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.
11/07/201310:16 From the very beginning of his leadership Putin stressed that Russia must pursue its own path towards modernity and democracy, but he has not claimed that this path is special, in the sense that Russia represents an alternative modernity. On his return to the Kremlin in 2012 Russia’s uniqueness has been accentuated rather more.
10/11/201310:28 The four Russias differ immensely in their levels of urbanization, globalization, technological development, and their promise. Changes in Russia’s political landscape since December 2011, especially the recent regional elections, have highlighted the considerable disparities between Russia’s regions.
10/09/201310:57 On the tenth anniversary of the Club’s formation, the Valdai this year was much larger than before. This year the Kremlin’s main target audience was not the international participants and their audiences, but the Russian population. Part of the message the government wanted to get across of course concerned building up the image of Putin and Russia as important, respected and responsible actors on the world stage.
09/25/201311:26 When Western politicians talk to each other or to their neighbors about Russia, they usually speak about making the country weaker and poorer. However, when the same politicians address the Russian audience, it appears that they dream about making Russia a strong and prosperous state. At the same time, all Western politicians have only one prescription for Russian prosperity: the current authorities should be overthrown and replaced by these or those people.
09/20/201312:21 Valdai Club Russian and foreign experts have said that Vladimir Putin’s statement about the possibility of running for president in 2018 was the most interesting, although not at all unexpected. Members of the Russian opposition, however, pointed to Putin’s words on protest movements in Russia and his promise to consider an amnesty for the Bolotnaya Square protesters.
09/20/201306:11 Russian President Vladimir Putin cautiously reached out to his political opponents on Thursday, welcoming new political leaders, including from opposition parties that currently do not have a place in the existing political elite, and hinting at amnesty for protesters accused of clashing with police at a political rally on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square.
06/25/201312:30 We're not talking about how many liberal-minded people have emigrated so far, but rather about the fact that there are no prospects of a legitimate liberal force taking shape in Russia. So emigration, in whatever form, becomes a private affair rather than a political issue. Russian emigres based in the West easily integrate into local communities, and stop having any tangible influence on Russia.
05/08/201312:05 The liberal, Western-oriented camp that calls itself the “non-systemic” opposition is concentrated in Moscow and is very small on a national scale. However, this is the only opposition that is noticed by the West and as a result they will probably grow even more hysterical in their hatred of the Russian government. The same concerns NGOs with foreign aid.
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.
04/24/201309:53 Nobody has called Alexei Navalny a strong politician as of yet. He is an interesting public figure and sometimes implements very successful initiatives. He made a successful attack on United Russia that became rather famous because he timed the attack with the weakening of the government. However, he became indecisive and largely lost his advantageous position each time after achieving success in such attacks.