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.
10/04/201310:56 In the context of the ongoing political game, all unpopular decisions will be ascribed primarily to Medvedev, followed by United Russia. Medvedev’s behavior is marked by inertia. All he’s doing now is playing a behind-the-scenes game to stay on as prime minister.
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.
05/30/201312:52 Dmitry Medvedev’s persistently diminishing authority and, therefore, the projects he supervises become less effective. This is what prompted Putin’s decision to cancel the accession to the Open Government Partnership planned for 2013. Putin is actually relying on the American model, with the president as an absolute leader of the executive power, including the government.
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.
04/08/201312:06 Russia should be regarded as a hybrid economic system supporting two major elite constituencies: a politically led national statist bloc and liberal Western-oriented economic interests favouring neo-liberal market policies. The political leadership is considered to be constituted of a political coalition offering a balance between these two groups.
02/18/201310:32 The political and economic community and experts are well aware that Medvedev is, willingly or unwillingly, one of the top-ranking officials in Putin’s vertical of power. His political future depends more on Vladimir Putin and less on himself, and, of course, the most important factor is the political, economic and social atmosphere in Russia over the next five years.
12/20/201211:34 Given the sheer political impassiveness of the overwhelming part of population in Russia, the implementation of the protest-revolutionary scenario is not viable under current conditions. However, its rising legitimacy in society increases sensitivity to the potential triggers of mass protests. The new wave of the economic crisis could become one of such triggers.
12/13/201211:02 Putin has changed his policy toward his team. He has come to see that abuses of power and corruption have grown to a scale that threatens the survival of the regime. The recent corruption cases are a signal for the elite that they should temper their appetites or risk imprisonment.
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.