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Establishment Debates: CFDP and Russia in Global Affairs

Valdai Club participants visit Gazprom headquarters, September 2009. Photo: Gazprom

The Council for Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP), was founded in February 1992 by a group of political leaders, leading entrepreneurs, representatives of the military, scholars and media professionals. Today, CFDP is known as one of the most influential analytical centres in Russia.

Among the projects implemented by CFDP (in cooperation with other partners) is the annual Valdai Discussion Club, a government-funded discussion forum on Russia's role in the world. Another is Russia in Global Affairs, an English-language journal widely seen as one of the best sources on the Russian debate on foreign policy.

CFDP publications often lead to wider debates. In November 2009, a group of CFDP experts – Sergey Dubinin, Evgeny Savostyanov, and Igor Yurgens – published an article under the title "A New Entente" in gazeta.ru. The authors advocate the creation of a political and defence alliance with the United States, arguing that only the US is suitably positioned to become a strategic partner for Russia. None of the other regional players in the world would make good allies:

"China, throughout its history spanning thousands of years, has never been anyone's ally – and will not be. The friendship of Collective Security Treaty members is unreliable, always very costly and may lead one to become involved in their internal conflicts. Today's Europe is a well-to-do and closed world concentrating on its problems, separated from the sea of political passions by the reefs of Egypt – Israel – Turkey – Russia."

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