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.
06/10/201309:24 The Russian Mediterranean squadron will have six or seven warships and several support vessels that can operate in the Atlantic and Indian oceans, if need be. The US Sixth Fleet has from 40 to 50 warships, including one or two aircraft carriers. These are incomparable forces. The federal armament program provides for the presence of about 20 warships of various designations in the Black Sea by late 2020.
01/31/201310:38 The fact of the recurring presence of the Russian fleet in a region in which a conflict is growing hotter constitutes a statement in and of itself. This Russian measure, accompanied by blunt rhetoric, indicates an effort at deterrence in the Syrian theater, as well as a general demonstration of force.
01/28/201310:09 Whatever the exact circumstances, the Russian navy has established a “de facto” presence in the eastern and central parts of the Mediterranean, as well as the Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea. Although the objectives vary from region to region, this very fact suggests that times have changed.
09/12/201209:58 Moscow will not scale down its peaceful co-operation programmes with Damascus. The only exception is new contracts for arms supplies. Even so, Russia’s willingness to continue its economic and political dialogue with Damascus, despite the bloodshed in Syria, does not mean Moscow will enter the war to support the incumbent President Bashar Assad.
08/07/201210:27 In addition to eight nuclear-powered missile-carrying Yury Dolgoruky-class submarines, the Navy will commission eight nuclear multipurpose submarines, eight diesel-electric submarines and 51 modern surface warships, including 15 frigates, up to 25 corvettes, and four Mistral class amphibious helicopter carriers until 2020.
04/25/201214:07 The modernization of Russia's Caspian Flotilla triggered the naval arms race in the Caspian Sea. There is no reason whatsoever to be concerned about the strength of Russia’s military positions in the Caspian region. The likelihood of a Russian-Azerbaijani sea conflict seems very remote.
04/18/201211:13 It seems that the question of a possible war on Iran is taking center stage on Russia’s agenda as well. There is evidence of heightened diplomatic activity, along with military preparations and an expanded public debate reflecting differences of opinion within the Russian establishment.