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.
12/11/201309:00 Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.
11/29/201313:14 Since the end of the Cold War, our common interests and challenges have outweighed our differences and disagreements. Today the United States and Russia continue to cooperate on a range of vital security and economic interests, including ensuring non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the modern age, reducing nuclear weapons stockpiles, as well as collaborating on regional issues, such as Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and the Middle East Peace Process.
11/18/201308:30 The current developments in Syria are directly related to the broader processes at work in the Arab Spring, which largely explains the alignment of forces on the eve of Geneva 2. Islamists have stepped up their extremist activities. The alignment of forces between pro-government areas and cities and nascent administrative centers held by the opposition remains almost unchanged.
10/31/201310:40 There are surely many opportunities for US-Russian cooperation in the Middle East, just as there are opportunities for a new rivalry to emerge. While the United States and Russia have closely aligned interests when it comes to terrorist groups, the interests overlap less neatly when it comes to relationships with governments, with energy markets, and with weapons sales.
10/24/201310:25 Would the world necessarily be a better place if America returns to normal and bases its foreign policy solely on the national interest? Is President Putin not concerned that in a world of self-interested powers we will see more genocides and suffering?
10/07/201311:53 The resolution on Syria has indeed showcased Russian diplomats’ professionalism. It is also a victory for all those who want to see the military threat level reduced. Both Russia and the US have demonstrated readiness to compromise and overcome differences, which is particularly vital, given the mutual grievances and misunderstandings on a whole range of other issues.
09/30/201313:55 The situation around Syria, in which Russia is now playing a particularly active role, makes one wonder, again and again, whether diplomacy can, in fact, be effective these days. I used to tell younger diplomats at the Foreign Affairs Ministry what Lenin said that not more than 5 percent of the outcome of any foreign policy action depends on diplomats. The rest hangs on the balance of power. The bolder among them would respond: Is it worth the effort at 5 percent?
09/24/201310:38 For Russia and the West, the events in Syria are a clear example of how unpredictable international relations have become. But at the same time, the response to the crisis demonstrates that Moscow and Washington are able to put together a concerted initiative to resolve world conflicts when both parties respect the rules of “fair play”.
09/19/201323:33 Russian President Vladimir Putin sharply criticized Western powers on Thursday for their inability to sufficiently plan for the future of Syria without its president, Bashar Assad, and what to do if terrorists come to power in the country.