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Friday, March 16, 2018

Uncomfortable topic: from the Valdai club Putin waiting for conflict

How to catch President Putin will return the “Valdai” this fall, when spawning the investment can not be expected, but Western sanctions noose tightening? Valday meeting that is physically held in Sochi from 16 to 19 October, will be the last informal “publication” of the head of state Vladimir Putin before the start of the presidential campaign in Russia. And this discussion Valdai club may well be not so friendly, but rather scandalous.

photo: kremlin.ru

Because the subject matter is formulated provocatively: “Creative destruction: will there be conflicts the new world order?” Experts of “MK” has assessed the risks of serious clashes and quarrels in the course of the discussion, which will be attended by over a hundred foreign experts, dozens of which are critical to Russia’s West.

This theme is able to combine, or she will drive a new wedge in the relationship between us? Politicians and political analysts expressed their impression on how serious and reputable in the world is this forum. They were divided into those who are waiting for the results of the Valdai with moderate optimism and skeptics.

Optimists: “If Europe has the instinct of self-preservation — we agree”

Konstantin ZATULIN, the Deputy of the state Duma, one of founders of club “Valdai”:

— The raison d’être of the Valdai club is to preserve at least some bridges and a platform for discussion with representatives from primarily Western countries. Here come those representative of the West, which have an influence on the formation of expert assessments of Russia’s policy. On their personal, academic and intelligence (and including) the interest they want to understand what is happening in Russia and what to expect from her. Or want to promote their point of view and the position of his country in order that it was heard in Russia and reported to high management. As you know, the most attractive elements of Valday for foreign visitors are meeting with the President of Russia.

On the topic of “creative destruction”, it seems to me that the organizers of the forum just tried to find a euphonious term for what is happening now. Pack it in on the edible formulation in order to fulfill the main task: to hold a discussion. Because if you stand on the point of view of those people who want to call things by their proper names, the theme would sound something like this (in the spirit of Prokhanov): “the Fascist state of the United States start world war III”.

And that could be discussed with representatives of the state who come to us at the Valdai club in this formulation of the question? Practically nothing. That would just be mutual sparring at best. By the way, I’m not saying that in the West no one thinks about world war III. There it is discussed much more actively than we do, and it may well be that from their point of view the threat even more serious than we think. But at the international level, should be some decent form of discussion, so I support the connecting modules in the designation of the theme, although for them it seems not very clear.

Discussion on Valdai not always get comprehensive and meaningful. Sometimes she suffers from the fact that the organizers are not able to overcome their personal attitude to the participants from our side: someone invite someone not allowed for the reason that he was “not in our nest”. But still the principle of the Valdai club and its predecessor, the Council on foreign and defense policy — has always been a debate not only different countries but different camps. Among the foreign participants there are such people, as Giulietto Chiesa: he loved the Soviet Union and with respect to Russia, there are experts who cannot be called allies, but the enemies of Russia will not name, and there are people related to our country is very critical. Of course, a notorious Russophobes like McCain to us just not come to breathe the same air, but there are public people, which in a milder form to Express the same ideas that McCain. And with them also makes sense to have a discussion. Especially in any debate there are not only members, but much more people watch her, analyze it and make their evaluations and conclusions about who is more convincing, whose arguments are weightier.

By the way, the Valdai club will be held in conjunction with the world festival of youth and students in Sochi. I hope some experts will take advantage of the opportunity to communicate with our future generation.

Alexei MUKHIN, Director of the Center for political information:

— Valday had gone from occasionally going to the club in a very strong structure. It turned into a year-round current expert area, where a huge number of experts and groups in different areas. Geographically it East, and West — all directions. And thematically — and geopolitics, Economics, energy, and safety… expert groups form the agenda for the resolution of pressing issues and conflicts and predict their occurrence in the future. Certain club meetings are held daily.

The theme of the coming meeting, of course, provocative. But it is a fully formed response to the challenges and threats that reside in the bowels of the us administration, US Congress and in Brussels, Tokyo, Seoul… Proliferating around the world points of conflict are attracting more and more military forces to resolve them. Strain situation and a permanent ongoing NATO: as soon as one ends — immediately start other. All this raises serious concerns, and the question of forming a new world order naturally comes to the fore.

— What kind of world order?

— It is including about the new system of regional alliances that will support balance and a more equitable balance of power in the world, will help to avoid direct military confrontation. To which now, for example, in the United States and North Korea.

These new alliances will be built by Russia, China, India, BRICS countries, and in the future the process can join Europe if the country wants to finally gain sovereignty as political entities.

— Who Europe allow it?

— Well, not exactly Brussels. Most likely, in the foreseeable future will comes to the reformatting of the European Union with the granting of national States and economies greater autonomy. The situation with Catalonia and the future of the Scottish referendum will create serious opportunities for the EU was modified and finally was born the Constitution, which will define the powers of the European Commission and will limit the omnipotence of Brussels.

But such an approach on our part may cause the rage of Brussels and Washington and new attacks on Russia…

— Any dispute, polemic conflict is an opportunity to talk. And the conversation can lead to such results as to reset the relationship. I think that Europe faces a historic choice: either she will lose the political and military sovereignty and fall under the United States or in accordance with their historical role she will play a more or less independent game. For them it is a very serious issue, because in the first case, Europe could become the only theater for the third world. And no one will ask if she wants it or not. And Russia it does not help. If Europe has instinct of self-preservation, it will be the second option. Then we agree.

Europe will be at the Valdai club presented quantitatively and qualitatively very good, the interest in this forum there is huge and something for us to discuss.

Whether at the Valdai club discussed Russia’s domestic problems?

