Russia and the Balkans: Foreign Policy from Yeltsin to Putin

Overview

Russia has always shown a special interest in the Balkans, especially when federal Yugoslavia violently broke apart and Russia, eager to secure its position as a major player in international diplomacy, sent its policymakers to intervene. Tensions between Russia and the West grew, however, when NATO's became involved in the region, peaking in 1999 with the bombing of Serbia. Though Valdimir Putin would later tie the conflicts in the Balkans to the wider threat of "international terrorism," arguing that Russia and...

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Overview

Russia has always shown a special interest in the Balkans, especially when federal Yugoslavia violently broke apart and Russia, eager to secure its position as a major player in international diplomacy, sent its policymakers to intervene. Tensions between Russia and the West grew, however, when NATO's became involved in the region, peaking in 1999 with the bombing of Serbia. Though Valdimir Putin would later tie the conflicts in the Balkans to the wider threat of "international terrorism," arguing that Russia and the West shared a common enemy, differences remained between the two powers, particularly concerning Russia's policy toward Kosovo.

Russia and the Balkans analyzes the trajectory of Russia's foreign policy, from the death of communist Yugoslavia to the conflicts in Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, and Macedonia, and from the "war on terror" to contemporary disputes over the status of Kosovo. James Headley shows how both Boris Yeltsin and President Putin refused to allow Western interests to predominate in the Balkans, and he explains why Russia's political elite, as well as members of the media and academia, believe that maintaining if not expanding Russia's diplomatic and economic influence in the region is a national obligation.

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs

Headley both illuminates an important dimension of Russian foreign policy and, more importantly, gives telling depth to the larger picture.

The Russian Review

An important, timely, and detailed investigation of Russia's contemporary Balkan policy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231700924
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 10/14/2008
  • Series: Columbia/Hurst Series
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

James Headley is lecturer in political studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand. His research interests include Russian politics and foreign policy, international politics of the former Soviet Union and Central/Eastern Europe, nationalism and ethnic conflict, international relations theory, New Zealand and Australian foreign policies, and the European Union.

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