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.
11/18/201308:30 The current developments in Syria are directly related to the broader processes at work in the Arab Spring, which largely explains the alignment of forces on the eve of Geneva 2. Islamists have stepped up their extremist activities. The alignment of forces between pro-government areas and cities and nascent administrative centers held by the opposition remains almost unchanged.
10/31/201310:40 There are surely many opportunities for US-Russian cooperation in the Middle East, just as there are opportunities for a new rivalry to emerge. While the United States and Russia have closely aligned interests when it comes to terrorist groups, the interests overlap less neatly when it comes to relationships with governments, with energy markets, and with weapons sales.
09/24/201310:38 For Russia and the West, the events in Syria are a clear example of how unpredictable international relations have become. But at the same time, the response to the crisis demonstrates that Moscow and Washington are able to put together a concerted initiative to resolve world conflicts when both parties respect the rules of “fair play”.
09/19/201313:12 The Valdai Club experts said at a special night session that the US-Russian plan for Syria is not only an attempt to resolve the crisis but it can also help US President Barack Obama out of a jam. Two years ago, he said that Bashar Assad must step down, but Assad has remained in power and now the world is waiting for him to adopt a decision on chemical weapons.
09/19/201308:29 Moscow will soon submit to the United Nations findings indicating that the Syrian opposition had used chemical weapons during the deadly civil war, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during the 10th annual meeting of the Valdai Club.
09/17/201313:04 The US-Russian plan to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons is an opportunity for Russia to demonstrate the role it intends to play in international relations.The Western models of democracy cannot be mechanically spread through the Middle East due to the distinctions of the region’s societies.
09/12/201309:18 "Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies," Putin said in the op-ed, entitled "A Plea for Caution from Russia," which was posted on the US newspaper's website Wednesday.
09/05/201308:26 What will be the role of the UN Security Council’s mission if the US military strike does not stop the ongoing civil war? What will happen if radical Islamic groups like Al- Qaida fighters get the control of the stockpile of chemical weapons? At this crucial point, Russian President Vladimir Putin takes a historical diplomatic responsibility by hosting G20 leaders in St. Petersburg.
08/30/201310:42 The Middle East has already seen its fair share of wars, i.e. Iraq and Libya. As of today, the armed conflict in Syria may enter a new phase. The only thing that seems to be missing is a Iran-Israel clash with Saudi involvement. Should this happen, the conflict could well be classed as a major war.
08/27/201310:02 The ongoing controversy over the alleged use of chemical weapons in Ghoutta, near Damascus, has again highlighted the divide between Russia and China, on the one hand, and the United States and Europe, on the other. Last year, President Barack Obama declared the use of chemical weapons as a red line in Syria, crossing which would lead to unspecified consequences.