Valdai Discussion Club

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Valdai Discussion Club
TypeThink tank
Founded2004
Headquarters,
Key people
Andrey Bystritskiy
Nadezhda Lavrentieva
Fyodor Lukyanov[1]
Websitevaldaiclub.com

The Valdai Discussion Club is a Moscow-based think tank[2] and discussion forum, established in 2004. It is named after Lake Valdai, which is located close to Veliky Novgorod, where the Club’s first meeting took place. In 2014, the management of the Club was transferred to the Valdai Club Foundation, established in 2011 by the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy, the Russian International Affairs Council, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and Higher School of Economics.[3]

Overview[edit]

The Valdai conference is closely linked with Russian President Vladimir Putin,[4][5] who has met with the participants of the Valdai Club’s annual meetings every year since its founding.[6] Among many other Russian Government officials attending Valdai meetings are Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister and former President; Sergey Ivanov, former Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office; Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Sergey Shoygu, Minister of Defence; and others.[7]

Daniel W. Drezner, professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, describes Valdai as "a swanky high-level conference put on by the Russian elite."[8] Drezner describes Valdai as "the highest-profile Russian equivalent to Davos" and writes that the chief value to attendees is the ability to determine the official line of the Russian government, although attendance also risks "greater legitimacy on a government that has been accused of some less-than-legitimate activities as of late."[8] Nikolay Petrov of the Carnegie Moscow Center identified Valdai as "a project used as blatant propaganda by the Kremlin" while Russian sociologist Lilia Shevtsova criticized the Valdai conferences in an article entitled "Putin's Useful Idiots."[9] Marcel H. Van Herpen identifies Valdai as a soft power effort by the Kremlin in service of Russian foreign policy goals, with Russian leadership using the conference in a bid to (1) gain goodwill among Western intellectuals, (2) create networking opportunities between Russian and Western elites, and (3) "create a testing ground for the Kremlin's foreign policy initiatives."[10] Angus Roxburgh notes that RIA Novosti was important to the establishment of Valdai during Putin's second term, and that the conference plays a key role in the Russian government's effort to burnish Putin's image and influence outsiders.[4]

Professors and scholars from major world universities and think tanks participate in Valdai.[3][11] The Valdai Club also operates regional programmes – Asian,[12] Mid-Eastern [13] and Euro-Atlantic Dialogues.[14] The Club also holds a special session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum[15] and the Eastern Economic Forum.

Annual meetings[edit]

