Eurasia and Asia

Starting from 2013, the Valdai Discussion Club programme on Eurasia has been the flagship project for conceptualization and discussion the issues concerned with the Russia’s turn to the East. Since 2015, the Valdai Club has been considered to be the leading think tank on international cooperation in the Eurasian space. Each year the Club holds a series of events, such as the Asian Regional Conference, the Kazakh-Russian Expert Forum, the Russian-Chinese Conference, which bring together the acknowledged experts in their respective fields. Moreover, it takes part in the drawing up of the programme of the Eastern Economic Forum. All the events go hand-in-hand with in-depth analysis in the form of regular reports and papers. In 2018, the programme focuses on the development of the Comprehensive Eurasian Partnership and the Eurasian integration process. Another research field is the strengthening of Russia’s positions in the region through making practical recommendations to intensify Russian economic and political involvement in the regional cooperation.
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.

Between War and Diplomacy: Hybrid Foreign Policy in the Digital Age

The term ‘hybrid foreign policy’ turned out to be frequently used, but it remains too broad and vague. At the same time, this is an example of how little we know about processes linked with the development of digital technologies that have already been in place and posed a significant challenge to the entire world system. States have to apply the so-called ‘hybrid’ leverage where they run out of tools that traditional diplomacy is capable to provide. One of these tools are sanctions that have been undermining the established global institutional architecture. All the aforementioned present a unique threat, which can be compared to the nuclear breakthrough of the 20th century in its effect. Hence, it is essential to look into what is behind the ‘hybrid’ policy and how it influences the global stability.
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).

The US in the Post-Western World

The central problem of international relations at the present stage, which is expected to remain for years, is how the US adapt to the world that is changing without regard to US interests, worldviews, and ideological attitudes. Although difficult to outline, the new world order, which is going to replace the order emerged after the Cold War, will not be an American-led one. Therefore, it poses an unprecedented challenge to the US, which declared a historic victory of American ‘universal’ values, institutions, and development model just a quarter century ago. Thus, the Donald Trump presidency, fierce political struggle, deepening social division, the crisis of both leading political parties, and fluctuations in the foreign policy – they are a manifestation of the profound transformation the US have undergone in recent years. This programme aims to assess all the possible directions of US politics inside and outside the country, including relations with Russia, in their attempt to adapt to the post-Western world.
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.

Emerging Global Commons and Related Problems

One of the dominant global trends today is the widening gap between foreign policy driven by state’s pragmatic interests and the increasing global interdependence that entails problems which are impossible to solve on the nation-state level. On the one hand, there are so-called ‘Global Commons’, which importance is not disputed. It consists of some basic aspects, such as air, water, and biodiversity, but also encompasses global access to the social benefits gained by the humankind. On the other hand, the concept of Global Commons often contradicts the principle of state sovereignty. Supranational solutions, which were considered to be a remedy for all problems before, are not so commonly acceptable anymore as they are not shared in many parts of the world. That is why, the lack of new approaches to this question leads to growing conflicts over water resources, international migration, and environmental issues. Moreover, the maintenance of the Global Commons frequently runs contrary to the right of the poorest countries to develop since it cements the global North-South divide. Is it possible to reconcile these paradigms to ensure global peace and prosperity? 
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.

The Future of War

The technological advancement alters the nature of war. The conflict between great powers is no longer an unlike scenario, since it is possible to win a war with less resources and without irreparable damage. The world is on the verge of a new era when the cutting-edge military technologies have not been tested on the battlefield, but have already been adopted by the leading powers. How will the conflict of tomorrow look like? Will the mechanism of deterrence be as effective as it is? What impact will it have on military alliances and diplomacy? Will the new non-proliferation regime emerge in regard to new technologies? For the great powers, the war is very precarious scenario, but still potential one.
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).

Between Openness and Restrictions: Shifting Balance of Power and Russia’s Strategy in the Global Economy

The global economy undergoes dramatic changes in the balance of power. China assumes leadership in the global liberalization process, making massive investments in infrastructure projects around the globe. Russia devises a new strategy to confront the challenges linked with sanctions imposed against the country. It builds up a new network of alliances to take advantage of opportunities that the turn to the East and Eurasian integration projects open up. What does the new balance of economic powers bring about? Who will be able to benefit from it?
Programme director:

Yaroslav Lissovolik

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Managing Director of Research - Chief economist, Eurasian Development Bank 

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). Since 2018 he is Managing Director of Research - Chief economist, Eurasian Development Bank.

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.