Valdai Club searching interaction models

21:44 26.12.2017 • Pyotr Iskenderov , PHD in History, senior researcher at the Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The 14th annual Valdai International Discussion Club meeting ended October 19th in Sochi initially set up a task to extend the common format of expert discussions and try to create perspective models of world development based on rethinking of political and legal standards and social and economic trends that used to be untouched previously. This also accounted for the wording of the ambitious subject of the current forum “The World of the Future: Through Conflict to Harmony” that sends us back to the concept of Joseph Schumpeter, one of the greatest economists and sociologists of the 20th century, of a “creative destruction” that creates a new order, a new world, as well as the choice of key participants closing the most important 5th day of the meetings. The 130 participants from 33 countries of the world were addressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, Asle Toje, scientific director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute and Jack Ma, head of Alibaba group symbolizing one of the most unstable regions of the world followed by the attempts of the expert community to find a peaceful solution for the current conflicts and promote the idea all of the e-commerce as a means of interstate and interpersonal communication.
The Russian President's speech underlined that we need to refrain from the old approaches and choose the new principles of relations in order to fix the most crucial problems of our time. Vladimir Putin covered all the hot spots and subjects of discussion from the global agenda. Some issues, such as relations between Russia and USA in the sphere of nuclear disarmament, Syrian and North Korean problems, as well as problems of countries and territories self-determination were covered in a very detailed way.
As for a number of other subjects, the Russian leader preferred to be more general and conceptual refraining from personal mentions.
Namely, when covering the UN activity in his analysis, it was almost clear that he was talking about the US President Donald Trump’s proposal to radically reform this organization and its Security Council. He expressed his confidence that in 2045 the humanity will celebrate the 100 anniversary of the United Nations Organization saying that “its creation became a symbol of the fact that the humanity, despite all, is capable of creating common rules of behavior and follow them. Each time these rules were not followed, there were inevitable crises and negative consequences. At the same time, over the recent decades there were several attempts to lower the role of this organization, to discredit it or simply put under control. All these attempts fell flat quite logically or went to a dead end.” “ we believe that the UN must remain the legal universal center of the international system and our common goal is to raise its authority and effectiveness. There is no alternative to UN today,” the Russian president said.
Vladimir Putin also covered the scandal in relations between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan that has been up in the recent weeks and can cause certain problems in the integration mechanisms in the post-soviet space, first of all, within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Unable to comment the respective accusations that were voiced in Astana and Bishkek coma the Russian president found it necessary to underline the role of his Kazakh colleague in the Syrian conflict resolution and Astana process. I want to thank Kazakhstan and President Nazarbayev for the fact that we and other participants were provided a platform in Astana. Kazakhstan is not simply a place where we can get together, but this is a very convenient place, considering the position of the country and bearing in mind that Kazakhstan has never interfered into some hard domestic processes in the region, on the opposite, Kazakhstan is a very good intermediary with authority, Vladimir Putin said, adding: “I want to underline that there were moments when President Nazarbayev took a certain responsibility to keep all the conflicting parties and the parties that tried to make an agreement, at the table of negotiations. This is very positive, and we are grateful for that.”
However, the point of focus of the Russian president's speech in the framework of the current Valdai International Discussion Club was the idea to make it possible and necessary to create new platforms and mechanisms of discussion and settlement of the current global problems and conflicts directly related to the processes of the “creative destruction” that was the main subject of the Sochi forum. Today the world experiences new centers of influence and growth models, creation of civilization alliances, political and economic unions. This diversity cannot be unified. But we must aspire to harmonize and align our cooperation. The regional organizations in Eurasia, America, Africa, Asian and Pacific regions must be governed by and coordinate their work through the United Nations. Every unity is entitled to work in accordance with its own standards and principles that are in line with the cultural, historical and geographic specifics. It is important to mix the global interdependency and openness, retaining the unique identity of every nation and every region. We must respect the sovereignty as a basis for the system of international relations,” Vladimir Putin said.
To prove efficiency of such flexible alliances, the Russian leader showed positive dynamics in the Syrian conflict settlement that only became possible based on the Astana platform that united the countries having common interests in the region and uneasy relations with each other, Russia, Turkey, Iran (as well as the USA as observers): “Thanks to the position of Turkey, Iran, Syrian government, we managed to move the positions closer on the key question of bloodshed stopping and the de-escalation zones creation. This is the most significant result of all our work in Syria for the recent 2 years in general and of the Astana process in particular.” “I have to say that other countries who directly do not participate in the talks in Astana but are present here invisibly and influence the processes in question, make their significant input too, including the role of the United States of America. We have constant, stable, hard relations but without fights with our American partners in this track, but still this cooperation is more positive, than negative,” Vladimir Putin underlined the special role of Washington in this context.
