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.
10/23/201310:40 Is the former NSA analyst a modern-day dissident? Both Solzhenitsyn and Snowden revealed their findings to foreigners and not to their own domestic bureaucrats. American and British authorities have put pressure on the journalists who helped Snowden as KGB pursued friends of Solzhenitsyn.
10/11/201310:33 American exceptionalism is the chief source of friction in U.S. relations with the likes of Russia and China, as well as other non-Western centers of power, as well as the reason for the profound re-thinking of U.S. foreign policy. Again, it all comes down to exceptionalism. As long as that remains a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy philosophy, relations with global centers of power that do not recognize U.S. leadership or the universality of its values will remain gridlocked.
09/04/201310:40 For the past two and a half years, Russia has been America’s major opponent around the world, from Syria to Iran to Europe. U.S.–Russian relations are on the rocks. America is ready to improve them if Moscow plays ball, and Russia stands to gain if the relations improve. It is up to President Putin to reach out to the U.S. and reverse the current deterioration.
09/03/201310:01 It is better to use the current pause to work out an agenda for bilateral relations aimed at the future. Its main objective should be the limitation of growing chaos and the leadership in solving global problems. Both Russia and, even more so, the United States cannot do without each other.
08/13/201311:09 The summit meeting would have been useful as a way to reinvigorate the relationship, as a way to signal to the bureaucracies in both countries about what they needed to do in order to get the relationship moving again. There's always kind of a tension between having the two leaders meet in order to push the process forward, and then the role that the summit plays as a kind of symbolic message about the state of the relationship.
08/09/201311:43 There is no need to worry about the cancellation of Obama-Putin meeting. It was not quite obvious to Americans why the two presidents should meet face to face. These meetings breed excessively high expectations because they are infrequent and always attract much interest. It was not clear what was to be negotiated; neither was there an effective and coordinated agenda.
08/08/201311:59 It is very unlikely that the US administration will prioritize Russia less than in the past. US interests include finding a solution to the Iran nuclear crisis, stopping the violence in Syria, easing tensions in Afghanistan, and maintaining stability in global energy markets.
08/08/201311:26 The Kremlin delivered a diplomatic blow to U.S.–Russian relations when Moscow granted former NSA analyst Edward Snowden a temporary political asylum. Now, the White House may cancel a U.S.–Russia summit that was scheduled for early September, and Obama’s Russian reset policy will require significant re-examination.
08/06/201310:54 Russia’s decision to grant temporary asylum to Edward Snowden sent a clear message: it was more important for President Putin to reap the political dividends of having him stay in Russia than to pursue better relations with the United States. That is certainly how this decision is understood in Washington
07/17/201313:51 Russia and the U.S. seem to have resumed their strategic dialogue by mid-summer. Following the May 7 visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Moscow, the two countries have unblocked arms control talks, which had been suspended in mid-2011. The meeting between President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama in Lough Erne on June 17 showed that the dialogue will focus on three areas.