Russian Foreign Policy

The study of the history of the development of Russian foreign policy doctrine, and its heritage and miscalculations. Analysis of the achievements of Russia in the field of international relations. Russia's strategic interests in Georgia and the Caucasus.

Рубрика Международные отношения и мировая экономика
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Язык английский
Дата добавления 11.06.2012
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This dissertation sets out to explain the complex nature of Russian foreign policy in the post-Soviet era, from the collapse of the USSR in December 1991 and the accession of Boris Yeltsin to the year 2011 which has been marked by the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev. When Winston Churchill speculated that the key to understanding Russia might be `national interest', he could little have imagined the extent to which, more than half a century later, the foreign policy of the largest of the post-Soviet successor states would so reflect the perversity of human nature. Far from exhibiting an underlying if specific pragmatism, Moscow's relations with the outside world have been liberally streaked with some degree of irrationality and dominated by fundamental dichotomies: continuity and change, consensus and conflict. Easy assumptions about a broader `national interest' and common priorities have been challenged by the politics of sectionalism and personalities, with rationality and logic acquiring multiple, contradictory forms. Attempting to conceptualize the foreign policy of the past decade is a daunting, perhaps even foolhardy endeavor. Apart from reviewing the historical flow of foreign policy development, this dissertation is set to analyze twists and turns of Russian international politics during last two decades as well as foreseeing the upcoming prospects in its relations. The essence of Russia's foreign policy is predetermined by the long-term objectives of the revival of Russia as a democratic free state and securing favorable conditions for the formation of today's dynamic economy, guarantee decent living Russians and the financial and economic independence of the country, as well as full and natural inclusion of Russia into the international community as a great political power with the long history, unique geopolitical position, sufficient military power, with significant technological, intellectual and ethical potential. The most important foreign policy challenges that require coordinated and sustained efforts of all state institutions of the country are the cessation of hostilities and resolution of conflicts around Russia in order to prevent their spreading into country's territory and guaranteeing of strict adherence of human rights especially regarding ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking population in the neighboring countries. The core task is also to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of Russia. In accordance with a federal treaty concerning foreign policy and international relations, those functions constitute the responsibility of federal agencies and the federal subjects as autonomous actors of international and foreign economic relations if it does not contradict the Russian Constitution and federal laws. Russian foreign policy is based on the interests of both the Federation as a whole and its particular subjects. Such unity of foreign policy is the result of harmonization of interests and at the same time a reliable guarantee of their full support by the government. The transformation of one of the largest countries in the world in the direction of democratic development had radically changed global balance of political powers. Termination of the policy, which was marked as the confrontation of "two systems" with its projection on all aspects of international life, not only delayed the threat of global war and made the most of the accumulated warfare in an era of confrontation between the arms unnecessary, but also laid a new premise of the constructive cooperation on the regional and global levels , in the UN and other international organizations. Russia recognizes the importance of the concept of "new political thinking", which was the first attempt to overcome the deadlock confrontation. Russia had suffered from fascination with the abstract concepts of some kind of non-conflict globalism on the one hand and the preservation of outdated notions of opposition among "two systems" as a guideline for it's foreign policy. Despite the intermediate value of "new thinking", this duality of concepts have been the major reason of shortcomings and weaknesses in Russia's foreign policy. Democratic nature of the new Russian Federation made it possible to overcome this phase of uncertainty. It ended the struggle of ideologies. It's time to thy mind on of the needs of Russia, provided by the the economic, diplomatic, military and other means. This historical stage provides the foundation for equal partnership with its neighbors as well as with leading democratic and economically developed countries on the basis of upholding political and social values and interests through real interaction on the contrary of swings from confrontation to utopias in the past. The country is accumulating experience of mutually beneficial resolution of discrepancies and contradictions between Russia and other countries. The possibility is currently opening for practical consideration of the specific historical, geopolitical and economic interests of Russia in the framework of civilized international relations. The way world will turn up by the end of the 21st century depends, among other objective processes, on the success of Russia's reforms, on the strength of civil society in Russia and a federal arrangement, of its foreign policy. In turn, foreign policy can not be effective without strengthening the democratic Russian state and a comprehensive and realistic consideration of processes which are currently going on overseas. In particular this applies to the former Soviet republics, where the crisis phenomenon of post-totalitarian period directly affect the security of Russia, the pace and opportunities to overcome the economic and social crisis in the Russian state. Even if the most serious forms of crisis and national and territorial conflicts which were fueled by it, can be solved, the transition to democracy and a healthy market economy still would be painful and protracted process. The effect on the formation of foreign policy by the number of states of the CIS (The Commonwealth of Independent States) during the period of formation of independence is characterized by exaggerated distancing from Russia, fueled by nationalistic territorial disputes, including claims concerning Russia, as well as some kind of allergic reaction to anything that might resemble a dependence on the former Soviet Union structures. The understanding of the objective reality that rely on the policy of a renewed Russia facilitates the solution of national problems. But it will not come at once. Moreover, in search of their own place in the world community, some of these states, especially in the Asian part of the former Soviet Union, are trying to find a foothold in close to them in the ethnological, religious, or economic relations of countries, including those who fought in the course of history with Russia over the influence in the different regions. Thus there is a complex process of forming a closer circle of Russia's geopolitical environment, the outcome of which will largely depend on Russia's ability of political conviction, in extreme cases with the use of military force, its ability to assert the principles of international law, including the rights of minorities in order to achieve a lasting good relations. There is a complicated process of finding a new political identity which is still going on. In addition to the predominant traction towards the West and attempts to obtain guarantees of security and connect as a full or associate member of the West European integration structures tend to resume on a new basis of relations with Russia, a gap which, especially in the economic area, is exacerbating the difficulties of overcoming the crisis, the emergence of market mechanisms and the modernization of the economy. Following dissertation is aimed to analyze the history of development of the foreign policy of modern Russia, the mistakes it made and to foresee to a certain extent a further development of a country's international relationships. It is vital that Russia's foreign policy orientation would be based not on ideological or party needs but on the fundamental national interests. Russia should firmly take a course on development of relations with countries the cooperation with whom could be helpful in addressing the priorities of national revival, first of all - with Russia's neighbors, economically powerful and technologically advanced Western nations and newly industrialized countries in different regions. For start, it might be useful to review the priorities and principles of Russian foreign policy. The core of Russia's foreign policy is to ensure the realization of country's national interests. Within the framework of this fundamental problem the following key priorities are highlighted: provision of Russian security by political means in all dimensions, including the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, strengthening of stability along the Russian border, in neighboring regions and the world as a whole; protection of rights, freedom, dignity and well-being of Russians; guarantee favorable external conditions for the promotion of democratic reforms in towards the formation of civil society; Mobilization of financial and technical support for creating an effective market economy, the development of the competitiveness of Russian producers and ensure their interests in global markets, help solve domestic social problems; formation of a fundamentally new, equal and mutually beneficial relations between Russia and the CIS member states and other former Soviet republics, extension of the policy of strategic partnership and allied relations with foreign countries which had been the most successful in solving those problems which are solved now in Russia; It's actions regarding foreign policy are based strictly on the basis of international law, adherence to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the CSCE, including the inviolability of borders and territorial integrity of states. The boundaries may be changed in accordance with international law, by peaceful means and by agreement. Russia does not consider a priori no state or as a hostile or friendly like, but it comes from a desire to build by all possible means a good and mutually beneficial relationships, seeking for settlement of disputes and conflicts through political compromise and not conflict.

The optimal way for Russia to solve the problem of forming a security zone, and good neighborliness around the perimeter of its borders lies within the full stabilization of the geopolitical area around Russia and the establishment of zones of a constructive regional cooperation. For this purpose Russia intends to make the most of its foreign policy opportunities associated with this space in the functional and geographic regions within internal territory. Russia as a country - successor of the former Soviet Union and it carries the rights and responsibilities in the world stage surpassed to it after the fall of the Soviets. In consultation with other CIS member states, it contributes to the realization of the rights and obligations of the former Soviet Union to the extent of which such rights and obligations are subject to it's jurisdiction.


Immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union a young Russian diplomacy could not boast with the experience of designing doctrines regarding international policies. The first conceptual constructions in the area of foreign policy were in fact derived from the theoretical framework that was available in the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s. Of course, it was necessary to change the words and ideas in order to form a decent policy. But it was easier than to change the logic of professionals and politically active public, which had been educated largely on the basis of a Soviet model. Perhaps this is why the ideological baggage of the first generation of Russian foreign policy doctrine is a reinterpretation of a selected Soviet ideas regarding this matter. First of all, there were two ideas: one of Lenin's time, the second from Gorbachev's era. The first thesis, adopted by the new Russian government and easily assimilated by the public, sounded as "the provision of a favorable international environment for building democracy in Russia" (Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation," 1992 / / Foreign and Security Policy of Contemporary Russia (1991-1998). Chrestomathy in two volumes. T. 2. Documents / Comp. TA Shaklein. Moscow: Moscow Public Science Foundation, 1999. P. 17, 21). He was in tune with the way Lenin proclaimed the main goal of foreign policy of Soviet Russia as fostering external conditions for the construction of socialism in the country. The second point was less archaic, but it also had not been innovative. It continued the logic of the "new political thinking" of M. Gorbachev the integral part of which was the idea of universal values. But while for the new political thinking the principal value has been the survival of humanity and its salvation from nuclear war, the new thinking "in Yeltsin's view" was regarded as universal interest assigned to the democratization of the world. It was assumed that this democratization is attainable through joint efforts of all democratic countries and since year 1991 Russia has reckoned itself as such kind of country. From this view the idea of "democratic solidarity" had emerged which had been viewed as modern and natural reinterpretation of well understood by the Russians old Soviet concept of "socialist internationalism." This phenomenon was interpreted in the USSR as the doctrine of the common historical destiny and the fundamental interests of socialist countries. Similarly, the "democratic solidarity" was pictured as an attractive hypothesis with the idea that all democratic countries (including Russia) will act in solidarity, with regard for one another, as befits the states with common interests. The idea of a favorable external environment for the sake of building democracy was more pragmatic. Hypothesis about solidarity of actions has been more impregnated with ideology. On the level of practice both of them intertwined. But once accustomed to perceive the world primarily through the prism of ideology, as was customary in the Soviet Union, the new leaders of Russia (Boris Yeltsin's entourage and the president himself) exaggerated the role of solidarity with the West, seeing it as a tool to ensure a favorable international environment. The latter required the new regime to survive, the destruction of the Soviet system and the creation instead of it some version of the democratic system. Diplomacy of early 1990s had to solve complex problems. It had to build a new Russia in a dramatically changed international environment, trying to minimize the inevitable losses. Thus occurred a difficult political and psychological problem. The Soviet Union acted as a unique actor and the main force opposing "global capitalism" on the world stage. New Russia had to master the role of a regular actor among democratic countries. Soviet citizens had been accustomed to believe that they live in "the world's first country of triumphant socialism." This was an important component of self-esteem for Soviet citizens, the foundation of its foreign policy ideology and notions of "universal and historical mission" of the Soviet Union as the leader of world communism. Nationals of the new Russia could not think anything of that kind with regard to their country. The new democratic environment, in which the Russian Federation was trying to "fit" has already had its own leader and its own "Messiah." The United States, like the Soviet Union, also saw themselves as a unique country - "the world's first victorious state of freedom" and "leader of world democracy." The balance of powers that existed between Moscow and Washington in the early 1990s, the problem of their rivalry in any sense, could not stand in the current environment. A key line of behavior of Russian diplomacy was "leveling" of the its positions on international issues with the positions of the US and Western Europe, which together with the reunited Germany in the 1992 officially proclaimed themselves as the European Union. The period 1992-1993 has been an amazing time. The Russian government has avoided to clearly indicate its national interests regarding foreign policy, identifying them with those of democratic countries, "the world community of democracies" in general. "Moscow strongly urged international partners - in spite of their lack of confidence - to recognize that support for the initiatives of the Western countries is the main foreign policy goal of the Russian Federation. A typical figure in this respect was the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Kozyrev". (Kozyrev, A. Partnership Strategy / / Foreign and Security Policy of Contemporary Russia (1991-1998). Chrestomathy in two volumes. T. 1. Book. 1 / Comp. TA Shaklein. Moscow: Moscow Public Science Foundation, 1999. P. 150-166). The logic of his foreign policy, based on the line of "democratic solidarity", is most clearly manifested in the behavior of Moscow during the initial period of the disintegration of Yugoslavia (1991-1992). Russia unreservedly supported the formation of new independent states on the territory of former federation - first Slovenia and Croatia, and then - Bosnia and Macedonia. Moscow declared its diplomatic recognition of new governments of the former Yugoslavia together with the European Union, and before such declaration had been made by the United States. It is significant that Washington did not hurry with a decision concerning the recognition of new states, assessing possible