17 Malaya Ordynka, building 1, room 115
The School of International Regional Studies is a research and educational centre seeking to revive international regional studies as an academic discipline in Russia. The department’s world-class professors train the next generation of regional studies specialists while developing an increasingly prestigious research school.
Arežina S., Atatüre S., Caridi G. et al.
NY: Routledge, 2023.
Чедия А. Р.
Russia in Global Affairs. 2024. No. 1.
O. A. Kharina, Kostyukov A.
In bk.: Синергия языков и культур 2022: междисциплинарные исследования. St. Petersburg: 2023. P. 276-283.
Shein S., Ryzhkin E.
Political Science. PS. Высшая школа экономики, 2022. No. 89.
The section was opened by moderator, Academician Dr. Vitaliy Naumkin, Academic Supervisor of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He noted the growing role of the countries of the MENA region in global politics, economy, trade and energy. Dr. Naumkin said that recently there has been a growing interest in studying these processes at the Higher School of Economics and at specialized scientific, research and educational institutions of the Russian Federation. He expressed the hope that the section meeting will help to better understand the policies of the countries of the region, the parameters of their interaction with Russia.
Foreign specialists made detailed presentations at the section and spoke in favor of continuing productive scientific, expert, and educational contacts with Russian counterparts in the current extremely tense international situation.
Dr. Nabil Fahmy, former Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dean of the School of International Relations and Public Policy at the American University in Cairo shared his assessment of the situation in the world and in the Middle East. He expressed his opinion that the MENA countries seek to restore the potential of their statehood and look forward to continuing and enhancing comprehensive dialogue and cooperation with the Russian Federation.
Dr. Haila Al-Mekaimi, Professor of Political Science at the University of Kuwait and member of the Advisory Council of the GCC, specifically reviewed the current state and possible options for the development of ties between the Gulf States and the Russian Federation. She highlighted the potential of cooperation in the scientific and educational spheres and stated the readiness of the Kuwaiti side to conduct joint research with HSE University to improve the efficiency of the educational process in higher educational institutions of Russia and Kuwait.
Dr. Mehdi Sanaei, Professor at Tehran University, Director of the Iran and Eurasia Institute, and former Iranian Ambassador to Russia, focused his presentation on a comparative analysis of the Iranian and Russian approaches to major regional events in recent years, including the Arab Spring. He noted that these events have not led to changes in Iran's political system, but they have necessitated a more active foreign policy and regional course for Tehran to confront challenges and threats. In this context, Dr. Sanaei presented a unique analysis of the Iranian leadership's use of the "Shiite factor" to give Iran a stronger position in its struggle against external pressure and threats. If certain events do not directly concern the interests of the IRI or the Shiite populations of other countries," he stressed, "Tehran sees no need to pursue an active line. This is the starting point for Iran in determining its position with regard to the events in Egypt or Tunisia. Moscow, according to Sanai, as a superpower, has a much wider range of interests and, accordingly, a wider range of practical actions. At the same time, both countries have common interests and areas of interaction, primarily in the Syrian direction.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Yemen to the Russian Federation Ahmed Salem Saleh Al-Wahishi in his speech summarized the situation in the Arab world after a long period of turbulence. In this context he analyzed the essence of the decisions of the Arab Summit held in Algeria. He noted the growing volume of problems shared by the Arab states and the Russian Federation, including those in the field of energy and investment, which are important to solve together.
Dr. Irirna Zvyagelskaya, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, professor, and head of the Middle East Studies Sector at IMEMO RAS, noted in her report that, in her opinion, a new, relatively calmer situation is gradually beginning to take shape in the Middle East today. In this respect, she praised the potential of the "Abrahamic agreements" concluded between Israel and a few influential Arab states. Dr. Zvyagelskaya outlined several specific areas that are opening in the new conditions for expanding Russia's cooperation with the countries of the Middle East region.
The head of the Middle East and North Africa Studies Section of the School of Regional Studies, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University, Deputy Chairman of the Association of Russian Diplomats Dr. Andrey Baklanov shared exclusive information about the ongoing, and in the current, extremely tense international situation, contacts via high-level experts ("track two") with American, European, and Middle Eastern counterparts. He said there might be some "contradictions" of interest between Russia and the United States, such as the issue of undesirability of Turkish military activity in northern Syria.
Dr. Baklanov expressed satisfaction with the roundtable discussion, suggesting holding such meetings on a regular basis. In this regard, he said that it would be possible to organize discussions on topical issues of the MENA region together with the editors of the journal "International Life" with the subsequent publication of the most interesting materials and ideas, especially those expressed by young researchers.
Associate Professor at the Department of Near and Middle East History, Institute of Asian and African Studies, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Dr. Pavel Shlykov presented a report in which he analyzed the policy of the current Turkish leadership in the changing regional and world order. At the same time, the emphasis was placed on the assessment of the effectiveness of ideas of initiatives in international and regional affairs, which the Turkish leadership, President R. Erdogan.
Senior Lecturer of the joint Department of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, HSE University, Researcher of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Grigori Lukyanov made a report called «Libyan zone of instability in the context of the changing foreign policy of regional and world powers». He analyzed the dynamics of the situation in Libya and the ongoing attempts to resolve the protracted Libyan crisis through negotiations.
Senior Lecturer of the School of Regional Studies, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University Elmira Imamkulieva made a presentation on the analysis of the activities of sovereign investment funds of the Arab countries. The focus was on the effectiveness of this type of financial instrument in the face of the difficult Arab economic situation. E. Imamkulieva suggested that the use of sovereign investment funds by Arab states can be considered as an effective method of crisis management, which can also be used by Russian structures in the context of selection of funds to successfully overcome the negative consequences of western sanctions.
Visiting Lecturer of the School of Regional Studies, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University, Head of the Department of Digital Economy of the Project Office, researcher of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Dr. Anton Baklanov made a presentation on the following topic: «Problems of formation of closed technological systems on the example of development of microelectronic production in the USA, Russia and Iran».
He gave a justification of the thesis that «imaginary globalization» in the world microelectronics has come to an end and the world currently is in process of formation of closed technological ecosystems, including unique technological «ghettos». In this context, Dr. Baklanov expressed several ideas concerning the establishment of cooperation between regional and extra regional countries in the sphere of the latest technologies.
Visiting Lecturer of the School of Regional Studies, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University Dr. Alexander Kuznetsov made a presentation analyzing the evolution of the Iranian leadership’s approaches to Middle East problems after 2011.
Professor of the School of Regional Studies, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, HSE University Dr. Renat Karamurzov in his speech gave a forecast of further expansion of BRICS. In this context, he analysed the economic performance of potential candidates for membership of the Association.
Postgraduate student of MGIMO Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia Farhad Ibrahimov made a report on the problems of Russian-Iranian cooperation, including the development of measures aimed at countering the sanctions policy of the Western countries.
Support to the project from the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at HSE University is gratefully acknowledged.