International experts specializing on Russia took part in the survey of Valdai Club about the development of the Russian Federation. The experts praised the geopolitical importance of the country. According to them, Russia has consolidated its position as one of the major players in today's multipolar world.
The calculations of the "Valdai Index" had been conducted during the last four years. The survey involved 87 respondents from 26 countries - Armenia, Austria, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Israel, India, Iraq, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Poland, Slovakia, the USA, Turkey, Ukraine, Finland, France, Switzerland, Estonia, South Korea and Japan. The proportion of foreigners among the experts made up 76 percent.
The experts pointed out the success of cultural diplomacy in the country and the growth of traditionalist values, including the decline in the level of tolerance towards migrants and members of the LGBT community. There were concerns expressed as well. In particular, the work of non-systemic opposition was called weak in comparison with the "explosive" period in 2012. The positive role of Russia in the settlement of the Syrian conflict was pointed out separately.
The analysts said that the perception of Russia abroad became worse as compared to the previous year. Russia was called a "supplier" of controversial events. This was tied to the conflict with human rights organizations, as well as rising anti-American sentiments and the deterioration of relations with Ukraine.
Russia received highest estimates on the activities of APEC and G20 summits. Also, experts positively expressed Russia's activities in such organizations as SCO, CIS, CSTO.
US military analysts are concerned about the appearance of a new Russian sniper rifle known as T-5000
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign