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Rethinking the National Interest: Putin's Turn in Russian Foreign Policy - Russian History, Gorbachev, Perestroika, Yeltsin, 9/11, Chechnya, Bill Clintonby Progressive Management
This paper examines the historical and political roots behind a turn in Russian foreign policy undertaken by President Vladimir Putin in the wake of the terrorist acts of 9/11. Current Russian foreign policy vastly differs from the previous decade in that, using the opportunity and the rhetoric of the war on terrorism, Putin made a normative choice in favor of
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This paper examines the historical and political roots behind a turn in Russian foreign policy undertaken by President Vladimir Putin in the wake of the terrorist acts of 9/11. Current Russian foreign policy vastly differs from the previous decade in that, using the opportunity and the rhetoric of the war on terrorism, Putin made a normative choice in favor of Westernization and strategic partnership with the United States and Europe.
The paper posits that the realignment in Russian foreign and security policy is of a long-term revolutionary nature. This is not an ad hoc marriage of convenience, nor a policy of playing a weaker hand, but a profound reappraisal of Russia's national interests and place in the world, defying the centuries-old imperial paradigms. In order to appreciate the magnitude of this change, the paper looks beyond the Putin presidency and transformations of the past decade, into the historical roots of Russian statehood and foreign policy. This Marshall Center Paper is an essay about foreign policy as explained by history, culture and geography.
In this new strategic environment, Russia's singular global role has once again come to the fore and the state aligned itself closer to the Western security community. Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first foreign leader to express his condolences to President George W. Bush. This symbolic act forged a new strategic partnership that has endured over the past two years. Despite disagreements over the Iraqi war, the value of strategic partnership was reconfirmed at the Putin-Bush summit in May 2003.
In a wider sense, President Putin has used the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) as an opportunity to realign Russia with the West, pursuing the policy of Westernization both at home and abroad. This appears to be a deliberate, long-term policy-but what stands behind this transformation? What are the roots, philosophy and the practical reasoning behind Russia's new course? Marshall Center Paper No. 6, by Dr. Sergei Medvedev, seeks to answer these questions.
Medvedev posits that the realignment in Russian foreign and security policy is revolutionary and enduring. It is a profound reappraisal of Russia's national interests, reversing centuries-old imperial paradigms. In order to illustrate the magnitude of this change, Medvedev looks at the historical roots of Russian statehood and foreign policy.
In a compressed historical review beginning with Ivan the Terrible, the author focuses on Russia's development into a "national-security state," a state that sacrificed individual and public life to all-encompassing goals of national security and territorial expansion.
- Progressive Management
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