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Russian Foreign Policy

Russian Foreign Policy
Interests, Vectors, and Sectors

September 2013 | 456 pages | CQ Press
In a truly contemporary analysis of Moscow's relations with its neighbors and other strategic international actors, Gvosdev and Marsh use a comprehensive vectors approach, dividing the world into eight geographic zones. Each vector chapter looks at the dynamics of key bilateral relationships while highlighting major topical issues—oil and energy, defense policy, economic policy, the role of international institutions, and the impact of major interest groups or influencers—demonstrating that Russia formulates multiple, sometimes contrasting, foreign policies. Providing rich historical context as well as exposure to the scholarly literature, the authors offer an incisive look at how and why Russia partners with some states while it counter-balances others.

List of Tables, Figures, and Map
Principal Vectors in Russian Foreign Policy
About the Editors
The Challenges Facing Russia

1. The Historical Legacy for Contemporary Russian Foreign Policy
The Soviet Legacy

2. Vectors and Sectors: The Russian Foreign Policy Mechanism
The Constitutional Structure: President and Prime Minister

Searching for a Role: The Legislature

The Position of the Foreign Ministry: One Actor Among Many

The Regional Governments

The State Companies and Private Business

The Nongovernmental Organizations

Russian National Security Decision Making

The Principal Vectors

3. The United States: The Main Enemy or Strategic Partner?
Legacy of the Cold War

Gorbachev: The Search for Condominium

The Yeltsin Era and "Tainted Transactions"

Putin-Bush and Obama-Medvedev: Soul Connections?

Some Enduring Obstacles

Institutionalizing the Relationship

The Balance Sheet

4. The Bear and the Dragon: China and the East Asia Vector
Triangular Relations: Opportunities and Challenges

The Dragon Turns to the Bear

The Bear Embraces the Dragon

The Bear Arms the Dragon

An Emerging Strategic Alliance?

Mending Fences: Russia-Japan Relations

Korea: Unparalleled Relations

Vietnam: Moscow's Toehold in Southeast Asia

Setting Its Eyes on Asia

5. The Eurasian Space
The Disintegration of the Soviet Union

The Eurasian Vision

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

The Frozen Conflicts

The Georgia-Russia War and Its Aftermath

The Ties That Bind

Securing Eurasia

A Eurasian Convergence Zone?

The Eurasian Union: USSR Lite?


Putin’s Eurasian Dream

6. Eastern Europe: Comrades no More
The Second World War and the Creation of the Soviet Bloc

1989-1999: The Attempt to Preserve Eastern Europe

The Baltics and Beyond: NATO’s Reach East

Baltic [In]Security

From Tragedy to Reconciliation? Developments in Russia-Poland Relations

Russian Impotence in the Balkans

Moscow’s "Ruble Diplomacy" and Russia's Return to Eastern Europe

7. Europe: Russia's "Traditional Orientation"
Russia and the European Union Since the Soviet Collapse

The Russo-German Relationship

The Russian Relationship with France

The Overlooked Partnership: Italy and Russia

The Bulldog and the Bear: Russia and Great Britain

Other Relationships

The Arctic Dimension

Concluding Thoughts

8. The Near-Eastern Vector
Russia-Turkey: The Unexpected Partnership

Israel: "Practically a Russian-Speaking Country"?

Russia-Saudi Arabia: The Start of a Rapprochement?

Traditional Arab Partners

Moscow’s Traditional Ally Syria

The Transformation of Russian-Iranian Relations

Overall Conclusion

9. Call Across the Himalayas: The South Asia Vector
The Immediate Post-Soviet Policy

The Failed Rapprochement with Pakistan?

The Model Partnership: India

The Russia-India-China Troika

Drivers of the Indo-Russian Entente

10. Africa and Latin America: The Southern Vector
The Return to Africa

Latin America Beckons

Building the BRICS

11. Epilogue

This is strongly recommended for Russian Foregin Policy

Dr Aybak Tunc
Intenational Politics, Middlesex University
March 26, 2015
Key features


  • Unlike other books that merely update Soviet-era approaches, this work balances in-depth historical background with contemporary analysis of Russia’s relationships within each vector or world zone.
  • Comprehensive regional coverage explores all the countries that have relations with Russia.
  • Vector chapters on East Asia and the Middle East offer students up-to-date coverage of these important geopolitical regions.
  • An overview chapter on process provides important context on the political institutions as well as non-government entities that influence Russia’s foreign policy decision-making.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

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