The Primakov Readings 2023.
Speeches of the first day of the forum

If we compare the current world situation with the assessments and judgements made by Primakov, one comes to a conclusion that he was a true visionary, who was able to take a panoramic view of the world and to foresee the general trends of future development and the most important courses of events that we are witnessing now. Primakov not only foresaw the advent of a multipolar world, but also played an important role in accelerating this process.
Yury Ushakov
Aide to the President of the Russian Federation
The organizers of today’s Primakov Readings have addressed not the current moment in its essence, but what is not yet there, which must eventually happen, namely the postglobalization horizons. Effectively, it is thereby becomes a matter of fact that the model of globalization that the world has been living under for a long time, approximately since the last turning point 30 years ago, has now rendered itself obsolete
Konstantin Kosachev
Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council
"The West’s attempts to isolate Russia not only hit the initiators of the sanctions with an economic boomerang, but also affected the economies of countries that have nothing to do with this confrontation. Russia’s economy will remain a market economy: business chooses who to trade with. Reality has shown us however that the strongest economic ties remain in the post-Soviet space"
Sergey Katyrin
President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia
Session 1. Political Risks for Global Energy Markets
2022−2023 was a period of another acute shock to the world economy, especially the global energy sector. After the 2020−2021 pandemic, political events of the past year rocked the energy market once again. Soaring gas prices in Europe against the backdrop of sanctions and reduced Russian gas supplies to the European market, as well as the introduction of a price ceiling for Russian oil supplies, forced all energy market actors to revise their strategies. Such shocks not only disrupt sustainable dynamics, but also provide a new impetus for those companies seeking to establish themselves in promising areas and occupy new market niches with high growth potential.

The development of nations is still inextricably linked to fossil fuel-based industries. At the same time, the importance of green energy is on the increase. These two processes are paralleled.

The formation of a multipolar world is also reflected in the energy sector. Oil and gas exporters have become more independent from other countries.

Being under restrictions, Iran will rely on gas and electricity as energy sources which are more reliable than oil. The country can also re-export these two, because Iran practiced this before.

Tehran expects that there will be no aggravation of the conflict in the Middle East. The state sees itself as a guarantor of free and safe movement of ships in the Persian Gulf.

Mehdi Sanaei
Professor at Tehran University, Ambassador of Iran to Russia (2013−2019)
Speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov

Global events are unfolding dynamically. To say so is an understatement. Many erstwhile "international relations constants," including major trends that are shaping the multipolar order, are being tested for strength and adequacy in the face of new realities. Among them are the main trends in the formation of a multipolar world order. This process is intricate and all-encompassing. It did not begin yesterday and will take some time, even by historical standards. The outlines of a polycentric architecture have already begun to take shape.
The key difference of the current "edition" of multipolarity is the chance to acquire genuinely global proportions, relying on the fundamental principle of the UN Charter: the sovereign equality of states. Previously, decisions of global importance were driven by a small group of countries with the predominant voice coming from the Western community, for obvious reasons. Today, new players representing the Global South and Global East have stepped onto the international political stage. Their numbers are growing.
The world is changing, and multilateral diplomacy reflects this. BRICS cooperation is one of the best examples of this. In this framework, countries representing different civilisations, religions and macro-regions are effectively developing ties in the most diverse areas — from politics and security to the economy, finances, healthcare, sports and culture. Proceeding from the principles of equality and mutual respect, they are reaching a balance of interests via consensus.
The foundation for a just and sustainable world already exists − the UN Charter. Its provisions should be fully and comprehensively adhered to, rather than selectively chosen, as some of our Western colleagues do when they pick and choose Charter principles to suit their immediate agendas.
Session 2. The Middle East: Tradegy and Challenges of the Unresolved Conflict
The new aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, large-scale armed clashes, and civilian casualties have produced a strong public reaction in the Middle East and beyond and have become a serious challenge for the states of the region. The onset of postglobalization has opened up opportunities for them to pursue a course that suits their national interests. The consequences of the bloodshed threaten the stability of vulnerable states. They can also slow down the implementation of strategic development programs in the most prosperous countries of the region. Given the current circumstances, trends aimed at de-escalation have been set back or frozen.

Vitaliy Naumkin
Academic Advisor of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician at the RAS
We have witnessed a sharp escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which is at the heart of the broader Arab-Israeli conflict, one of the longest in modern history.

Yevgeny Primakov, who once served as Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, and I had a dispute over whether it was possible to resolve the Middle East conflict in such a way that the parties would agree to such a solution. Are the actors in the region themselves capable of resolving the conflict without external influence? The answer was ambiguous.

If you analyze all the discussions about what Israel wants, there are several points: the first is the reoccupation of Gaza by the Israeli army; the second is the establishment of military control over Gaza, especially its northern part; the third is the transfer of Gaza under Egyptian control; the fourth is the transfer of Gaza under the control of the Palestinian Authority; the fifth is presence of foreign parties.
Session 3. China-U.S.: Competition, Interdependence, Global Context
The U.S. rivalry with China is becoming protracted, and the consequences of this confrontation are spreading to many areas of the world economy and politics. As political trust between the two countries wanes, the threat of military conflict increases. What can Washington and Beijing do to preserve peace and stability in Pacific Asia? If the world is heading toward a new bipolarity, what will happen to the world economy, how inevitable is the prospect of two separate production systems, standards, and markets? Are the U.S. and China ready to become the leaders of two rival blocs?

Robert Legvold
Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University (USA)
A cold war between the United States and China can be prevented, but it will require much more effort on the part of Washington and Beijing than they are currently making.

Techno-nationalism is gaining momentum in both countries, and competition between them within existing international institutions is heating up.

The U.S.-China rivalry may spark conflicts in different parts of the world. The cold war between the U.S. and China will "merge" with the U.S.-Russian cold war and result in a new bipolarity in the world.

U.S.-China relations have ended up in their current state not because China is pursuing anti-American policy. Both sides have different vision of normalcy.

The imbalance is one of the main problems of cooperation between the U.S. and China. If the U.S. makes it easier for China to import its knowledge-intensive products — even non-high-tech ones — this imbalance could be restored.

Washington is politicizing economic ties with Beijing in order to curb China’s development. It also plans to "rewire" China’s neighboring countries, primarily Central Asian states.

Li Yongquan
Director of the Institute for Social Development of Europe and Asia at the Development Research Center of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China