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.
Moscow and Obama’s White House view the missile defense dispute through the prism of a broader U.S. political agenda—and disagreements, such as efforts to further reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear forces, Moscow’s continuous support of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, Russia’s lack of real opposition to Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, and North Korea’s truculence.
Why would the Obama administration consider something other than a treaty? Because it fears that Republicans in the Senate would not consider a treaty on its merits. A comparison of the ratification experiences of the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) signed by President George W. Bush in 2002 and the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) signed by Mr. Obama in 2010 provides Exhibit A for those fears.
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.
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.
In several years from now the US-Russia relations might find themselves in a situation where the positive cooperative agenda will shrink or marginalize, while the negative one will grow both in size and importance, and Russia could again color the US as a major threat to its military and political security.
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.
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.
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.
The failure of the Islamist political parties who came to power in the dramatic events of the Arab Spring would allow the military to reenter the political arena. Political Islam was successful in the opposition, but it could fail in power, as the negative experience of Egypt and Iraq have shown.
The Arab Spring has dramatically changed the alignment of forces in the Middle East and North Africa. What are the long-term consequences of these changes and how can relations be established with the new political elites? Politicians and leading experts on Middle East studies discussed these issues at the Valdai International Discussion Club conference, “Islam in Politics: Ideology or Pragmatism?” in Marrakesh, Morocco, on May 14-15.