Asia and Eurasia
2nd Central Asian Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club
Nizny Novgorod

On May 17-18, Nizhny Novgorod will host the 2nd Central Asian Conference of the Valdai Discussion Club. This year’s theme is “Russia — Central Asia: Cooperation and Development Amid Instability”.

The Central Asian Conference will be attended by about 40 experts from 9 countries — Russia, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The event is expected to be opened by Gleb Nikitin, Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Region, and Andrey Rudenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
This year, Nizhny Novgorod, one of the largest cities in the European part of Russia, is chosen as the venue for the Central Asian Conference, serving as a link between Europe and Asia from a historical and civilisational point of view. The symbolism of this choice lies in the fact that Nizhny Novgorod is Russia’s deep rear area: during the Time of Troubles, it was there that the people’s militia was formed to fight the European interventionists, and during the Great Patriotic War the industrial, intellectual and human reserves of the city made an invaluable contribution to the of the former Soviet Union’s Victory over Nazi Germany, common for all republics.

The theme of this year’s conference is devoted to cooperation and development of Russia and the states of Central Asia in the conditions of present instability. The current international situation is characterised by the highest level of conflict in relations between the West and Russia in the last 30 years. At the same time, the processes that led to the acute phase of the crisis were launched many years ago. The Ukrainian crisis has become just one of the manifestations of these processes.

What is happening will inevitably affect Russia’s interaction with its regional partners. The Valdai Club Conference is designed to fully reflect the fundamental processes at the macro-regional level. According to the organisers, the main goal of the players in the Eurasian space today is to maintain stability and predictability in relations with each other.

The Central Asian Conference will last two days. The programme will include an opening, four thematic sessions and an open discussion. The opening of the conference and the first session (May 17), as well as the final open discussion (May 18) will be available to the media and the general public and will be broadcast on the Club’s website.

The main topics of the conference are the following:

  • Development of Russia and Central Asia in the context of new geopolitical turbulence;
  • Collective security in Central Asia;
  • Cooperation between Russia and the countries of the region in the field of economy and transport;
  • Interregional ties between Russia and the five republics of Central Asia.
The foreign participants of the conference include: Rashid Alimov, SCO Secretary General (2016-2018); Mehdi Sanaei, Associate Professor, Faculty of World Studies, University of Tehran, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Iran to Russia (2013 — 2019); Rakhim Oshakbaev, Director of the TALAP Center for Applied Research; Kanatbek Aziz, Professor, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic; Kubatbek Rakhimov Executive Director of the Public Foundation “Applicata — Center for Strategic Decisions”, Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic (2019-2020); Bakhtishod Khamidov, Deputy Director of the Institute for Forecasting and Macroeconomic Research under the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of the Republic of Uzbekistan; Raj Kumar Sharma, Research Fellow, Delhi School of Transnational Relations, University of Delhi; Wang Wen, Executive Dean of the Chongyang Financial Research Institute of the Renmin University of China (RDCY), Vice President of the Silk Road School of the Renmin University of China; Nandan Unnikrishnan, Honorary Fellow, Observer Research Foundation; Muhammad Athar Javed, founder, CEO of Pakistan House, director of the Center for Russian Studies; Feng Shaolei, Director of Centre for Russian Studies, Director of Centre for Co-development with Neighboring Countries, East China Normal University.

The Russian participants include: Ivan Safranchuk, Director and Leading Research Fellow of the Center for Eurasian Studies at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO); Yana Leksyutina, Professor of the Faculty of International Relations of St. Petersburg State University; Marcel Salikhov, Director of the HSE Center for Economic Expertise; Andrey Grozin, Senior Researcher at the Center for the Study of Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Ural-Volga Region of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Department of Central Asia and Kazakhstan of the ANO “Institute of Diaspora and Integration”; Andrey Bystritskiy, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club; Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Timofei Bordachev, Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club, and others.

Working languages: English, Russian.

Information for the media! In order to be accredited for the event, please fill out the form on our website or call +7 926 930 77 63. Accreditation is open until 15:00 Moscow time on May 16.