The Primakov Readings Youth Session Opens in Moscow

On 23 June, Moscow hosted the official opening of one of the largest programmes for young international relations scholars — the 7th Primakov Readings Youth Session, organised by the Primakov Centre in collaboration with the Council of Young Scientists and Postgraduates of IMEMO. This year, the programme welcomes 30 emerging experts from 12 countries: Bosnia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, and Uzbekistan.

Victoria Karslieva, Executive Director of the Primakov Center, addressed the participants with a welcome speech: "The Primakov Readings is, above all, an opportunity to establish direct contacts with leading experts in international relations. Each year, the forum brings together the cream of Russian academia. Experts are open to dialogue outside official sessions, and this is your chance to share your scientific achievements. Experience shows that thanks to the 'Readings', many young researchers have launched significant academic careers".

Joining her was Feodor Voitolovsky, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Political Sciences, Director of IMEMO: "This year, the Primakov Readings will be held for the 10th time, marking an anniversary, whilst the youth session is in its seventh year. Throughout these years, we have maintained our position as Russia's primary expert-analytical discussion platform, focused not so much on political objectives as on interaction within the scientific community. The forum is a true celebration of thought for all its participants: from speakers on stage to listeners in the audience. Be active during it and open to new connections!"

A series of expert meetings on current international agenda issues followed. It was opened by Dr. Vladimir Milovidov, IMEMO Deputy Director for Scientific Work, with a presentation on the economic development trends of BRICS+.

The expert discussed the global shift of the economic centre of gravity towards Asia. He emphasised the increasing activity of BRICS countries in financial markets, which creates potential for developing an alternative currency system. In his opinion, the formation of such a system could be an important step towards reducing dependence on the US dollar in international settlements. Special attention in the presentation was given to the importance of developing transport corridors in Eurasia, including the Northern Sea Route and land routes. The Russian researcher emphasised that these transport arteries could significantly improve economic ties between BRICS countries and other states.

Greater Eurasia became the theme of the next expert panel. Alexander Knyazev, Leading Research Fellow, Center for Euro-Asian Studies of the MGIMO Institute for International Studies, examined the significance of Afghanistan in ensuring security in the greater Eurasian space, placing particular emphasis on the evolution of the Taliban movement (banned in Russia). In his view, intensifying cooperation with this country will contribute to its development and inclusion in Russia's foreign economic and foreign policy framework.

For his part, Stanislav Pritchin, Head of the Section for Central Asia at the IMEMO Centre for post-Soviet Studies, focused on the growing role of the Central Asian region, which now acts as a self-sufficient player. The speaker noted that in terms of trade, investment, and political cooperation, Russia and China are the key partners for Central Asia.

The last session was dedicated to the 95th anniversary of E.M. Primakov's birth. The first to speak in this session was Irina Zvyagelskaya, Corresponding Member, Dr. of Science (History), Professor Head of Centre Center for the Middle East Studies at IMEMO. She examined the current state of affairs in the Middle East, analysing the status of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and current regional dynamics. The expert paid special attention to the legacy of Yevgeny Primakov, who contributed to the development of Russia's relations with Middle Eastern states and the shaping of foreign policy in the region.

Next to speak was Alexey Kupriyanov, Cand.of Science (History), Head of Centre of the Indo-Pacific Region at IMEMO. The speaker devoted his presentation to the concept of the Global South. In his view, this is a construct actively used by Western researchers, but one that is difficult to define. In addition, the speaker focused on examining the problem of Russia's positioning in the world and its perception of countries traditionally referred to as the Global South.