Because the turbulent trajectory of Russia's foreign policy since the collapse of the Soviet Union echoes previous moments of social and political transformation, history offers a special vantage point from which to judge the current course of events. In this book, a mix of leading historians and political scientists examines the foreign policy of contemporary Russia over four centuries of history.
The authors explain the impact of empire and its loss, the interweaving of domestic and foreign impulses, long-standing approaches to national security, and the effect of globalization over time. Contributors focus on the underlying patterns that have marked Russian foreign policy and that persist today. These patterns are driven by the country's political makeup, geographical circumstances, economic strivings, unsettled position in the larger international setting, and, above all, its tortured effort to resolve issues of national identity. In such conditions, Russia will continue to grow and develop more slowly than its immediate neighbors in Greater Eurasia, making the road ahead harder—and longer.
I propose the following such principles. Russia must act abroad pragmatically, primarily to promote or protect its interests; it should not attempt to impose a given political system or international order on other countries or regions of the world. It should have no permanent allies or enemies, save in the latter sense extremist and terrorist groups.
It should maintain working relations with all major players, whatever their ideology or political system and however mixed their history of relations with Russia. It should respect the legitimate security interests of others and be prepared to take them into account. Finally, it should renounce any claim—which is at the same time a burden—to domination, be it of individual states or regions or of the world as a whole.
For Russia, the most important country in Greater Eurasia is China.
It would be a bitter irony if, having rejected the role of a junior partner to the United States, Russia accepted the role of a Chinese tributary state. Russia, which boasts more military, diplomatic, and intelligence expertise than any other SCO member state, can play a key role in this process. Meanwhile, security issues and economic cooperation can be discussed, and action taken, within the framework of the Russia-India-China RIC group, which brings together three leading continental powers.
In its bilateral relations with China, Russia should continue to adhere to the following formula: Russia and China must never act against each other, but they do not necessarily always have to act as one, thereby guaranteeing that neither power will stab the other in the back while refraining from imposing constraints on how the two states interact with the rest of the world. Russia and China are both major powers, even if their economic, political, and military resources and advantages differ.
They must maintain a certain distance from each other; otherwise, friction becomes inevitable. Moscow and Beijing have many reasons to enhance their collaboration in numerous fields, even if it is premature to talk of forming a military alliance. Such an alliance, even if its formation were possible, would not be in the interest of either country. Neither power would feel stronger; instead, both would resent being constrained and clash over questions of leadership. Although Russia will continue to cede ground to China economically, it is still possible for Moscow to maintain and even expand its advantages and in doing so make the Sino-Russian relationship more balanced.
Russian Foreign Policy in the Twenty-First Century and the Shadow of the Past
This applies to not only energy and other natural resources but also agriculture and, at least for the time being, certain technologies, civilian and military alike. Russia also has the potential to develop transport infrastructure linking China and East Asia to Europe by air, land, and sea, that is, the Northern Sea Route. Relations with Europe must be reimagined.
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Russia will no longer attempt to embrace, let alone emulate, its neighbors to the west. For their part, some EU member states will oppose the achievement of good-neighborly relations with Russia, being historically hostile to Moscow and of the view that it is a permanent threat to their independence. Absent changes in this respect, Russia and Europe will remain economic and technological, but not political, partners.
Such goals cannot be achieved without at best the resolution and at worst the de-escalation of the war in eastern Ukraine. Instead, Moscow must accept that Donetsk and Luhansk belong to Ukraine and will inevitably be reintegrated into that country.
Excerpt: The New Russian Foreign Policy | Council on Foreign Relations
As for Ukraine itself, Moscow should dial down its domestic propaganda, abandon the mistaken notion that Russia and Ukraine are fraternal nations, and treat Ukraine as just another neighboring state. Indeed, it is of fundamental importance that Moscow avoid shooting itself in the foot by fueling European fears of Russia. EU enlargement, for its part, poses a challenge to but does not threaten Russia. Japan , a U. As such, it has joined the West in imposing sanctions on Russia since yet has continued to push for the resolution of the Kuril Islands dispute and sought to prevent a Sino-Russian axis.
Russia and India have had a nearly trouble-free partnership for seventy years.
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- Russian Foreign Policy in the 21st Century | SpringerLink?
Today, India is rapidly increasing its economic weight, building up its military strength, and becoming more active in international affairs. Russia should strive to deepen its already privileged relationship with India in every way possible and pursue cooperation in cutting-edge fields, where India has made great progress. A functioning RIC would give Russia the opportunity to soften the rivalry between its two most important Asian partners and strengthen its own position as an experienced and benevolent mediator.
The RIC, having become the core of the SCO, can act as a leader in stabilizing the region and preventing and resolving its armed conflicts, such as the war in Afghanistan. For economic and geopolitical reasons, New Delhi will continue to deepen relations with Washington—ties that are no cause for panic in Moscow, which should focus on developing its own foreign relationships, not undermining those of the United States.
The countries of Northeast and Southeast Asia , especially the highly developed South Korea, interest Russia primarily as economic partners.
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On the Korean Peninsula, Russia seeks increased contacts and especially economic cooperation between Seoul and Pyongyang, anticipating that a thaw will create economic opportunities for Russia. This, of course, does not preclude Russia from interacting and cooperating with all relevant parties, including Japan, as it should do, with an eye to preventing war from breaking out in the immediate vicinity of the Russian Far East. Indeed, its main goal should be to avoid being drawn into such a war and remain unbiased whatever the issue of contention in East or Southeast Asia.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan cooperate with Russia in countering terrorism and extremism through the CSTO, whereas Uzbekistan works with Russia in these areas bilaterally. Andrei Lankov.
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Introduction: Russian Foreign Policy in the 21st Century
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