Valdai Club and Azerbaijan’s Center of Analysis of International Relations to Discuss Global Energy and International Political Risks
List of speakers

On July 2-3, the Valdai Discussion Club and Azerbaijan’s Center of Analysis of International Relations will hold an international conference titled “Global Energy and International Political Risks”. The event, which will be attended by Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Parviz Shahbazov, marks the beginning of cooperation between the two think tanks.

Recent shocks in the energy markets in the form of an unprecedented decline in world oil prices, the collapse of the OPEC+ deal and the conclusion of a new agreement, coupled with the global economic downturn due to COVID-19, have greatly increased the relevance of the topic of the conference since it was first announced six months ago.

The agenda of the forum includes issues pertaining to the development of the world’s energy resources and key international political risks for the energy sector. This is relevant for Russia and Azerbaijan. Both countries are major suppliers of energy to the world market and are experiencing political risks which have affected the energy industry as a whole – the situation around Iran, sanctions against the oil and gas sector of certain nations, the aggravation of US-China relations, threats to pipeline infrastructure and logistics, the situation in the Middle East and in the Persian Gulf, regional conflicts in the former Soviet Union, etc. Russia and Azerbaijan need a joint-examination and exchange of views, so that if necessary, they may jointly respond to emerging risks.

Within the framework of the conference, a new report of the Valdai Club “Political Risks in Global Energy: From ‘Resource Nationalism’ to ‘Molecules of Freedom’ and Climate Weapons will be presented.

The basic schedule of the conference programme:

  • The first day of the conference, July 2, 10:00-13:25 Moscow time (GMT+3), will be completely open to the media. The expert session, titled “World Energy in the Context of the Transformation of the World Order” will be devoted to the impact of global political shifts on the world energy sector. The key question is: when exactly can the transformation of the world order be expected to go into acute crisis mode and what can be done to reduce costs for the energy industry and the global economy as a whole?

  • 12:00-12:30: A Q&A session with the participation of the media.

  • Within the framework of the conference (at 12:30) speeches will be made by the Minister of Energy of Russia, Alexander Novak, and the Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan, Parviz Shahbazov.

On July 3 the conference will be held in a closed-door format in accordance with Chatham House rules, with the participation of senior representatives from Russia and Azerbaijan. Among the speakers will be Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Aleksandr Pankin and Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov, Russian Deputy Minister of Energy Pavel Sorokin and Deputy Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan Samir Veliyev. Participants in the special session “Relations between Russia and Azerbaijan: Achievements, Challenges, and Prospects for Mutually Beneficial Partnership” will answer the question: What is the future of bilateral relations and what are its growth drivers?

The Valdai Club is constantly expanding the geographic diversity of its partnerships. The conference, conducted in cooperation with the Club’s Azerbaijani partners, is a logical and natural continuation of the participation of President Ilham Aliyev in the annual conference of the Valdai Club in 2019, where he spoke at the plenary session with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as the leaders of the Philippines and Kazakhstan and the king of Jordan. The Valdai Club’s partner is the Azerbaijan Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center), a rapidly growing analytical centre created in 2019 and aimed at developing documents and recommendations on strategic issues in international relations.

The conference will bring together more than 20 participants from Russia, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Germany, including representatives of current government administrations, political scientists, economists, energy specialists, and experts in international relations and regional studies. They include: Farid Shafiev, Chairman of the Board of the Azerbaijan Centre for the Analysis of International Relations; Nizami Safarov, Azerbaijani National Assembly legislator, member of the Committee on Legal Policy and State Building, head of the working group on Azerbaijani-Russian inter-parliamentary relations; Shafi Aldamer, Head of the Department of Global and Social Studies, King Fahd University of Oil and Minerals; Kirsten Westphal, senior associate at the German Institute for Politics and Security in Berlin (confirmation pending); Konstantin Simonov, Director General of Russia’s National Energy Security Fund; Sergey Markedonov, Leading Researcher at the MGIMO Institute of International Studies; Bakhtiyar Aslanbeyli, BP Vice President of Communications and External Relations for the Middle East and Caspian Regions; Esmira Jafarova, member of the Board of the Azerbaijan Centre for the Analysis of International Relations; 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; Ivan Timofeev, Programme Director of the Valdai Club, and others.

Working languages: Russian, English.

Dear members of the press,

You can participate in the conference remotely. For accreditation on the first day of the conference, you must fill out a form on our website and indicate the mobile phone number you use with the WhatsApp application.

You can ask the speakers a question by sending it before the broadcast or live to [email protected] or via WhatsApp to the number +79037262385. Be sure to include your name and position, as well as the name of the speaker to whom the question is addressed. Questions will be asked during the Q&A session.

A link to the live broadcast of the meeting will be posted on all online platforms used by the Valdai Club, including our website, TelegramFacebookVkontakteTwitter, and Instagram.