— Of course, they are not to leave, especially when Putin will answer freely the questions. There who wants to can ask about anything, and the range of debate is always very wide. Because at Valdai are not going to fans of Vladimir Putin. It is a community with very divergent interests, they don’t see the point in complementarity and ask questions, usually very sharp.

— Denote whether Putin during the forum, the development plans of the country and their personal plans, for example — to participate in the presidential election?

— Answer the questions about the presidential election, he is likely to go, what tactically would be quite right. But the agenda on the economic track is likely to be marked. Permanent speakers of the club are to Kudrin, Shuvalov, and many others. Especially in the face of strong sanctions pressure on Russia would be weird to split our economy and the international environment.

Skeptics: “Putin is not someone to talk to”

Yevgeny SATANOVSKY, the political scientist, the economist:

— Valdai forum is an international event, but internal. It is necessary in order to demonstrate to the Russian public, how we communicate with the world community. And for different electoral groups is interpretiruya different. Those who want to Russia was opened to the Western world, I would say that here, we were visited by a hundred Western experts, and the conversation was friendly, equal. That majority who enthusiastically accepts the fact that “Russia is rising from its knees” will show how Putin’s mentor and instruct the foolish and does not understand foreign policy analysts.

With regard to the topic of the forthcoming forum, I just don’t understand her. Any complex subject can, if desired, and knowledge of the subject to translate the simple Russian language. If this is not done, then tasks come to some recipes and insights simply not worth it. That is, the task is only to talk sagely about anything and at the same time about nothing. Boltologiya for the sake of engaging in babbling that no one understood, and then dull it was possible to clarify: we’re such serious things discussed that uh…

Now international experts who come to Valdai. Depends something from their views and recommendations? No, nothing depends. Whether the foreign guests of the Valdai people who know the real processes occurring in the offices of government of different countries? No, they are not. Whether they are returning to the forum in their countries to improve there attitude to Russia and to help the citizens to understand it better? No, you can’t.

Is there such experts, and there is a real policy. Will be on the forum real policy? No one but Putin is not. So, it is necessary only to him and nobody but. Perhaps the President uses the Valday in order to say something about his future plans.

Dmitry GUDKOV, an independent politician:

In 2017 a bit ridiculous to talk seriously about the Valdai forum. All reputable experts and business conversations ended in 2014 with the Ukrainian war and sanctions. For those who have a short memory, is to refresh the events of the Moscow economic forum 2016, which was addressed by Girkin (Shooters), Tsarev and Gubarev, who told us how we could improve the Russian economy.

The current Valdai, of course, will try to overcome this threshold, but not the fact what happens. The subject of the Valday — she’s what? “Creative destruction”. An obvious attempt podolschii Putin, who is trying to demonstrate its power around the world, participating in events from Montenegro to Syria. But the destruction of Vladimir, of course, can only be constructive: “You’re a great man, sire! — chorus poured in his ears to flattery from all sides. — You form the new world order!”

The experts, who are now thinking whether to go to them on this forum, writing for his thesis, and, wincing, as from a toothache, trying to figure out how to explain to the Russian President that enough to climb with his love for other countries, I have some advice. You just don’t go. There will be no Putin 3.0. From osinki will not be born apelsinka over two decades, it can already be understood. Despite all your advice, discussions, panel discussions and plenary sessions, it will only be worse.

What brought all previous Valdai forums? What benefit they brought to the country? And you? Maybe dear experts was taken into account at least one of your offer? Adopted at least one strategy? All your strength is spent in vain.

I understand that it’s nice to meet friends and eat conapesca for the camera, but I have a much more interesting proposition. Their participation in public forums you can mode. To Russia in the future — now you need to invest. Their knowledge, skills, relationships, for her, not for Putin need to come up with the concept.

Where your expert advice sends Putin has shown in recent years. But the chance to be heard and demand is — if you go to Russia, waiting for change. Otherwise, it will remain only to discuss how great Vladimir Putin or brilliant, beautiful and irresistible. Remember, the finished light-my-mirror in the hands of an evil witch? Shattered it ended. Pushkin will not lie.

View from America: “Russia has become a major headache for the U.S.”

Michael BOHM, a political scientist and journalist, U.S.

— The theme of the Valdai very ticklish, because the world is in a very unstable position. Different countries know what is order and disorder in different ways. The world is a living, changing organism, and no one can know where it’s going. He is unpredictable. Unpredictable and discussion on this topic. It can be constructive, but a delicate situation and is able to escalate the passion.

Now we are experiencing the revision of the world order that existed for several decades. Formulated by the host party theme contains a clear allusion to the fact that the US is losing its position of world leader, that time has passed. America’s influence narrows, with the rise of China, India and several other countries.

I would not say that Russia is skyrocketing, but on the other hand, it is Russia in the new century was the main problem and headache for the United States. Russia’s desire to do whatever she sees fit, anyone regardless, defiance of Moscow provoke severe irritation of the Americans, and most American experts. The concern is the need for Russia to oppose America not only words. In words the whole world is against us foreign policy. But Russia opposes it’s actions, subversive activities in Afghanistan, Syria and so on.

We do not hide discontent, but do not hide the fact that in the United States are well aware of their new, cutting role in the world order. The era of the US as global policeman completes, but the question is, will there be a new era of better and safer? Another Sheriff, unfortunately, in the world. Candidate for this role may be China, but I think even Russia will agree that it will be even more evil than the American Sheriff.

Now anyone not too lazy to complain about the fact that America interferes everywhere. But when she stops to do it — complaints will be even greater. American leadership is bad, but the only thing worse is when the US will give up this role. The UN is not an alternative. The Sheriff was bad, but when he left, everyone begged him to come back.

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