4th annual conference of the Middle East Dialogue of the Valdai International Discussion Club, titled “Islam in Politics: Ideology or Pragmatism?”, will take place in Marrakesh, Morocco, on May 14-15.
Issues of commonalities and differences in the Muslim communities of Russia and Canada, as well as problems of their integration into the legal frameworks of their respective countries, were the main topics of discussion at the conference Muslims in Russia, the CIS, and Canada: Cohabitation and Cooperation
The conference Muslims in Russia, the CIS, and Canada: Cohabitation and Cooperation presented by Carleton’ Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, the Department of Political Science, the Carleton Centre for the Study of Islam, and the Valdai Discussion Club is to be held on March 8, 2013 at the Carleton University, Ottawa.
The analytical report “Russia’s Economy: after Transformation, before Modernization” was prepared after discussions at the Valdai Discussion Club Summit held on October 21–22, 2012. The report incorporates many of the conclusions on Russia’s political development contained in the 2011 Valdai report “Russia Should Not Miss Its Chance: Development Scenarios”.
The Russia Development Index (Valdai Index) reflects the combined opinion of the world's leading experts on Russia as regards Russia’s political, economic, social, cultural and international performance. The annual poll aims to study changes in Russia’s development trends over a year. It is important that respondents assess not the current situation, but changes.
The analytical report “Military Reform: Toward the New Look of the Russian Army” summarizes the results of the conference of the Valdai Discussion Club Defense and Security section titled “Modernization of Russia’s Armed Forces and Cooperation in International Security” which was held on May 25-27, 2011 in Moscow.
Under Obama’s “reset” policy, Russia got what it wanted: a START ballistic missile reduction agreement that benefited Moscow; U.S. prolonged involvement in Afghanistan, where Americans are killing those who may threaten Russia’s allies and its own soft underbelly; the de-facto recognition of Russia’s “sphere of exclusive interests” in the former Soviet Union, and a much-coveted membership in the World Trade Organization.
Do Russians prefer Romney or Obama? In fact, neither candidate excites Russians too much, due to the dwindling fascination with all things American, including the sacrosanct ritual of the American presidential election.
Obama is better for Russia, but it is unclear what to expect of him in a second term. Russian-U.S. relations will continue to be both predictable and unpredictable – any escalation in tensions will prompt us to continue counting missiles.
More attention needs to be paid to arms control in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, since it is an opportunity to make Americans safer and to advance American security. Since the U.S. and Russia signed the New START treaty in 2011 arms control implementation is going smoothly, but that there are still challenges, in particular with regard to missile defense and further reductions in warheads.
The Cuban missile crisis had a profound impact on key U.S. policymakers and on parts of the Soviet leadership, when they realized how close we had come to the nuclear abyss. During the crisis the risk of a large-scale nuclear exchanges was very real.
The irony is that November’s election is not likely to have a major impact on U.S.-Russia relations. The Kremlin’s own approach will remain the same whatever happens in November. Obama and Romney presumably understand this reality; that is why Russia can serve as a proxy for the bigger foreign policy discussion they are not having.
When Russian authorities asked the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to stop its operations in Russia from October 1, discontent was limited to a small number of politically active NGOs.
The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.
Why did Russian officials choose to make Fogle’s case so public and then insist that it was unlikely to affect U.S.-Russia relations? The official explanation for this is that Moscow had already asked the United States to stop trying to recruit its intelligence officers—which seems like a silly and unrealistic request, since Russian agencies seem unlikely to halt similar steps in the United States—and that officials were frustrated after handling a similar case quietly earlier this year.
In light of the present situation in the Middle East, Russia and Israel find themselves facing common challenges. Under these newly emerging situations, Russia sees its partnership with Israel as a potential asset in resolving acute regional issues. From a Russian perspective, the compatibility of Israeli and Russian interests could contribute to such a partnership.