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.
07/18/201311:00 The growth of shale gas market segment is an indirect threat to Russia, which has already materialized. Also European power plants are increasingly switching from gas to coal on the back of increased imports of cheap American coal.
07/01/201310:58 More than 60 percent of Arctic oil and gas resources are deposited in areas which belong to or are claimed by the Russian Federation. It accounts for 375 billion barrels of oil. The general development of the hydrocarbon-driven economy in the Arctic must deal with energy security. It creates an ‘Arctic paradox’ whereby an increased utilization of off-shore hydrocarbons will contribute to climate change.
12/26/201210:54 For Russia, South Stream is above all an instrument for enhancing the reliability of gas supplies to Europe, which is the key consumer of Russian natural gas. In terms of profitability, Gazprom’s investment in the project will be partly compensated by the revenues of Russian steel and pipe-building companies, which will provide their products for the pipeline.
06/14/201210:14 The reality is that the Russian gas exporter, Gazprom, is as dependent on the European market as the Europeans are on Russian gas. So a great deal of the anxiety about dependence on Russian gas really doesn’t reflect the reality, which is that Gazprom earns most of its profits exporting gas to Europe and to date Gazprom doesn’t mostly export gas to Asia, that’s the future.
05/23/201213:55 The reality is that the Russian gas exporter, Gazprom, is as dependent on the European market as the Europeans are on Russian gas. So a great deal of the anxiety about dependence on Russian gas really doesn’t reflect the reality, which is that Gazprom earns most of its profits exporting gas to Europe and to date Gazprom doesn’t mostly export gas to Asia, that’s the future.
03/26/201213:14 One of the most obvious obstacles to implementing the Trans-Caspian project is the undefined legal status of the Caspian Sea. Iran and Russia believe that construction of the pipeline cannot and must not begin before all five Caspian countries have signed a treaty on the legal status of the sea.
10/24/201110:28 Over the past 20 years, the industry has been using facilities created during the Soviet era, and has only built a few new ones. The majority of its assets is obsolete and need to be repaired and upgraded. Humanity is starting to save resources by using energy efficient technology, alternative fuels, and renewable sources of energy.
10/14/201114:29 Africa is gaining greater importance in the foreign policy of developed nations, who are competing for influence on the continent. The United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, and India all seek to expand political and economic ties with African nations. Their main interest in Africa lies in their growing need for its vast resources. Moreover, Africa remains an enormous and largely undeveloped market for technology and consumer goods.
09/14/201110:04 China and Russia will not ship oil and gas across a transit country. Both countries have a solid international reputation in terms of their solvency and credit worthiness. They do not need to fear potential “gas wars,” such as those that marred Russia’s relations with Ukraine and Belarus.
07/26/201111:12 Nabucco and South Stream are very different in both concept and structure, and this is important for understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each project. Nabucco is a mercantile pipeline. It is being developed and financed by gas companies with backing from the European Union.