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.
10/24/201310:25 Would the world necessarily be a better place if America returns to normal and bases its foreign policy solely on the national interest? Is President Putin not concerned that in a world of self-interested powers we will see more genocides and suffering?
10/07/201311:53 The resolution on Syria has indeed showcased Russian diplomats’ professionalism. It is also a victory for all those who want to see the military threat level reduced. Both Russia and the US have demonstrated readiness to compromise and overcome differences, which is particularly vital, given the mutual grievances and misunderstandings on a whole range of other issues.
08/26/201317:47 The report assesses the ongoing transformation of the Middle East and offers a forecast of future developments. The authors focus on Islam and its values as a political force in the Middle East and North Africa. The key issue is the opposition between ideology and pragmatism. The authors seek to answer the following question: “Can ideology and pragmatism coexist, or are they bound to lead to conflict and upheaval, like we are witnessing today?”
06/27/201311:08 The purpose of Russian peacekeepers is really to prevent small groups of extreme activists trying to explode the whole situation and drag both Syria and Israel into a much bigger and hugely dangerous conflagration. So it's definitely a force for stabilization, and should be endorsed, both by the European powers and by the United Nations.
06/13/201310:05 Iran will go to the polls to elect a new president. It would be folly for the world community to expect any sudden changes in Tehran — including with regard to its nuclear program and its relationship with Bashar al-Assad in Damascus — even if a more moderate candidate prevails. Iran will continue to be a major power with, at the very least, regional ambitions.
06/10/201309:24 The Russian Mediterranean squadron will have six or seven warships and several support vessels that can operate in the Atlantic and Indian oceans, if need be. The US Sixth Fleet has from 40 to 50 warships, including one or two aircraft carriers. These are incomparable forces. The federal armament program provides for the presence of about 20 warships of various designations in the Black Sea by late 2020.
06/07/201311:33 Both Assad and his opponents are well aware that their foreign patrons — Russia and the West, respectively — cannot stop supporting their allies without suffering a serious blow to their image.
06/04/201311:10 Iran continues to send signals of its willingness to pursue further cooperation with Russia at the Bushehr NPP site. The construction of two new energy reactors might soon commence on the Persian Gulf coast. Russia has its own reasons to pursue such cooperation. Moscow needs an infrastructure project that would serve as an anchor in Russian-Iranian relations.
05/23/201311:34 Iran has made varying degrees of progress down the tracks—enrichment, weaponization and delivery system—needed to have a viable nuclear weapon. How far will it proceed? One option is to build a bomb and, to show the world its nuclear prowess, conduct a test. But that option poses real risks for the Iranian government.