complications in the case of anticipated opposition from Moscow and a potential war on the Balkans. Refusal of Russia to support the central government in Belgrade against the separatist Croatia and Slovenia was a surprise to many Western diplomats. But Russian leaders had their own logic. Having come to power under the banner of "self-determination of Russia from the USSR", feeling vulnerable to charges of aiding and abetting separatism in general, Boris Yeltsin sought to prove their strength and integrity. The actions of Russian diplomacy on the Balkans in the early 1990s had to demonstrate the consistent support of Moscow's principle of "right of nations for self-determination" applicable to all situations within the former Soviet Union and beyond. Within the country at this time the Russian government has led a risky game with the separatists, using them against a large part of the "pre Yeltsin" Soviet party and state elite, which kept the power in the Russian regions and did not trust Boris Yeltsin. Therefore, local nationalists seized power in autumn 1991 in Chechnya with such ease, and were trying to repeat the success in other republics of Northern Caucasus and the Volga region. The policy of decentralization, part of which was an extremely liberal interpretation of the principle of "right of nations to self-determination", in fact, helped Boris Yeltsin. Because of it regional elite, autonomous republics and economically prosperous regions of Russia eventually not only provided political support for the president, but also provided the necessary material resources in exchange for recognition by the federal government of their rights and privileges (including tax relief), which together led to a redistribution of power in Russia between the center and the regions in favor of the latter. Russian foreign policy in this regard and during this period was a reflection and extension of the interior one. By destroying the Soviet system in the country, the Russian government without regret has helped to break the remains of the old international order. The latter seemed to be part of the heritage of the Soviet Union from which they could safely get rid of, bearing in mind that every step in the destruction of this heritage in the Moscow interpreted as evidence of its commitment to solidarity with the West. Meantime, in the U.S and the EU the debate unfolded regarding a new world order and global democratic society. Being immersed in the internal turmoil in the first half of the 1990s, Russia could not pursue an active foreign policy. And it was not trying to do so. The growth of the U.S. presence in Eastern Europe (Central-Eastern Europe) and the former Soviet Union did not cause any protest or opposition. Russia not only expressed no concern about the proclaimed in September 1993 American concept of "expanding democracy", but welcomed it wrongly assuming that the program would bring her a direct financial benefit. This concept has proclaimed the most important foreign policy challenge of the United States to support democratic reforms and building democracy in the former socialist countries of Europe. Theoretically, this also included Russia, although in fact, virtually all U.S. assistance towards establishing democracy was addressed to former "Warsaw Pact" countries completely disregarding Russia. Just as an aid to Western Europe under the Marshall Plan in 1947 was intended to create binding of Western European countries to the U.S., the concept of "spread democracy" was supposed to solve (and it in fact did) this task in relation to the former Eastern European socialist countries. It has contributed to the total destruction of their economic, cultural and other ties with Moscow. Countries in the region shifted in economic terms to the interaction with the European Union, and in the political and military - in cooperation with the United States. The United States became the most influential political force in this part of the world, "intercepting " the role from the "old" European leaders - France and Germany. As a result of the concept of "expanding democracy" Russia has not received anything. However, the loyalty that it showed towards the U.S. activities in Eastern Europe, that meekness with which it perceived its exclusion from this part of the world, brought some of the winnings. U.S. and EU countries supported the requests of Moscow to the international financial institutions - the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Large-scale borrowing from these institutions have been in those days an important condition for the economic survival of Russia, which since 1992 as a result of "shock therapy" of the Government of Yegor Gaidar was in a situation close to economic collapse. Characteristically, by providing concessional assistance to the Eastern European countries, the Western countries did not provide similar benefits to Russia. The financial and economic assistance was delivered to it on the usual conditions. For such a choice of the West there were several reasons. Firstly, it was important to complete the reform of small and medium-sized ex-socialist countries as quickly as possible and with the predominance of Western aid. Secondly, it was in the interests of international creditors to impose the large financial commitment upon Russia, interest on which, together with the principal sum had to substantially exceed the original loan amount. Lending to Russia does not seem a risky investment for international experts taking into account the export potential of its energy. Thirdly, accepted obligations to loans by Russia had given the international institutions levers of influence on the economic policy of the Russian government. IMF and the World Bank provided funds on such harsh conditions, that lenders have had the opportunity to control the actions of the borrowing country. The first half of the 1990s - is the time not only of the collapse of relations with former socialist countries, but also with the states of the Arab East, South Asia, Africa and Latin America. Russia 'left' part of the world - especially from those countries which where connected with military-political cooperation and geopolitical ambitions of the Soviet Union upon global leadership. This kind of diplomatic retreat has been explained in the country as a need for better use of scarce foreign policy resources. Outside Russia, this line was presented as a conscious move away from unnecessary rivalry with the West at the points that had