Valdai Club to Discuss a New Cold War in the Indo-Pacific
Conference Hall, Tsvetnoy boulevard, 16/1, Moscow, Russia
List of speakers

On November 10, at 15:00 Moscow time (GMT+3), the Valdai Club will host an expert discussion, titled “AUKUS: A New Cold War in the Indo-Pacific?”

In September 2021, the United States, Britain and Australia entered into a trilateral defence cooperation agreement – AUKUS. The main tasks for this cooperation were named: strengthening stability in the Indo-Pacific, developing Australia's military potential and jointly combating new challenges to regional security. However, there is a reason to believe that the new agreement could undermine rather than strengthen security in the Indo-Pacific. Although officially the new alliance does not have an anti-Chinese orientation, it is obvious that its creation will lead to an increase in the presence of the participating countries in a part of the world that has traditionally been the sphere of influence of Beijing, and will become an attempt to contain China, and possibly the beginning of a new Cold War with a large-scale arms race.

A number of states, including Russia, have expressed concern that the new format for cooperation could potentially lead to a violation of the nonproliferation regime. AUKUS assumes that the nuclear powers – the United States and Britain – will transfer to Australia the technology for building nuclear submarines with conventional weapons, which could become a dangerous precedent and open a new way for the creation of nuclear weapons by a non-nuclear power. Also, this agreement has led to the termination of a multibillion-dollar contract between Australia and France for the construction of submarines. Paris considered this step a betrayal – the French ambassadors were recalled from Washington and Canberra.

What could be China’s response to the creation of a new defence alliance? How will the new agreement affect the relations between the United States, its European allies and Australia? Could Australia become a nuclear power in the future? How should Russia react to the emergence of AUKUS? These and other questions will be answered by the participants in the discussion.

  • Salvatore Babones, Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney
  • Andrew Futter, Professor of International Politics, University of Leicester, UK      
  • Vasily Kashin, Senior Research Fellow, Deputy Director, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) 
  • Sim Tack, co-founder and chief military analyst at Force Analysis                      

Working languages: Russian, English.

Information for the media: In order to get accredited for the event, fill out the form on our website or call +79269307763.