Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Dean of the School of International Relations at MGIMO University
The Middle East remains one of the most conflict-ridden regions in the world, although 2019 could be marked by a gradual decline in the level of tension with the war in Syria drawing to an end, appeasement in the Yemen conflict, and the EU’s willingness to promote trade and economic ties with Iran despite US sanctions. And despite the persisting strategic competition in the region, these new trends suggest that regional forces could compete through non-military means. Could economic cooperation become a factor of stability that facilitates the settlement of the problems the Middle East is facing? Will there be any significant progress in terms of how the North-South international transportation corridor operates? What are the prospects for post-war Syria? The program focuses on analyzing Russia’s engagement in this new environment and imagining a tentative peace in the Middle East.