The Kortunov Foreign Policy Debates 2019
The Kortunov Foreign Policy Debates are a project initiated by the Center for the Support and Development of Public Initiatives Creative Diplomacy (PICREADI). It is conducted in the format of a rhetorical competition that deals with foreign policy and international relations.

The Debates are held in the memory of Dr. Sergei V. Kortunov, a Russian political scientist and the author of many publications on national security and identity.

Every year, the Kortunov Debates are unique and specific, with their agenda determined either by the international events of the outgoing year or by an original format of the discussion. What remains unchanged is one thing — the basic rules of the Debates: first, their participants choose one of three most relevant foreign policy topics, and, second, they take opposing sides.

The 10th Anniversary Debates will take place on December 19, 2019. As time has passed, the project has become a professional discussion platform among Russian foreign policy experts. Today, many previous participants of the Kortunov Debates are well-known and recognized foreign policy analysts who represent the new generation in Russia.

The Debates take place every year in December. Both young experts and experienced ones are welcomed to participate in the Debates.

Since 2012, the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) has been PICREADI's permanent partner in organizing the Kortunov Debates.
In 2019, the Debates will take place in the format of a discussion on three topics between Russian experts of RIAC/Creative Diplomacy and their American colleagues of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University on the other side. In total, there will be three pairs of participants, with everyone taking a yes/no position on each question.

Every pair discusses one question during approximately one hour.
The audience votes (yes/no) before the start of the debate — 2 minutes
Each speaker takes the floor (the first round) — 7 minutes for each speech (14 minutes in total)
Speakers clarify their positions (the second round) — 5 minutes for each speech (10 minutes in total)
Speakers pose one question to each other – 1 minute for each question + 3 minutes for each answer (8 minutes in total)
Comments and questions from the audience – 20 minutes in total
The final word of each speaker – 2 minutes (4 minutes in total)
The audience votes again – 2 minutes

The participants will consider the following three questions:
1. Can economic sanctions really change the behavior of governments?
2. Are the United States, Russia, and China doomed for confrontation?
3. Do Russia and the United States currently face an ideological clash?

The participants will include:
1. Ivan Timofeev, Director of Programs at the Russian International Affairs Council (Russia) vs. Daniel Drezner, Professor of International Politics at The Fletcher School at Tufts University (United States)

2. Pavel Kanevsky, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Sociology at Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia) vs. Sulmaan Khan, Associate Professor of International History and Chinese Foreign Relations at The Fletcher School at Tufts University (United States)

3. Alexey Naumov, journalist at Kommersant business daily newspaperand expert at the Russian International Affairs Council (Russia) vs. Chris Miller, Assistant Professor of International History at The Fletcher School at Tufts University (United States)

This year, the audience will vote not for a particular participant, but for a certain response to the question posed within the Debate (yes/no). The voting will take place before and after the discussion. The goal is to understand to what extent the audience changes its attitude toward the presented topic and whether a speaker manages to be persuasive.

The audience votes not for a speaker, but for a response to the question before and after the Debate.

There are three ways anyone can access the voting online:
1) Go to and use code 370094
2) Go to (or choose "voting" above)
3) Use the following QR code