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.
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.
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?
Is the former NSA analyst a modern-day dissident? Both Solzhenitsyn and Snowden revealed their findings to foreigners and not to their own domestic bureaucrats. American and British authorities have put pressure on the journalists who helped Snowden as KGB pursued friends of Solzhenitsyn.
The oil and gas production boost in the US may propel the country to the top of the hydrocarbons industry before the year is out. It has already influenced the Russian energy industry because the Shtockman field is basically frozen, as it was intended for exports to the US.
Americans have to ask themselves important questions like: who created Al-Qaeda? Al-Qaeda was created by the CIA and the Saudi intelligence service. America never faced reality during the Cold War. America was willing to partner with anybody who wanted to fight the Soviet Union.
While Russia has reduced its deployed strategic warheads and deployed missiles and bombers to levels below New START’s limits, U.S. strategic forces remain well above. The United States should accelerate treaty implementation, particularly of the limit on deployed strategic warheads.
America is in a specific position because it's still the strongest military power on the global scene. But it is not the only leader, and we are entering a phase where we have kind of a multipolar world, where there are regions, like America, South America, Europe, Russia, Asia.
New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.
The structure of Nagorno-Karabakh is a Canton-like. There were regions dominated by the Azerbaijanis, there were regions dominated by the Armenians. Without the return of all the people who would like to go back there, we cannot talk about any recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh or discussions of this issue.
Violent suppression of protests can lead not to stabilization but just the opposite. It forces Yanukovych to seek solidarity only in Moscow. It puts Russia in a position where it will again be involved in Ukrainian politics. And in this murky swamp, we have repeatedly gotten bogged down.
The consequences of marketisation and competitive capitalism in Russia not only changed the form of inequalities but greatly amplified them both between and within regions. There is a polarisation between the rich and the poor in the richest areas which is paralleled, though to a slightly less unequal extent, in the poorer regions. The same economic principles work in all regions, despite some being more poorly endowed than others.