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.
05/07/201311:16 The President’s best decision during his first year in office is the start of an anticorruption fight and the dismissal of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov (replaced by the popular Sergei Shoigu). As for his worst decision, it is appointing Dmitry Medvedev as Prime Minister, something that sparked quite a serious negative reaction.
05/31/201216:35 In the past sixty years Europe refused its imperial ambitions and became a "small country" in military terms, while its soft power and economic power became more important for the European leaders. In Russia, however, soft power is non-existent, so Russia’s claim as one of the global leaders can only be asserted by demonstrations of its hard power.
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.