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.
10/31/201310:40 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.
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.
08/30/201310:42 The Middle East has already seen its fair share of wars, i.e. Iraq and Libya. As of today, the armed conflict in Syria may enter a new phase. The only thing that seems to be missing is a Iran-Israel clash with Saudi involvement. Should this happen, the conflict could well be classed as a major war.
08/27/201310:02 The ongoing controversy over the alleged use of chemical weapons in Ghoutta, near Damascus, has again highlighted the divide between Russia and China, on the one hand, and the United States and Europe, on the other. Last year, President Barack Obama declared the use of chemical weapons as a red line in Syria, crossing which would lead to unspecified consequences.
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
07/31/201315:46 Edward Snowden belongs to that generation of militants who do believe in the web as a tool for democratization, and do think that, to some extent, intelligence services of big states intend to monitor and to control the web at the expense of civil societies. These militants want to fight against the "raison d'Etat".
07/05/201312:51 Russia would really like to resolve the Korean Peninsula’s tensions, because Russia then can build the Trans-Korean pipeline and use that as another avenue to reach out to rest of East Asia. And that would benefit U.S. goals by raising living standards in North Korea and the state of regional stability.
07/05/201308:18 According to Valdai Club experts, the search of President Evo Morales’ plane at a Vienna airport was not so much a violation of international law as it was a breach of international norms. The Europeans demonstrated to the Bolivian president that his country, like other countries of Latin America, has peripheral status.
07/02/201309:45 What are the options open to Russia? Handing over Snowden to the US will be a huge loss of face but his continued presence in Sheremetyevo will be untenable and will increasingly look as if Moscow is showing the thumb up at Obama. As a pragmatist, President Vladimir Putin would estimate that the damage to Russia’s ties with the US will be substantial.
06/25/201309:10 There is no question of Russia giving asylum to Snowden. However, it will be fun to watch how Washington makes a demarche with Moscow. To be sure, it will be an awfully embarrassing thing for the US to do after having given asylum to the notorious Chechen separatist leader Ilyas Akhmadov almost a decade ago.