no significance for Russian interests, but had a value, for example, for the interests of the United States and the EU (Latin America, Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa). This period is connected with an important, meaningful innovation at that time. For the first time in history the subject of official bilateral discussions at the international level was the internal politics of Russia. The Soviet Union has always firmly adhered to the principle not to discuss the international negotiations regarding issues of domestic policy. All the Soviet concept of peaceful coexistence contained provisions on the right of each country to choose its own version of the political system. This principle has been enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act in 1975, and many other international documents. n June 1992, Moscow took a step toward the demise of this principle position. During the visit of Boris Yeltsin to Washington the Charter of the Russian-American partnership and friendship was signed. In the preamble and several parts of this doctrine have been specified the principles which the Russian government intended to follow upon the conduct of domestic policy which stated its willingness to support the United States. These principles were identified as "democracy, freedom, human rights, respect for minority rights, including the national ones" (The Charter of the Russian-American partnership and friendship / / Foreign and Security Policy of Contemporary Russia (1991-1998). Chrestomathy in two volumes. T. 2. Documents / Comp. Tatyana Shakleina. Moscow: Moscow Public Science Foundation, 1999. P. 442-443, 447). This was the first time in Russian history, when the document concluded with a foreign state, regulated provisions relating to public order and internal affairs of Russia. The Charter was a "code of conduct" to which the Russian government pledged to follow. In fact, Moscow has agreed to recognize behind the United States a right to be an informal arbiter in the evaluation of the Russian reforms. The literature sources has featured the phrase "homework" of Russia - it was a set of a moral and political commitments necessary to carry out internal reforms, which would enable to prepare it for a meaningful partnership with the West. The same document contained a provision on the "indivisibility of security" of North America and Eurasia: "Security is indivisible from Vancouver [Pacific port in Canada on Canadian-American border] to Vladivostok. " By signing the Charter, Russia has officially linked its national security with national security of NATO countries. In the understanding of the Russian government provision of its security now clearly conceived in the context of cooperation with NATO. It highlighted the formation of a "quasi alliance" between Russia and the United States. American politicians talked about the fact that the basis of Russian-American rapprochement is cooperation in the democratic transformation of Russia, the construction of a free society and market economy. For several years the idea of "democratic solidarity" between Russia and the West eclipsed controversy that existed in their relationship. wo years of economic disaster (1992-1993), crisis management, massive delays of wages, inflation, rising prices, strikes - all was attributed in Russia with a course of radical liberal reforms. The left opposition accused the president of neglecting national interests and implementation of policies that would benefit the West. The negative attitude toward the authorities exacerbated by the October events in 1993, during which the opposition to Boris Yeltsin was suppressed by force on behalf of members of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. The first elections to the State Duma of Russia in December 1993 showed a sharp drop in popularity of pro-presidential forces and the rise of nationalist sentiment. Enthusiasm for the benefits of cooperation with the West, from which a liberal portion of Russian society was expecting effective help in the name of "democratic solidarity" grew weaker. There were growing doubts about the true goals of Western countries towards Russia. The Americans were accused of wanting to "take advantage of the plight of Russia." With no intention to change the foreign policy, the government tried to change the official phraseology. At the beginning of 1994 during the first speeches after the last elections to the Duma, Russia's Foreign Minister Alexander Kozyrev first ventured to say about "special interests" of Russia in the zone of the former Soviet republics. Although it was not followed by the activation of Russian policy in the CIS, the words of Minister symbolized a new trend: under pressure of public sentiment the administration began to realize the need to modify at least the ideological and theoretical component of foreign policy. The authorities tried to connect the logic of the "democratic solidarity" with the elements of liberal statism (liberal nationalism) with absolute predominance of the former. On practice, this resulted in the continuation of policy coordination with the U.S. and the EU. But now the co-operation was accompanied by reservations, and timid attempts of Russian diplomacy to accompany it with the nomination of certain conditions. Either Russia would become effective, including military and political aspects, tool of solidarity actions with the West, or it needed to clearly define the limits of rapprochement with it. In the first case, perhaps it was necessary to prepare for joint action with NATO in the Balkans or in peacekeeping operations in Africa. In the second - should formulate some kind of interaction rules that would restrict the behavior of both NATO and Russia. Meanwhile the reality of the mid-1990s became more controversial. In 1995 the war in Bosnia reached its climax. September of 1995 was followed by NATO's intervention in this country, which caused criticism in Russia against not only of the the Western powers but also Boris Yeltsin and A. Kozyrev, for their failure to prevent such actions. That same year elections to the State Duma which has already carried out under the new Constitution, showed a further decline in the popularity of the president and the growing popularity of anti-Western forces in Russia. In the West, new developments have taken into account in its own way, and in 1995 they started to openly discuss the prospects of NATO expansion to the east. In Moscow, this was fairly regarded as