, 2002).

Dr. Timofeev is an author and co-author of more than 60 publications, issued in Russian and foreign academic press. He is a member of editorial board at the “Comparative Politics” – an academic journal on foreign policy and political science.


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

Dmitry Suslov conducts research on various issues of International Relations, including the US Foreign Policy and Russia-US relations, EU evolution and policies and Russia-EU relations, Russian Foreign Policy. He regularly consults the Russian government institutions and business enterprises on these and other issues.

 He is Senior lecturer at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs of the NRU – HSE (since 2008), as well as a Deputy Director for Research at the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (since 2004). Mr. Suslov is also the Russian coordinator and member of the Working Group on the Future of the US-Russia Relations, which is a joint venture of the NRU - Higher School of Economics and Harvard University (since 2010). Mr. Suslov has co-authored several books (incl. The U.S. Policy in Asia Pacific (Moscow, 2014), Non-Military Instruments of the Russian Foreign Policy: Regional and Global Mechanisms (Moscow, 2012); Russia: a Strategy for the New World (Moscow, 2011), Russia vs. Europe. Confrontation or Alliance? (Moscow, 2009), Russia and the World. A New Epoch (Moscow, 2008), The World Politics (Moscow, 2008), The World Around Russia:2017. (Moscow, 2007). At the NRU– Higher School of Economics (School of World Economy and International Affairs) Mr. Suslov teaches courses on the US Domestic and Foreign Policy (for BA and MA students), Introduction to World Politics and International Relations (for BA students), Global Governance (for MA students), US-Russia Relations After the End of the Cold War (for MA students), and the Russia-EU Relations (for MA students).

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

Head, Department of EU Politics at the European Studies Institute at Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the MFA of Russia (MGIMO University) (since 2007); Research Fellow, Valdai Club Foundation.

Professor, School of World Economics and Global Politics at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics (since 2009). Ph.D (Politics).

Previous positions: Lecturer, Department of History, Moscow State University (1994–1996); Senior Research Fellow at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (1997–2004); Head of Directorate for Research Policy at MGIMO University (2005–2008).

Co-author of Valdai Club reports on relations of Russia with China and USA.

Author of publications at the Valdai Club site on educational policy in Russia, on relations of Siberian regions with China, and 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

Andrey Sushentsov is a Programme director at the Valdai Discussion Club and a chair of a program “New Factors in Global Development and Future Challenges”. The program produces research, events and publications on issues of modern warfare, geopolitics, technology, modern security threats and great power strategies in the 21st century.

Sushentsov is a political analyst and international relations scholar at Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and a managing partner with the Moscow-based consulting agency Foreign Policy Advisory Group, where he heads strategic advisory practice. He holds diploma in history of Lomonosov Moscow State University and a 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” and “Essays on U.S. Politics and Regional Conflicts,” both published in Russian in 2014, as well as articles and reports on U.S.-Russian relations and Russian policies toward Georgia and Ukraine. In his field-based research, Sushentsov pays special attention to collision of U.S. and Russian interests in the Middle East and post-soviet space, particularly in Ukraine and in the South Caucasus. In 2015, with co-author Andrey Bezrukov he edited a volume of Russian perspectives on international security issues looking ahead to 2020 titled “Contours of disturbing future. Russia and the World in 2020”. In 2016, he edited a collection of essays on Russia’s foreign and domestic politics, “Civilization Veiled as a Nation”. 

Sushentsov was a visiting researcher at Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies in 2007 and at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 2008. Since then he held visiting positions at several establishments including Rome LUISS University (2013), Armenian State University of Economics (2014), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2015), Harvard University (2016), Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (2017) and Yale University (2017).

He is a member of International Studies Association and participating in a Working Group on the Future of U.S.-Russia Relations established by Higher School of Economics (Moscow) and Harvard University.

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

Chief economist with the Eurasian Development Bank, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club.  

Yaroslav Lissovolik joined the Eurasian Development Bank as its Chief Economist in 2015, with responsibilities covering macroeconomic analysis and forecasts as well as macroeconomic research. In 2001-2004 he worked in the International Monetary Fund, where he was Advisor to the Executive Director for the Russian Federation in Washington. In 2004 Yaroslav Lissovolik joined Deutsche Bank as Chief Economist; in 2009 he became Head of Company Research in Russia and in 2011- a member of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank in Russia.

Yaroslav Lissovolik earned a BA in Economics from Harvard University; an MA in International Economic Relations from Moscow State Institute of International Relations; an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, holds a PhD in Economics and is a professor at the department of World Economy at the Diplomatic Academy.

Yaroslav Lissovolik is a member of the Council on foreign and defense policy and a member of the Bretton Woods Committee. 

In 2012 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.

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.​