The message from this year’s annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club was clear: The U.S.-led hegemonic world order is over, Pax Americana is dead and soon Russia, along with China, will lead the way in promoting a new, “democratic” word order. And what is a democratic world order? One in which independent states set the rules for “responsible behavior” and the United States and allies can no longer dictate the rules.
This year’s Valdai, unlike all previous meetings, ignored the West, focusing entirely on Russia, Asia and the Middle East.Taking advantage of Russian Energy Week, which was happening in Moscow at the same time as we were at the Valdai meeting in Sochi, Energy Minister Alexander Novak and OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo traveled to Valdai to praise each other for the excellent cooperation between OPEC and Russia. According to Barkindo, the January 2017 agreement between OPEC and 10 other non-OPEC countries, led by Russia, to set limits on oil production “resuscitated the fortunes of OPEC.”