The fact that numerous foreign dignitaries flocked to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2023) this year is yet another sign that Western efforts to isolate Russia are faltering, Andrey Sushentsov, a senior member of a prominent Moscow-based think tank, told RT on Friday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the major annual economic event, Sushentsov, who serves as the program director of the Valdai Discussion Club, heaped praise on the forum, noting that it is bristling with “constructive energy” and people seeking new opportunities.
- “We see a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of delegations from different parts of the world, what we in Russia currently call a ‘global majority’,” he said, noting that those include representatives from African, Asian, and Arab countries.
“I don’t sense here a feeling that Russia is under pressure or under sanctions.”
Sushentsov explained that the SPIEF 2023 has emerged as a venue for those who prefer to think about the future globally.
He added that the forum had seen some of the most “intellectually fascinating” discussions, including those hosted by the Valdai Club and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
“I [feel] a very deep sense of commitment to a better future here,” he added.
- The expert also weighed in on the current state of the Russian economy amid Western pressure, saying that “unexpectedly, it feels pretty good.”
He recalled that, while shortly after the onset of the Ukraine conflict both Western and Russian experts took a dim view of the nation’s economic prospects, their apprehensions did not come to pass.