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:

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Academic supervisor of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies.

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:

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).

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:
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:

Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Director of the Institute of International Studies at MGIMO University.

Mr. Sushentsov specializes in the US foreign policy in international conflicts, as well as in South Caucasus, Ukraine, and the Middle East. He has substantial experience of analytical work. He took part in applied researches on the United States’ foreign policy, conflict resolution in South Caucasus, Ukraine, and the Middle East. In his studies, he examines the spheres of conflicting interests of Russia and the United States in Europe, the Middle East and the post-Soviet space.

He was a Visiting Professor and Research Fellow at Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, Guido Carli Free University of International Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Harvard University and Middlebury Institute for International Studies in Monterey. He is a member of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy and of the Working Group on the Future of Russian-American Relations.

His key publications include monographs America’s Small Wars, Essays on US Policy in the Regional Conflicts of the 2000s, and the collective monograph Russia and the World in 2020. He is also an editor of the annual forecast International Threats.

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:

Programme Director at the Valdai Discussion Club, Member of the Government Expert Council

Yaroslav Lissovolik worked in the International Monetary Fund, in Washington, where he was Advisor to the Executive Director for the Russian Federation (2001–2004). In 2004 he joined Deutsche Bank as Chief Economist and became Head of Company Research in Russia in 2009, and then a member of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank in Russia in 2011. In 2015-2018 Yaroslav Lissovolik was Chief Economist and subsequently Managing Director of Research and Member of the Management Board at the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB). Since 2018 he has been Senior Managing Director — Head of Research at Sberbank Investment Research (CIB).

Besides, Yaroslav Lissovolik is a member of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP), Bretton Woods Committee and the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC). In 2012 Yaroslav Lissovolik became a member of the Government Expert Council.

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