That's why Russia had to define a new foreign policy, since its national identity, its national interests and its domestic politics on which foreign policy is based had been modified. The main visible change is a normalisation of relations with the other countries which comes from the idea that Russia is just a normal great power which does not, and as we will see, cannot, rely on threats as it used to do. But this change is not as simple as it looks: abandoning an Empire and a huge influence in the world cannot be accepted by the country in a few months, and efforts have to be made to establish a multidirectional and non-aggressive foreign policy. Some questions were raised: does Russia has to give up any kind of intervention in its former sphere of influence? Must it turn towards the West or the East? How can it deal with the internal processes that influence the foreign policy?
[...] He knows that, even in diplomacy, Russia has no weight anymore. (for example, the peace process in the Middle East.) Moreover, Russia is unable to provide any material backup. We can note the alignment of Russia with the West on the issue of terrorism after 11/9, even though Russia has here some interests, because it justifies in some way its war against Chechnya. He is against the U.S missile defence project and NATO power, though, to prevent the construction of a unipolar world. [...]
[...] It did not last, but it led to the treaty SALT limiting arms proliferation. The state's interests and development have now priority over the socialist revolution. The aid to the countries of the Third World was cut under Gorbatchev. Military capability has declined since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact in 1991. As a consequence, global involvement on Moscow's part was reduced as economic influence was limited. To compensate for the impossibility to use force, Russia chose diplomacy and commerce to keep on having some influence in the world. [...]
[...] The necessity of a different, if not opposed, foreign policy after 1991 cannot be questioned. Indeed, the collapse of the USSR has brought a completely different world order. Russia is now in a multipolar world, whereas USSR was in a bipolar world, defined by Donaldson as a confrontational world in which each side views the other as a deadly adversary and in which each pole views any gain by the other as its own loss with the USSR nearly always in opposition with the USA. [...]
[...] In this sense it continues the policy of the Soviet Union. Another case of peacekeeping as a way to establish control over territory would be in Moldova. The difference with the Soviet Union is that here, Russia relies on political measures to reach its objectives. Furthermore, Russia tries to convince the international community that its role is to guarantee peace in the ‘near abroad'. Russia perfectly knows that even though it is no longer a super power, it is nevertheless the only great power among the successor states. [...]
[...] One has to remember what Primakov said: “Russia does not have permanent enemies, but it does have permanent interests.” This could explain why Russia's foreign policy sometimes seems to have the same direction as the Soviet Union's. Bibliography -Donaldson, Robert H. and Joseph L. Nogee, The Foreign Policy of Russia : Changing Systems, Enduring Interests, 2nd edition (New York, M. E Sharpe, 2002). -Malcom, Neil, Russia and Europe : An End to Confrontation ? (London, Pinter Publishers, 1994). -Sakwa, Richard, Russian Politics and Society, 3rd edition (London, Routledge, 2002). [...]
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