Title Place Date Notes
Russia at the Turn of the Century: Hopes and Reality Veliky Novgorod September 2–5, 2004 [16]
Russia as a Political Kaleidoscope cruise ship Alexander Radishchev (traveled from Moscow to Tver and back) September 2–5, 2005 [17]
Global Energy in the 21st Century: Russia’s Role and Position Moscow and Khanty-Mansiysk September 4–9, 2006 [18]
Russia at the crossroads - choice and identity Moscow and Kazan September 10–14, 2007 [19]
Russia's Role in the Global Geopolitical Revolution of the Early 21st Century Moscow, Rostov-on-Don and Grozny September 9–14, 2008 [20]
Russia – West: Back to the Future Yakutsk and Moscow September 7–15, 2009 [21]
Russia: History and Future Development St. Petersburg, Karelia, Sochi September 1–7, 2010 [22]
The 2011–2012 Elections and the Future of Russia: Development Scenarios for the Next 5–8 Years Kaluga and Moscow November 6–12, 2011 [23]
The Future Is Being Made Today: Scenarios for Russia’s Economic Development St. Petersburg and Moscow October 20–26, 2012 [24]
Russia’s Diversity for the Modern World Novgorod Oblast September 16–19, 2013 [25]
The World Order: New Rules or a Game Without Rules Sochi October 22–24, 2014 [26]
Societies Between War and Peace: Overcoming the Logic of Conflict in Tomorrow's World Sochi October 19–22, 2015 [27]
The Future in Progress: Shaping the World of Tomorrow Sochi October 24–27, 2016 [28]
Creative Destruction: Will a New World Order Emerge from the Current Conflicts? Sochi October 16–19, 2017 [29]
Russia: Agenda for the 21st Century Sochi October 15–18, 2018 Former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai attended the plenary session[30][31]
The Dawn of the East and the World Political Order Sochi September 30 – October 3, 2019 Presidents of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and King Abdullah II of Jordan attended the plenary session [32][33]
The Lessons of the Pandemic and the New Agenda: How to Turn the World Crisis Into an Opportunity for the World Moscow October 20–22, 2020 [34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Executive Team". Valdai Discussion Club. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  2. ^ DeYoung, Karen; Filipov, David (April 7, 2017). "Expectations of a new U.S.-Russia relationship were tanking even before missile strike". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  3. ^ a b "Valdai Club Foundation". Valdai Discussion Club. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  4. ^ a b Roxburgh, Angus (2013). The Strongman: Vladimir Putin and the Struggle for Russia (2nd ed.). I.B.Tauris. p. 193.
  5. ^ Shimotomai, Nobuo (2015). "Politics of Dictatorship and Pluralism". In Inoguchi, Takashi (ed.). Japanese and Russian Politics: Polar Opposites or Something in Common?. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 79.
  6. ^ "Valdai Discussion Club". TRENDS Research & Advisory. November 22, 2016. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  7. ^ Zabrisky, Zarina (March 9, 2017). "NIXON CENTER— KREMLIN — TRUMP". Mosaic2. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  8. ^ a b Drezner, Daniel W. (October 26, 2016). "Is there value in Valdai?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  9. ^ Van Herpen, Marcel H. (2016). Putin's Propaganda Machine: Soft Power and Russian Foreign Policy. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 62.
  10. ^ Van Herpen, Marcel H. (2016). Putin's Propaganda Machine: Soft Power and Russian Foreign Policy. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 59.
  11. ^ "Valdai Discussion Club holds session at campus". East China Normal University. March 31, 2016. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  12. ^ "Asian Dialogue: Future of Siberia and the Russian Far East Discussed in Singapore". Valdai Discussion Club. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  13. ^ "Speech by Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov at the 6th Middle East Dialogue Conference "The Middle East: When Will Tomorrow Come?" held by the Valdai International Discussion Club, Moscow, February 27, 2017". The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. February 27, 2017. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  14. ^ Weitz, Richard (November 10, 2016). "Perspectives At The Valdai Conference On Russia, Europe And The United States: What Will Be Impact Of The Coming To Power Of President Elect Trump?". Second Line of Defense. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  15. ^ "Results of Day One of the XX Anniversary Forum". St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Retrieved 2019-07-29.
  16. ^ "2004: "Russia at the Turn of the Century: Hopes and Reality"". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  17. ^ "2005: "Russia as a Political Kaleidoscope"". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  18. ^ "2006: Global energy industry in the 21st century: Russia's role and position". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  19. ^ "2007: Russia at the crossroads - choice and identity". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  20. ^ "Russia's Role in the Global Geopolitical Revolution of the Early 21st Century". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  21. ^ "Russia – West: Back to the Future". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  22. ^ "Valdai-2010. Russia: History and Future Development. Programme". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  23. ^ "Valdai-2011. The 2011-2012 Elections and the Future of Russia: Development Scenarios for the Next 5-8 Years". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  24. ^ "Valdai-2012. The Future Is Being Made Today: Scenarios for Russia's Economic Development". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  25. ^ "Valdai-2013. Russia's Diversity for the Modern World". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  26. ^ "Valdai-2014. The World Order: New Rules or a Game Without Rules". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  27. ^ "Valdai-2015. Societies Between War and Peace: Overcoming the Logic of Conflict in Tomorrow's World". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  28. ^ "13th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club The Future in Progress: Shaping the World of Tomorrow". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  29. ^ "14th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club. Creative Destruction: Will a New World Order Emerge from the Current Conflicts?". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  30. ^ "Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club". President of Russia. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  31. ^ "15th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  32. ^ "16th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  33. ^ "Valdai Discussion Club session". President of Russia. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  34. ^ "17th Annual Meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club. The Lessons of the Pandemic and the New Agenda: How to Turn the World Crisis Into an Opportunity for the World". Valdai Club. Retrieved 2020-10-25.

Coordinates: 55°44′14″N 37°38′06″E / 55.737139°N 37.635055°E / 55.737139; 37.635055