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.
11/07/201310:40 An ability to quickly mobilize one’s allies (not only in the military sense) and to deliver a most resolute and prompt strike at one’s enemies or even undesirable countries is becoming an increasingly important requirement for a state’s survival and competitiveness. This is why NATO, the last peacetime military alliance, has very promising prospects.
08/29/201310:35 The problem is, the Obama White House and State Department are losing interest in the post-Soviet space, and their interest may decline even further following the departure of NATO forces from Afghanistan.
08/16/201310:20 Russia should consider coming up with a western policy concept using the old ideas of Germany’s eastern policy. A “conservative revolution” is unfolding in Russia as a response to the western postmodern mindset, but there are a lot of conservatives and traditionalists in the West as well. Russia should renew its dialogue with the EU on the creation of a free-trade zone, and could get there by accelerating the adoption of WTO rules.
08/15/201311:33 Despite a multitude of various official doctrines and concepts, the Russian approach to strategic policy and national defence planning still remains internally inconsistent and haphazard. The Russian National Security Doctrine-2020, approved by erstwhile President Dmitry Medvedev in May 2009 (and clearly developed under the guidance of Vladimir Putin) is largely devoid of any political commitments or meaningful strategies.
08/07/201310:31 The fundamental challenge is that Russia’s leaders do not share Obama’s aversion to nuclear weapons. On the contrary, they believe that, while the likelihood of a nuclear war has fallen sharply since the end of the Cold War, nuclear deterrence has become more valuable for Russia and other countries that are outmatched by America’s conventional military power. This might prove to be an insurmountable obstacle to realizing the Obama administration’s vision of a nuclear-weapons-free world.
06/17/201310:30 In the last 20 years Germany has become for Moscow a kind of a bridge to the United States and NATO. Closer coordination between Berlin and Washington would mean the end to this. Politically Germany – Russia’s closest partner until recently – would become less hospitable. This would reduce the potential of Russia’s European policy against the backdrop of closer partnership between France and the UK.
05/06/201312:04 The pull-out of a considerable portion of the peacekeeping forces from Afghanistan in 2014 is forcing Moscow to re-evaluate the threats that will emerge on the borders of CIS countries. The situation appears even more uncertain given Afghanistan’s presidential elections scheduled for April 2014.
04/25/201310:05 Russia-NATO cooperation on Afghanistan is coming to an end for objective reasons. If NATO withdraws most of its troops from Afghanistan by late 2014, it won’t need Russia’s help as much. If there’s no cooperation on the Afghan problem, Moscow and Washington will have nothing to show for their partnership.
04/18/201312:07 The Arab Spring and the crisis in Syria merely aggravated contradictions that had formed a gap between Realpolitik and the observance of the de jure intact norms of international law. Today’s question is this: Is the international community able to take concerted actions or will inflated ambitions of regional centers of power gain the upper hand?