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.
05/22/201211:11 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.
05/05/201211:40 After 7 May Medvedev will move to the White House, and his concerns then will focus on economic and social issues. Medvedev will continue to act as a moderating force within the regime, but his modernising aspirations will come to nothing unless they are reinforced either by presidential or popular support.
05/04/201210:54 For the time being the impression is that Medvedev has decided to follow in Putin’s wake. He has himself decided to distance himself from a number of modernization initiatives. In addition, he has abruptly given up on a number of other side issues that are still followed by the thinking part of society, such as the Magnitsky case and the YUKOS saga.
05/04/201210:18 Medvedev conducted himself with great dignity. He enabled Russia, by doing what he did, to enjoy the quality which he and Putin talk about endlessly: namely stability, political stability. But it's a quality which is extremely valuable. Therefore he has provided a very great service to his country.
05/03/201210:03 Four years of Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency were a missed opportunity in terms of modernizing the country. The President genuinely believed he could lead Russia forward on a number of axes, including political reform, judicial reform, police reform, but he mostly outlined the need for reforming those areas.
03/20/201210:54 Russia needs a one million man army. That level of manpower is excessive for dealing with local and regional conflicts, while more serious conflicts with NATO or China can be deterred with nuclear weapons.
02/22/201214:56 Army-General Nikolai Makarov, the Chief of the Russian General Staff launched an apparently scathing attack on the domestic defense industry. His comments provoked public controversy with the Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. However, as the Russian media focused on Makarov’s statements, it appears to have missed an important point. No other general supported the views offered by the Chief of the General Staff; their silence is deafening.
02/02/201210:42 The most important effect on the Russian economy from the European crisis is the tightening of the credit conditions. Since summer last year it is much more difficult for the Russian corporate banking sector to borrow abroad, compared to say 12-18 months ago. As a result many Russian companies and banks have to repay old debts while not being able to borrow new ones.
02/01/201210:03 One of the most important events of last year for Russia’s national defense was the adoption and launch of the State Arms Procurement Program for 2011-2020. It heralded the start of a large-scale rearmament of the Army, Navy and Air Force and the introduction of new and up-to-date weapons and military equipment.
01/19/201216:57 Russia can produce anything it wants. Global competition allows new players who can offer something better to establish themselves on the market. But Russia does not have the political will and is not making the administrative efforts necessary to achieve an innovation breakthrough.