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Krnjevic Attends Closed-door Astana Club Meeting

In mid-November 2017, CIRSD Senior Fellow and Horizons Editor Damjan Krnjević Mišković attended the annual meeting of the prestigious Astana Club, the Eurasia region’s most prestigious high-level, off-the-record, invitation-only event.

The Astana Club was established in 2015 as a flagship initiative of the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in partnership with the country’s Institute of World Economics and Politics, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Russian International Affairs Council, and the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

The 2017 meeting of the Astana Club took place over a three-day period and featured keynote discussions with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Chairman of the Kazakh Senate Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and Governor of the Astana International Finance Centre Kairat Kelimbetov.

The roundtable discussion was organized around the theme of “Greater Eurasia 2027: Confrontation or Partnership,” and examined geopolitical, economic, and technological trends shaping the region in the decade ahead. Discussions revolved around Eurasian engagement with China, Russia, Southeast Asia, the EU, and the United States in both geo-political and geo-economic spheres. Topics included energy politics, the Belt and Road Initiative, multilateral trade agreements, security challenges, and regional strategic directionality. It was conducted under Chatham House rules.

Over 60 participants from nearly 30 countries are members of the Astana Club, including high-ranking politicians, former heads of state, diplomats, and leading experts. These include (in alphabetical order): Cai Fang, vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; David Chikvaidze, chef de cabinet of the Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva; Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, former prime minister and foreign minister of Poland; CIRSD Board member and Horizons author Franco Frattini, former vice-president of the European Commission and foreign minister of Italy; Benita Ferrero-Waldner, former foreign minister of Austria and EU Commissioner for External Relations; Horizons author George Friedman, chairman of Geopolitical Futures; Horizons author Abdullah Gul, former president of Turkey; Ji Zhiye, president of the China Academy of Contemporary International Relations; Ilkka Kanerva, member of parliament of Finland and former foreign minister of Finland; Bilahary Kausikan, ambassador-at-large of Singapore; Vaclav Klaus, former president of the Czech Republic; Jae-Young Lee, vice-president of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy; Edward Luttwak, Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Tadashi Maeda, CEO and managing director of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation; Farhad Mammadov, Director of the Azerbaijan Center for Strategic Studies; Marty Natalegawa, former foreign minister of Indonesia; Vladimir Norov, former foreign minister of Uzbekistan; Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies of the Royal United Services Institute; Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour, deputy foreign minister of Iran; Eugene Rumer, director of the Russia and Eurasia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Frederick Starr, Chairman of the SAIS Central Asia–Caucasus Institute; Shashi Tharoor, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of India’s parliament;​ ​​​​​​Danilo Turk, former president of Slovenia; and Ivan Timofeev, director of programs at the Russian International Affairs Council. 

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