an attempt to exert pressure on Russia and the expression of the latent threat from the West. Meanwhile, in the summer of 1996 Boris Yeltsin had to go through the presidential elections, the chances to win which where were small. In this situation the government has made a deliberate and symbolic change: "too westernized" Alexander Kozyrev was replaced as foreign minister at the beginning of 1996 by Primakov, who had a reputation as a strong politician and moderate statesman. He was not ashamed of words about the need to defend national interests, but also made them a constant refrain of his own presentations and speeches from his subordinate senior foreign ministry officials. "Primakov, in fact, compared with its predecessor, began to speak more often about relations with its Asian neighbors - Japan, China, India and Arab countries" (E.M. Primakov International Relations on the brink of the XXI century / / Foreign and Security Policy of Contemporary Russia (1991-1998). Chrestomathy in two volumes. T. 1. Book. 1 / Comp. Tatyana Shakleina. Moscow: Moscow Public Science Foundation, 1999. P. 179-195). He considered the collapse of relations with Latin America not justified. But being a realist, Primakov was not seduced over the the relation of opportunity between world powers and did not question the policy of partnership with the most powerful and promising of them. He saw his task as the minister not to oppose Russian interests in the west, but to teach the West the need to negotiate all the major decisions that affect their interests with Moscow. In 1991-1995, Russian diplomacy did not dare even to encroach on it. Diplomacy was geared to minimize the damage from the major international processes, in which Russia was objectively included, but in the regulation of which it actually took no part. It is important to note that the focus on partnership with the West have not questioned. The novelty consisted in the transition to a more active protection of it's interests by Moscow. The foreign policy of Russia in the second half of the 1990s, was no longer based on "democratic solidarity". The conceptual meaning of the Russian foreign policy of the second half of the 1990's is best conveyed by the phrase "selective partnership". This concept has had been focused on the preference of cooperation with the U.S. and the EU. However, it accentuated the spirit of Russia's hard bargaining negotiations with the West, defending its views and the right to determine in which cases it to be at one with its Western partners, and in which to distance itself from them. The new approach began to emerge during Primakov's term and remained with appointment of Ivanov who became foreign minister in September 1998 following the appointment of Primakov as prime minister. It seemed that a universal formula of foreign policy had been found. It was both pragmatic and principled. Principled because it did not put into question the vector of partnership with the West. Pragmatic - because the logic of "selectivity" (resistance or partnership) gave policy flexibility. Pragmatic because the logic of "selectivity" (resistance or partnership) gave this policy flexibility. Last years of the twentieth century turned out to be the difficult test for Russia's foreign policy. Having measured and estimated weakness of Russia after the crisis, West "as if on purpose" started to reckon with Russia even less. If the peacekeeping operation in Bosnia in 1996 could pass off as the result of concerted decisions of Russia, NATO and the EU, the conflict over Kosovo in 1999, had been intervened by Western countries in defiance of Moscow. In the midst of the "Kosovo crisis" in the spring of 1999 President Boris Yeltsin decided to make a principal changes in military doctrine of the Russian Federation. In its new version, approved in 2000 was stipulated the right of Russia for the "first nuclear strike" from which the Soviet Union voluntarily refused in the late 1970s. Russia and the West under the pressure of the experience of relations in the 1990s, got rid of the mutual illusions, but at the same time kept the relationship in a non-confrontational line, making use of new instruments and mechanisms. In 2000, the experience of Russia-NATO interaction of the second half of the 1990s was summed up in the "Russian foreign policy doctrine of the second generation, the essence of which has been sustained in the spirit of selective partnership" (The Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation. June 28, 2000 / / Foreign and Security Policy of modern Russia in four volumes. 1991-2002. T. 4 / Comp. Tatyana Shakleina. M. ROSPEN, 2002. P. 109-121). The rise to power of Vladimir Putin (first "preliminary" in 1999, and then "final" in 2000) did not immediately reveal the changes. In the media coverage coming of Vladimir Putin has been marked by a wave of laments over the "instability" of Russia's relations with the West and the growth of Russia-NATO differences. Under president Putin, Russian foreign policy has experienced a revival that contains elements of both restoration and revolution. Russia is back on the world stage, seeking legitimization of its new role and projecting power through economic, as opposed to traditional political-military means. It has revived a pre-revolutionary national identity stressing Russia's unique path to modernity. Relations with the West have deteriorated as Russia has challenged agreements that were concluded in the 1990s when it was weak. The Putin legacy in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is mixed; with gains in Central Asia and losses in the Western newly independent states (NIS) and the South Caucasus. However, unless Russia addresses its domestic societal problems its ability to play the role of a great power will remain limited. After a decade of weakness and upheaval, Russia returned to the world stage during Vladimir Putin's eight-year presidency, regaining in?uence in its neighborhood and beyond, and venturing into parts of the globe from which it retreated after the Soviet collapse. Moreover, Putin's Russia sought to revise many of the major agreements it had concluded with the West in the 1990s, when it was weak and had to accept an agenda imposed on it by Europe and the United States. This is the restorative aspect of the new Russian foreign policy, symbolized by its hosting the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg in 2006 and its award of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The