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.
09/21/201215:07 The protest movement needs to radically change its tactics, by focusing on the elections and election monitoring missions, which in itself are a great resource. Obviously, this new tactic will drive away some of the activists in Moscow, but in general the public has already been energized. At this stage the opposition needs to focus on long-term efforts to create structures in the regions.
08/23/201210:31 While the government was busy safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity and its international position, Russians adopted many Western concepts, such as the ideology of consumption. The government’s inability to meet their new economic and political needs may generate many problems and challenges that Putin will have to face.
08/22/201210:20 So far Russian protesters are not anti-systemic – they are just counterrevolutionary (if what we saw in Russia from 1991 - 2012 was a revolution). They are nationalistic and do not think about the restoration of the past, rather about the replacement of the current ruling group. That will be the main challenge for Russia next electoral cycle.
08/17/201213:36 No matter what Putin does, he is unlikely to change the views of those who consider him an “enemy of democracy.” The majority of our society continues to regard Putin as all but the most lucky and successful leader. When he became president for the first time, Russia had a smaller economy than Belgium.
08/09/201211:12 Putin, and the conservative advisers he is currently listening to, have yet to show that they realize the scale of the political change that is taking place in Russia. It is generational. It is an awakening, and once awake people will not go back to sleep so soon.
06/29/201212:51 It is difficult to split the opposition any further. It has demonstrated a complete inability to come to terms. Navalny’s work for Aeroflot can’t deepen the rift between the opposition leaders because their political, economic and even philosophical views are already poles apart.
04/26/201209:59 Many supporters of rightwing liberal views do not consider Prokhorov their leader. There are a few reasons for this. First, he has not a clearly defined political commodity; second, his attempts to reform the Right Cause party failed; and third, his dubious morals and scandal-tarred image.
04/25/201210:37 Participants in the rallies on Bolotnaya Square and other places in Moscow and other cities signed the united opposition program. Not a single item of this program has been implemented. Of course, the authorities announced that the elections of governors will be introduced as well as political plurality, but so far we have seen nothing else but imitation of a genuine political process.
04/24/201210:31 The drive for power might be the predominant motive in the struggle for leadership of the protests at the moment, though the major point today is whether the leaders can gather enough societal support and to what extent they can go beyond current “rally politics”.
04/13/201210:29 The contemporary protest movement is far less tied to the political personas of particular leaders than past movements. There is no common platform or organization for this opposition movement, a fact which reduces the danger that it will be captured by demagogues but which also makes it difficult for it to enter into dialogue with the authorities.