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.
12/16/201315:03 Turkey and Russia are natural players in Middle East developments in a historical context, and both countries continue to play their roles. But there will be no political unity between the two countries as far as Turkey remains in NATO and continues its negotiations with the EU. Turkey joining the Customs Union seems possible but not realistic.
09/05/201308:26 What will be the role of the UN Security Council’s mission if the US military strike does not stop the ongoing civil war? What will happen if radical Islamic groups like Al- Qaida fighters get the control of the stockpile of chemical weapons? At this crucial point, Russian President Vladimir Putin takes a historical diplomatic responsibility by hosting G20 leaders in St. Petersburg.
11/30/201212:34 The Turkish-Russian relations experienced a very dramatic, positive change in the last ten years, going up to a very high level of trade, tourism and even political relations. The main problem at the moment is Turkey-Syria relations and the recent bringing down of the Syrian plane and that Russia was accused of sending weapons to Syria. Turkish decision to deploy Patriot missile systems was something Russia was not happy with.
10/25/201210:25 Turkey now has problems with nearly all of its neighbors. It also has problems with Russia, as Putin’s cancelled visit has shown, although the improvement of relations with Russia was seen as a major achievement of Turkey’s foreign policy. These relationship problems are being fostered by such absurd and unseemly incidents as the forced landing of the Syrian plane.
06/22/201209:00 If Russia leaves the Gabala radar station, the Voronezh-type radar at Armavir will not be able to take over all of its functions. On the other hand, Russia’s refusal to extend the lease would seriously impact its position in the South Caucasus. Given that relations with Georgia have been put on ice and ties with Azerbaijan are cooling, it would be more difficult for Russia to protect its political and economic interests in that region.
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.
03/02/201210:28 Is there a big margin between Russian political elites and the public? Why do people criticize the recent Duma elections in a way that has not been seen since the beginning of Putin’s administration? Is there a threat to Russian democracy which could lead to chaos and a breakdown of normal political life? How popular is Mr. Putin notwithstanding these protests and how long can he enjoy such popularity in the years ahead?
03/02/201210:25 How do the Russian people feel about liberal democracy and transparency mechanisms in their country? Through waves of modernization Russian society is becoming more transparent. The well-educated younger generation is becoming more actively involved in the important issues of the country, and the number of multinational companies doing business in Russia and the number of Russian companies doing business in various regions of the world are increasing rapidly.
03/01/201214:55 According to Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, though the Arab Spring began a year ago, which is a rather short period in historical terms for these types of transformation, preliminary and interim results can be outlined even now.