Oleg Barabanov
Programme Director of the Valdai Discussion Club; Professor, MGIMO University; Professor, Russian Academy of Sciences

The geopolitical confrontation between Russia and the West, which is very unlikely to end in the coming years, urgently puts the issue of global alternatives on the agenda. First of all, we are talking about the feasibility, sustainability and effectiveness of alternative models of international socio-economic development, the world order and the interaction of value narratives.

Russia is now testing all these models in its own practice. Naturally, the viability of such models in the future will depend on its success or failure.

The key point is to what extent the alternative models will be accepted and supported by other countries outside the Western community, and to what extent the Russian approach (even if its military-political aspect is taken out of the equation) is compatible with their national interests and is in harmony with their aspirations. Russia’s 2024 BRICS presidency is a good opportunity to promote value-based and applied alternatives of the global majority.

Of particular interest are the directions for the further evolution of BRICS, which has already become a symbol of an alternative approach to international affairs. Moreover, it is an attractive symbol, judging by the intention of a number of countries to join BRICS. Noteworthy are the regional trends in the formation of alternative socio-economic and political developments in the countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. We should not disregard the alternatives to the neo-liberal mainstream that are being formulated within the West. All these issues will be the focus of the Valdai Discussion Club’s expert programme.