4th annual conference of the Middle East Dialogue of the Valdai International Discussion Club, titled “Islam in Politics: Ideology or Pragmatism?”, will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco, on May 14-15.
Issues of commonalities and differences in the Muslim communities of Russia and Canada, as well as problems of their integration into the legal frameworks of their respective countries, were the main topics of discussion at the conference Muslims in Russia, the CIS, and Canada: Cohabitation and Cooperation
The conference Muslims in Russia, the CIS, and Canada: Cohabitation and Cooperation presented by Carleton’ Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, the Department of Political Science, the Carleton Centre for the Study of Islam, and the Valdai Discussion Club is to be held on March 8, 2013 at the Carleton University, Ottawa.
The analytical report “Russia’s Economy: after Transformation, before Modernization” was prepared after discussions at the Valdai Discussion Club Summit held on October 21–22, 2012. The report incorporates many of the conclusions on Russia’s political development contained in the 2011 Valdai report “Russia Should Not Miss Its Chance: Development Scenarios”.
The Russia Development Index (Valdai Index) reflects the combined opinion of the world's leading experts on Russia as regards Russia’s political, economic, social, cultural and international performance. The annual poll aims to study changes in Russia’s development trends over a year. It is important that respondents assess not the current situation, but changes.
The analytical report “Military Reform: Toward the New Look of the Russian Army” summarizes the results of the conference of the Valdai Discussion Club Defense and Security section titled “Modernization of Russia’s Armed Forces and Cooperation in International Security” which was held on May 25-27, 2011 in Moscow.
Instead of using its leverage as Syria’s enabler and defender to move President Bashar al-Assad toward a negotiated solution, Russia recently sent him advanced antiship cruise missiles, and there is fresh talk now of advanced A-300 air defense weapons. The Russians have also augmented their naval presence in the region.
Russia is refocusing on Asean after years of inertia due to domestic priorities and challenges. Recently, Moscow with the support of Beijing, has tabled a proposal on collective security arrangement in the Asia Pacific as part of the effort to cooperate with Asean in creating a regional security architecture.
Skolkovo was meant to be Russia’s answer to Silicon Valley – a Kremlin-sponsored technopark with research centres for the world’s leading science and technology companies. But over the past few months it has found itself caught in the crossfire of Russian politics, causing those involved to question the project’s future.
The Russians are reading the map well and are aware that in the current situation Assad does not have the means to deter Israel from attacking Hezbollah-bound arms convoys. This is why Putin's aides leaked to the press that Moscow will finally transfer to Syria three S-300 missile batteries.
By markedly boosting Syria’s defences, Russia has brought about greater equilibrium in the regional balance of power. In turn, its move could well infuse new life in finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis, based on negotiations where neither side is deprived of trump cards.
Within 20 years the Northern Sea Route across the northern coast of Russia could offer an alternative way to transport goods from northeast Asia to Europe during summer. In the short term, the most pressing issue for China is what tariffs Russia will impose for passage through its coastal waters and the use of ice breakers.
The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.
In light of the present situation in the Middle East, Russia and Israel find themselves facing common challenges. Under these newly emerging situations, Russia sees its partnership with Israel as a potential asset in resolving acute regional issues. From a Russian perspective, the compatibility of Israeli and Russian interests could contribute to such a partnership.
The failure of the Islamist political parties who came to power in the dramatic events of the Arab Spring would allow the military to reenter the political arena. Political Islam was successful in the opposition, but it could fail in power, as the negative experience of Egypt and Iraq have shown.