16th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club to Be Held in Sochi
List of speakers

The 16th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club will be held from September 30 until October 3 in Sochi. This year’s topic is “The Dawn of the East and the World Political Order.”

The upcoming forum will be the culmination of the Club’s work during the preceding year, which has included a series of regional conferences and new formats for international dialogue, as well as events dedicated to the East in a broad sense. At the forefront are questions about the influence of the East on the world order, and about a changing world where the role of Asia is growing and non-Western perspectives and political systems are coming to the fore.

The choice of the topic of the Annual Meeting reflects the strengthening of Russia’s geopolitical position, the desire to give more weight to the eastern vector of foreign policy, the intensification of competition, and the need to increase its own competitiveness. Moreover, world players consider the East to be a field for the main “great game” of the coming decades.

After 2015, Russia became a key participant in the events in the Middle East. The Valdai Club’s Annual Meeting is slated to address the achievements and problems associated with the Syrian peace process and its impact on the entire region.

No less important is East Asia. Since 2013, when President Vladimir Putin proclaimed the development of the (Russian) Far East “a national task for the 21st century”, Russia’s turn to a growing Asia has become one of the main impulses of its foreign and domestic policies.

This year, Club guests will find a wide geographic coverage and a rich programme. The main topics are:

  • The Middle East as a laboratory of world politics

  • Religious extremism and its impact on politics

  • The development of of Greater Eurasia as a new way of organising geo-economic space

  • How Asia Works. Asia-Pacific, the Indo-Pacific, and other strategic constructs

  • Breaking new ground in the world economy: will Asia act as a driver of growth or a space for confrontation?

  • The resettlement of people: How migration is changing the world.

For the first time, special sessions will be devoted to new initiatives that were not previously included in the agendas of the Annual Meetings: “World energy markets: how to avoid instability and ensure a balance of interests”, “Russia and the Islamic world: How they interact and influence each other,” and “Africa: prospects, opportunities, risks and threats.”

The meeting will begin with the traditional presentation of the new annual report on the situation in the world, prepared by the Valdai Club experts. The annual report is an indicator of the state of international relations, and this year the authors, analysing the course of events, put forward a notable hypothesis.

The third Valdai Club Award Ceremony, established in 2016, will be held as part of the annual meeting. The Award is given to those who make a significant contribution to understanding and explaining changes and trends in world politics. The names of the laureates and the winner will be unveiled on September 30.

For the first time, the Annual Meeting of the Valdai Club will be attended by a number of current Russian cabinet ministers and regional leaders of the Russian Federation, who will speak at regular sessions, as well as by international officials, prominent political and public figures, leading foreign and Russian experts in the field of international relations, and specialists in regional studies, military research, geopolitics, and economics.

The Valdai Discussion Club was established in 2004. Over the years, it has become an internationally-recognised platform for interaction between globally renowned experts and Russian scholars, politicians and government officials. Today, the Club’s activities are focused on research in the field of global political and economic processes. In the years since it was founded more than 1,000 representatives of the world expert community from 74 countries have taken part in the work of the Club.

Accreditation for press to participate in the Valdai Club Annual Meeting in Sochi will last until 16:00 September 27.

For accreditation, please fill out the form on our website.