Dialogue in the Name of the Future-2018: Day 4. From the West to the Middle East

06 December 2018

On December 6, the Dialogue in the Name of the Future-2018 brought together quite different topics: the common future of Russia and western countries, problems in the Middle East and history of the Korean Peninsula.

During the first part, political consultant, Scientific Director of the German-Russian Forum (Berlin) Alexander Rar reminded that even during the cold war Russia and the West had been trying to have a dialogue. “Now, unfortunately, we cannot come to an understanding. The West is carrying on not even a monologue, but preaching, – added the German expert. – Now a new era is beginning in the life of the humankind – the East is gaining global and political importance. Alternatives, not based on liberal values of the West, are emerging. Europe is slowly losing itself in global politics”.

Italian journalist Fulvio Scaglione thanked Russia for the actual concept of a dialogue. According to Scaglione, in order for the discussion to be more effective, the parties need to understand their identity. Otherwise, monopolization of the stronger one will take place – the way it happened with the West. There is an impression today that Europe gave up its identity in this dialogue.

International journalist Abbas Juma, when talking about the image of Russia in the Middle East, stated that it was controversial. There is a strong position and a weak position in the world; Russia, unfortunately, is in the latter one. We make excuses, provide proof of our innocence. We should carry on. In the long-term perspective, truth always wins and in the future the image of Russia in the world and, in particular, in the Middle East will improve.

Ruslan Mamedov, Program Coordinator at RIAC, said that Russia needed to restore its presence in the Middle East and clearly announce its position. “Now the Arabs have a variety of perceptions of the image of Russia. Many of them do not have any idea about how much the USSR has done in the Middle East. There was a clear strategy in the Soviet Union, which nowadays, unfortunately, is absent, however, we need to develop it”, believes Ruslan Mamedov.

Professor, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of the Institute for African Studies RAS Dr. Irina Abramova emphasized that recently Russia had become a large player in the Middle East: “Our policy in the region is among the most successful ones. We should understand that in that region Russia will not have permanent allies and it is much more beneficial to create temporary alliances. The whole system of international relations today is imbalanced and further development is unknown. The global balance of power is changing and, similarly, economic basis is shifting from the West to the East.

Will the Middle East become a point where that unstable system will not be able to move to a new level and will end up in even bigger chaos? Yes, it is possible. However, Russia, as a large Eurasian superpower, has an opportunity to play a certain role in order to prevent that final chaos”.

Head of the Faculty of International Relations at Pyatogorsk State University Professor Victor Panin presented an opinion expressed by a number of political scientists that the 21st century and the following century would be spent in fighting for territories with large concentration of energy resource and transit hubs.

“In this regard, the Middle Eastern region is gaining more importance, – added the speaker. – Today competition, which is supported, among others, by modern technologies, continues growing in the region.

The players are concerned by geopolitical and geo-economical problems. However, there are efforts made to hide them behind a screen of ideology and present everything as a struggle between different versions of Islam. Meanwhile, the main role in the events in the Middle East is played not by religious, but strategic and political factors”.

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