revolutionary part is that Russia is, for the ?rst time in its history, a major global economic player, especially in the energy ?eld, after years of strong domestic economic performance driven by high oil prices. It could become a serious outward investor as it is poised to dispose of potential sovereign wealth funds and as its corporations go global. As First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said at the 2008 Munich Security Conference, `we don't export ideology anymore--we only export goods and capital' (Ivanov 2008). Moreover, the Putin administration, by recapturing the commanding heights of the economy, created a system whereby the Kremlin is directly involved in international economic activity, blurring the lines between what is political and what is commercial. This new Russian reality expressed itself in increasingly confrontational rhetoric toward the West. Putin's 2007 Munich Security Conference speech lambasted American unilateralism (Putin 2007a) and in his ?nal address to the State Council he accused the West of unleashing a new arms race and trying to gain access to Russia's natural resources (Putin 2008). This rhetoric had a negative e?ect on Russia's political relations with both Europe and the United States, although economic ties with the West became robust. Russia remains without allies, pursuing `multi-vector' policies. As Foreign Minister Lavrov explained, `Russia will continue playing its balancing role in global a?airs. It will never be part of new ``holy alliances'' against anybody' (Lavrov 2007). It seeks to ensure that no major international problems can be resolved without its participation and ability to in?uence the terms of the settlement. Russian foreign policy under Putin underwent a dramatic evolution, mirroring the domestic changes implemented by the president. Taking o?ce in the aftermath of the 1998 financial collapse and the pluralist but politically weak Yeltsin years, Putin restored stability to the country by reining in forces of decentralisation and competition, creating the `power vertical', restoring control over the country by the Kremlin and its allied party United Russia, and recapturing state control over the commanding heights of the economy. He was lucky enough to preside over this restoration while oil prices skyrocketed from $27 a barrel in 2000 to $130 a barrel by mid-2008. Where under Yeltsin powerful oligarchs could sometimes pursue their own commercial interests abroad, under Putin foreign policy-making was recentralised. Indeed, during the Putin years, it became increasingly challenging to understand how Russian foreign policy is made. On many crucial decisions--for instance, support for the United States establishing military bases in Central Asia after 9/11, support of Viktor Yanukovich during the 2004 Ukrainian elections or turning off the gas to Ukraine in January 2006--the assumption was that President Putin himself was the ultimate decision maker. Nevertheless, it appeared that the domestic `power vertical' extended to foreign policy which was made by a narrow circle of people. To some extent, the emergence of Russia for the first time ever as a major global economic player was a result of forces outside the Kremlin's control, namely high energy prices. In 2007, Russian economic output was 70% larger than in 1999 in real terms and Russian economic performance was considerably above what was predicted a few years earlier. Putin pursued a skilful economic policy for much of his time in office, with sound fiscal measures, the creation of a fund from energy pro?ts that could be used for investment in Russia and abroad, the early payback of Russia's foreign debt and some domestic diversi?cation away from an economy based solely on raw materials production and export. Putin succeeded in one of his key goals--restoring Russia's status as a great power whose interests have to be taken into account by the international community. This is partly a product of Russia's growing economic clout, but also because the international environment created opportunities that Putin, initially playing a weak hand rather well, was able to use to Russia's advantage. The major legacy of the Putin era that is in part a consequence of the brittle nature of the US-Russian relationship is Russia's determination to revise the agreements of the 1990s, ensure that it never again signs up to policies determined solely by the West and insist that no major international problem can be resolved without Russia's participation. If need be, Russia will do everything it can to prevent resolution of these issues, as the case of Kosovo shows. Putin improved ties with new EU members, largely through economic and energy diplomacy. He visited the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria and signed energy deals with them that guarantee greater Russian control of the European market. Thus, the European picture was mixed. Many of the new EU members have only recently emerged from centuries--or at least decades--of Russian and Soviet domination and remain wary of Russia's intentions. However, dependence on Russian energy and traditional economic links remain, and Russia's presence in Central Europe is greater today than it was in 2000. At the end of the Putin presidency, the West was more wary of Russia than it was at the beginning of his tenure. And it is questionable whether the highly centralised system that Putin has restored is really an adequate model for a great power in the twenty-?rst century. The domestic and international legacy of this `sovereign democracy' will outlast the Putin era, but it could eventually limit Russia's ability to play the role of a twenty-?rst century great global power if the Kremlin does not fully address its domestic challenges and if it continues its confrontational stance toward the West. Following the breakthrough of Putin in the field of foreign affairs, the newly elected, by that time, president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev on August 31, 2008 announced the "five positions" of Russian foreign policy: 1)Primacy of the fundamental principles of international law. 2)Rejection of a unipolar world and the construction of a multipolar world. 3)Avoiding isolation and confrontation with other countries. 