Sochi hosts 'Valdai' meeting

Sochi hosts 'Valdai' meeting

Sochi is hosting the first day of the Annual Meeting of the International Debating Club ‘Valdai’. This year the forum is titled “War and Peace. The Individual and the State. The Threat of Large Conflict in the 21st Century'.

The meeting will take place from October 19th to 22nd 2015, with the participation of nearly 130 people. President Vladimir Putin may also take part in the meeting.

"129 people are expected to participate, including 88 foreigners and 41 from the Russian side," the chairman of the board of the Development Fund and Support for the International Debating Club ‘Valdai’, Andrei Bystritsky, said.

He noted that in Sochi well-known Russian politicians, namely the Chief of the Russian presidential staff, Sergey Ivanov, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will participate in the 'Valdai’ meeting.

"Also, we hope, and the Kremlin spokesman  mentioned that Vladimir Putin may visit our meeting," Interfax cited him as saying.

The head of the Center for Strategic Development of the CIS Countries under the RAS Institute of Europe, Alexander Gusev, told Vestnik Kavkaza that a variety of issues of domestic and foreign policy will be in the focus of the meeting.

"During the past 'Valdai' meetings we talked about Ukraine, but now, of course, it comes to the Syrian issue, the political situation in the Middle East, the migration crisis. However, given the fact that 'Valdai' mainly discusses pan-Russian problems, I believe that all these issues will be considered in the context of the role and place of Russia in the globalized world. And, of course, I think Vladimir Putin's speech at the 70th anniversary UN General Assembly will be reflected," he said.

"Russia's position will be considered in the context of global trends, global challenges, problems related, first of all, to international terrorism, Islamic State, the situation on the borders of our country, on the borders with the former Soviet Union, the situation in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Europe. I think that the Chinese issue will take a back seat. It will also be very important, but not as much as the problem of foreign policy in the Middle East area," the expert suggested.

"The political situation in the country will be considered in the context of the elections in our subjects on the single day of voting on September 13th. Of course, due to the political situation, the electoral system will be also considered. Well, the corruption component too. I think it's quite serious, because a new wave of governors has appeared. And, of course, the corruption component will be considered in the context of the general political and general economic problems of the country," Alexander Gusev summed up.

A senior research officer of the Center for European Studies (University) at the Moscow State University of Foreign Affairs, Vladimir Olenchenko, noted that "each meeting of the 'Valdai' club has its own separate agenda, but there are questions which I would call major."

"In my opinion, the main questions are the issues of international politics in the part which relates to the normal dialogue between two countries," he said.

"Let us not forget that this year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, and of course, the question of overcoming hostility setbacks between countries will be another leitmotiv of the 'Valdai' meeting," the expert added.

"Another leitmotiv, in my opinion, is the leitmotiv of the future of Europe, because now Europe is going through another crisis – the migration one. Of course, this issue concerns both Europe and Russia, because we are a part of Europe," Olenchenko noted.

"I think I could add the leitmotif of the fight against racism, radicalism and terrorism. I believe that this is due to the fact that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov plans to address the meeting," the expert suggested.

"Of course, another issue which concerns not only Russia but also the rest of the world is the future of the global economy. Now experts are objectively and subjectively concluding that the model of development has come to a standstill. So we need a new model of economic development," he stressed.

"Of course, we shall raise the question of the methods of Russia's policy. It's a question of the eligibility, legality and propriety of the sanctions regime imposed by Europe and the United States against Russia," Vladimir Olenchenko concluded.

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