Article by Nikolay Surkov on the website of the Valdai Discussion Club


The article “The Middle East and the new reality” by Senior Researcher for the Group on Common Problems in the Region of the Center for the Middle East Studies of the IMEMO Nikolay Surkov was published on the website of the Valdai Discussion Club on March 14, 2022. 

The Arab world sees how the center of international tension is shifting from the Middle East. Moreover, a few decades ago this could have raised concerns, but now it is increasingly widely believed that it is a good thing as it will free the region from external intervention that undermines balance and stability.

Although the pandemic has brought some calm to the region, the Middle East is still changing. There are new trends in economy, in public life and in the international relations. The Middle East Workshop of the Valdai Discussion Club, which was held in Moscow in February of this year, highlighted that the region believes in its long-term role of the energy center and is looking for the ways to overcome the legacy of the "Arab Spring" crisis.

There are two most relevant for the countries of the Middle East issues in the sphere of economics. These are the situation in the energy markets and the post-pandemic recovery. Most energy industry participants share the confidence in the long-term demand for hydrocarbons on the world markets, despite the continued energy transition processes. Experts stated that this process will not be revolutionary, but evolutionary, that means, it takes place not through a sharp rejection of fossil fuels, but through the introduction of new technical solutions and more efficient equipment. The refusal is hampered by the fear of governments to impose taxes on emissions. It is significant that even those Western politicians, who prior to coming to power paid increased attention to the climate agenda, behave much more restrained after being elected.

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