4)Protection of lives and dignity of Russian citizens "no matter where they are." 5)Protecting the interests of Russia in the "friendly regions." The highlights of Medvedev's foreign policy include the new European security architecture initiative launched during his visit to Germany in June 2008, a month after he assumed office, a five-day war with Georgia later that year, the subsequent statement on "the sphere of privileged interests" and the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. A gas war with Ukraine left part of Europe without heat in the middle of winter, but then Russia signed the "Gas for Fleet" agreement, under which it cut gas prices for Ukraine in return for an extension of the deployment of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea. Medvedev has exchanged words with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, against whom he even initiated a media war. In a surprise move, Russia approved military intervention in Libya but later said that it was a mistake. Medvedev's visit to the South Kurils caused a sharp deterioration in relations with Japan. His indirect foreign policy achievements include the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and progress in relations with Poland, although Vladimir Putin contributed more to both of these than Medvedev. Analyzing Russia's activity in the period from spring 2008 to autumn 2011, it could be pointed out that its foreign policy was not the sole responsibility of Medvedev, but a joint effort of the ruling tandem, even though Putin stayed behind the scenes for the most part. A closer look at Russia's foreign policy achievements leads to a paradoxical conclusion. Medvedev, with his friendly smile and pro-modernization rhetoric so acceptable to Europe and the United States, was widely seen as a pro-Western politician. Yet Russia has made hardly any advances on the Western front, while its anti-Western or alternative policy directions have proved much more successful. Medvedev has set out a policy which will be continued under Putin: Russia's transformation into a power with a regional focus, although the region in this case is Eurasia, which adds a global dimension. As a conclusion to this chapter it might be stated that following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia endured a difficult rebirth into a unipolar world order where it struggled to find its place for some time. For some time it carried out the role of a dependent upon the will and interests of the West. This had been the most significant right after the collapse of the USSR. But with time Russia had found levers of influence on the global stage and now is becoming close to a status of major political force in the world. Russian modern foreign policy might be described as a multipolar international system, where a plurality of stakeholders shares the burden of enforcing international law and guaranteeing global stability. All three presidents had made a significant influence of the foreign policy of Russian Federation, although their methods and tools of influence differed depending on the situation. Having been left with "broken trough", after collapse of the USSR, Yeltsin tried to carry out the politics of non-interference and obliquely help its yesterday's sworn enemy to establish authority at what has been recent strongholds of social ideology. No one can blame him for that as it is in general the ordinary historical contour. Besides, Russian had to deal with the vast array of internal problems and preserving the leftovers from regime was it's natural and logical option. Putin managed to grope the strong suit of renewed Russia (natural resources) and utilize it as a tool of influence of the international arena. He wasn't an obedient lamb, the sense of authority is in his subconscious I recon (maybe because of his IS (intelligence service) past). Nevertheless, he propelled Russia on the qualitatively new level of diplomatic game. Medvedev was but a successor of Putin's ideas and trends. But his term brought some new directions of Russian foreign policy development. It began to pay more attention to Eurasia distancing itself from Europe to the merit of a economical cooperation. Russia is perceived not as a peasant waving red flag, but a bunch of suits sitting on the oil pipe counting profit. Is it for the best of worst the next chapter of dissertation will try to reveal. In general pubic eyes, Russian bureaucrats made numerous miscalculations in conducting international relations as initiating the military conflicts or speculating on natural resources supply and it may result in a unfavorable consequences. But at the same it might be the part of some major plan, which is unavailable for the public. Nevertheless, those events definitely are worth analyzing.

Overview and successes of Russian foreign policy

After analyzing in the previous chapter various turns of state and foreign policy of the Russian Federation, it is evident that over the past two decades, the state had no direct and deliberate course of development. Having stopped be a world power in economic as in military aspects, Russia turned out to be crossroads and one might say, alone against the world. In fact, the whole of reality turned upside down for this one mighty state in the flash.

The newborn country had to cope and adapt to new realities in express mode. But the big bang did not happen, and Russia was looking at the realities of the new world through the prism of the socialist mentality. Situation on the world stage dictated the need to adapt, not to dictate terms. As the prospect of any increase of its own credibility in the international arena for Russia was not expected, it was necessary to at least preserve the basis of national sovereignty and security.

Therefore at the initial stage of development of national policy, Russia has chosen a strategy of neutrality and non-interference in a certain processes of establishing and implementation of interests of American and Western European countries in the former Soviet Union's sphere of influence. The vicissitudes of the conflict in Kosovo and the relatively passive position of Russia regarding this issue had been discussed in the previous chapter. But this is only a single example, which confirms the caution with which Russia had acted on the international scene at the time. In fact, without specific direction of development, or at least the concept of how to act in this new environment, the promotion of their interests was close to impossible. At that time government of Russia has been fully engaged in the problems of internal character and foreign policy faded into the background to some extent.

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