Unlike the Syrian problem, the situation of the territories seeking self-determination is not yet so dramatic. However, the said questions or require an effective solution. The referendum in Catalonia and Iraqi Kurdistan became destabilizing factors on their own, as well as they can provoke similar processes in other countries, including those with seeming stability. “The situation in Spain shows how fragile can stability be even in a successful country. Who could recently expect that Catalonia status discussion which has long roots, would cause an acute political crisis?” President Putin said. He added that inter-ethnic and inter-state controversy had been growing in Europe for ages but the European leaders catalyzed the situation in the last 25 years: “In the catalonian situation whistle the independency partizans being unanimously сriticized by the European Union and the number of other countries. I can only say that you had plenty of time to think over it. You know, in this regard, I cannot help but note that more thought should have gone into this earlier. What, no one was aware of these centuries-old disagreements in Europe? They were, were they not? Of course, they were. However, at one point they actually welcomed the disintegration of a number of states in Europe without hiding their joy.
Why were they so unthinking, driven by fleeting political considerations and their desire to please – I will put it bluntly – their big brother in Washington, in providing their unconditional support to the secession of Kosovo, thus provoking similar processes in other regions of Europe and the world?
You may remember that when Crimea also declared its independence, and then – following the referendum – its decision to become part of Russia, this was not welcomed for some reason. Now we have Catalonia. There is a similar issue in another region, Kurdistan. Perhaps this list is far from exhaustive. But we have to ask ourselves, what are we going to do? What should we think about it?
It turns out that some of our colleagues think there are ”good“ fighters for independence and freedom and there are ”separatists“ who are not entitled to defend their rights, even with the use of democratic mechanisms.
As we always say in similar cases, such double standards – and this is a vivid example of double standards – pose serious danger to the stable development of Europe and other continents, and to the advancement of integration processes across the world.”
However, the current global agenda has key subjects that cannot have different interpretations and that require very particular steps from their participants. First of all, this relates to the problem of nuclear arsenals control of the leading powers headed by Russia and the USA. Vladimir Putin gave an analysis to the history of Moscow and Washington cooperation in the sphere of weapon plutonium liquidation reminding that the Russian party, unlike its American partners, performed all its obligations.
The Russian president also reminded that Russia “ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty more than 17 years ago. The USA has not done so yet.” At the same time do you say unilaterally left the Antiballistic missile treaty in 2002. “A critical mass of problems is building up in global security,” Left dinner Putin sad in the framework of Q&A session and reminded of a critical situation over the Short and Intermediate Range Missiles Treaty, concluded in 1987. Russian president warned Washington from leaving this treaty that is one of the key elements of international nuclear security provision. “If someone does not like it and wishes to withdraw from the treaty, for example, our American partners, our response would be immediate, I would like to repeat this warning. Immediate and reciprocal,” Vladimir Putin said. in accordance with our information, Paste May refer to speeding up the work of ground-launched cruise missile 9М729 for the Iskander solution which is a variant of Caliber cruise missile actively used in the operation against terrorists in Syria. “Putin's words can be interpreted like in case of USA exit from the treaty, the work on such a missile will not take long,” in accordance with the sources in the Russian defense industry.
“Russia is worried by the USA unpredictability,” this was the Bloomberg's definition of the main problem discussed during the Valdai club meetings. This is so, to a certain extent. Unlike the period of Cold War and a series of currently effective Russian and American agreements in the sphere of the disarmament, the policy of the USA and other western countries has recently been neither rational, nor aspiring to count potential risks and losses, both political and financial ones. “At one time the apologists for globalisation were trying to convince us that universal economic interdependence was a guarantee against conflicts and geopolitical rivalry. Alas, this did not happen. Moreover, the nature of the contradictions grew more complicated, becoming multilayer and nonlinear,” Vladimir Putin said. At the same time, the developments in the USA do not give a chance to plan fast recovery of the russian-american relations: “Considering the fact that currently there is an investigation going related to the Russian interference in the last year's presidential election, today in Washington it's even dangerous to talk to the Russian diplomats, an official speaking at the so-called Chatham House Rules said,” Bloomberg writes.
In the current situation the main message of the Russian leader means that it is necessary to use new formats and models of international multi-party relations on most acute problems which is becoming more and more actual.


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