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.
04/19/201310:29 Moscow’s primary challenge is to prevent an armed conflict on the Korean peninsula, which would most likely cause an environmental catastrophe in the neighboring Russian Far East. Moscow is not interested in an American military operation near Russia’s borders. In this respect, Russia’s aims are nearly identical to China’s interests.
04/10/201313:11 Pyongyang is trying to mobilize North Korean society around the new leader Kim Jong Un and to convince North Koreans that their young but bold leader is standing up to US imperialists. On the other hand, North Korea wants to pressure the United States and force it to continue dialogue.
03/29/201310:32 Although multilateral cooperation on nuclear issues has been effective in some cases, such as in ratifying the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, it has been inadequate in others, such as in easing tensions with Iran and North Korea. In fact, even when China, Russia, and the US share the same agenda, their differing diplomatic tactics often undermine their ability to achieve their objectives.
03/11/201310:35 The attitude of Russians to the United States is largely determined by the latter’s military and political activities. At the same time a mere 18% of Russians have negative impressions of the United States. As for Americans’ views on Russians, they are generally positive despite anti-Russian rhetoric in the media.
03/06/201310:03 Kazakhstan needs a more effective mechanism of cooperation with Russia in space exploration and other joint projects. If Russia leaves Baikonur, its place will immediately be taken by the United States, the EU and China. So the Baiterek space launch complex will be created at Baikonur anyway.
02/12/201310:15 Relations between any two major powers is always a mix of cooperation and competition. Rather, a strategic dialogue seeks to expand the strategic opportunities of each country to advance its interests, while mitigating the consequences of the inevitable continuing differences.
02/06/201310:17 There will be inevitable ups and downs in U.S.-Russian relations as the two countries partner on some issues on which it is beneficial for both of them to be allied, and compete and experience tensions on other issues, where their vital interests diverge. This means there isn’t much chance of consistently smooth relations between the two countries.
02/01/201310:31 Russia and the United States do not have a solid economic foundation for stable relations, which explains the recent diplomatic crisis between our countries. Current tensions are also due to the fact that the reset agenda has been exhausted. All that could be done has already been done.
01/16/201312:27 The true impact of the new Obama administration and Kerry's leadership will be in setting up a new, profoundly different framework and foundation of the relationship between the two countries. This new foundation should take into account legitimate long-term interests of all participants and abandon the zero-sum approach of the Cold War.
01/15/201310:19 The challenge for Washington and Moscow now is whether they can move beyond the reset and current frictions to build a more sustainable relationship, deepening cooperation on issues where their interests converge while defending their positions where they differ.