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.
06/14/201308:00 Medvedev’s cabinet is taking minor, if conspicuous, steps, instead of offering a model for meeting global challenges. It is a transitional government. It was strong when Vladimir Putin was prime minister. Now Putin is president again and his Executive Office is acting as a parallel government.
12/11/201212:42 Experts believe that Medvedev used the interview not as an opportunity to tout his accomplishments as prime minister but to maintain and revitalize his image as a dynamic politician who is willing to speak on issues that go beyond his official responsibilities as prime minister.
08/27/201210:32 Russia’s current political structure leaves no room for any substantive parliamentary discussion. This new Expert Council will, at the very least, enable alternative viewpoints and proposals to be relayed to the prime minister, which should, at least to some extent, level out the flaws of the existing political system, which is crucial for the country’s future.
05/22/201211:11 The cabinet is pretty balanced – there are people who worked with Dmitry Medvedev when he was President, and there are people who worked with Putin during both his terms as President and Prime Minister.
05/05/201210:07 Putin believes Russia has not yet recovered from the collapse of the 1990s and, therefore, it is not fully ready for a pluralistic democracy. He insists that “manual control” must continue in Russia until the country becomes sufficiently mature both civilly and politically.
03/29/201209:42 What will be the function of the prime minister? Will Dmitry Medvedev become a token prime minister like his predecessors during Putin’s first two presidential terms, performing a purely technical role while the president actively presided over the government?