The Valdai Discussion Club Foundation, in cooperation with its partners, launched a new research project on Eurasian integration with a workshop in Shanghai on November 16-17. The aim of the project is to examine the entire Eurasian space in four dimensions and from four perspectives. The four dimensions are economic, political, security and social; and the four perspectives are Russian, Central Asian, Chinese and EU/US.
Over 200 Russian and foreign experts attended the 10th meeting of the Valdai Club. The participants focus on analyzing the internal processes and external challenges to work out a vision of Russia in the future.
Evaluating Russia’s development index during the annual poll this year, experts of the Valdai Discussion Club spoke positively about the country's growing role in national, regional and global security, foreign policy and soft power. Most negative assessment was given to performance of Russia’s political institutions, public confidence in them and the dynamics of economic development.
The research poll analyses five basic valuable aspects of contemporary Russian identity. In particular, the respondents were proposed to reflect over following principal aspects: culture, religion, ethnicity, self-identification, patriotism etc.
This report is based on discussions held at the Valdai Club's Middle East Dialogue conference, which took place in Marrakesh, Morocco, on May 14-15, 2013. The event was attended by high-profile politicians from the Middle East and North Africa, including leaders of Islamist movements, as well as prominent experts, analysts and journalists from Russia and around the world.
Both the US and Russia need to recognize that they control only part of the outcome of the Syrian conflict. The conflict now poses a challenge to the stability of Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey, as well as to Israel, all of which are experiencing the impacts of the conflict to differing degrees.
The peacekeeping forces from CSTO member states have become an important force for maintaining collective international security. Its plans include establishing a working relationship with corresponding UN agencies in order to add CSTO peacekeepers to the UN register.
Marine Le Pen is doing her best to rid the National Front of the image of a skinhead party and make it a respected organization. She sincerely wishes to repair relations with Moscow. So far, she’s been merely an indicator of the prevailing general mood in France: the French believe that their country made a mistake by getting too close to the United States and distancing itself from Russia.
Would the world necessarily be a better place if America returns to normal and bases its foreign policy solely on the national interest? Is President Putin not concerned that in a world of self-interested powers we will see more genocides and suffering?
Is the former NSA analyst a modern-day dissident? Both Solzhenitsyn and Snowden revealed their findings to foreigners and not to their own domestic bureaucrats. American and British authorities have put pressure on the journalists who helped Snowden as KGB pursued friends of Solzhenitsyn.
The oil and gas production boost in the US may propel the country to the top of the hydrocarbons industry before the year is out. It has already influenced the Russian energy industry because the Shtockman field is basically frozen, as it was intended for exports to the US.
Some people are trying to make the reality in Russia at least a bit more humane. The amnesty should apply not only to persons involved in high-profile cases, but also to individuals who are not as well-known. It is better to set free at least some of the individuals who deserve to be released than no one at all.
Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.
Other than Iran, no state near NATO poses a ballistic missile threat to the Alliance — with the exception of Russia. But the SM-3 interceptors to be deployed in phases 2 and 3 will be capable of engaging only medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, which Russia has given up under the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
Edward Snowden is not an isolated case but part of an independent community which is increasingly resolute in asserting itself and rejecting “raison d’Etat” and behind-the-scenes manipulation. The direct results of Snowden’s disclosures are most clearly evident in the context of Russian-American relations. The Snowden case has humiliated Europe, which Putin took the opportunity to remind them of.