Rival Power: Russia in Southeast Europe

Rival Power: Russia in Southeast Europe

by Dimitar Bechev

Hardcover(New Edition)

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A nuanced and comprehensive study of the political dynamics between Russia and key countries in Southeast Europe

Is Russia threatening to disrupt more than two decades’ of E.U. and U.S. efforts to promote stability in post-communist Southeast Europe? Politicians and commentators in the West say, “yes.” With rising global anxiety over Russia’s political policies and objectives, Dimitar Bechev provides the only in-depth look at this volatile region.
Deftly unpacking the nature and extent of Russian influence in the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey, Bechev argues that both sides are driven by pragmatism and opportunism rather than historical loyalties. Russia is seeking to assert its role in Europe’s security architecture, establish alternative routes for its gas exports—including the contested Southern Gas Corridor—and score points against the West. Yet, leaders in these areas are allowing Russia to reinsert itself to serve their own goals. This urgently needed guide analyzes the responses of regional NATO members, particularly regarding the annexation of Crimea and the Putin-Erdogan rift over Syria.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300219135
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 10/03/2017
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 824,663
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Dimitar Bechev is a research fellow at the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figures ix

Acknowledgments xi

A Note on Transliteration xiv

List of Abbreviations xv

Introduction: An Empire Returns 1

Part I Russia and the Countries of Southeast Europe

1 The Balkans Rediscovered: Russia and the Breakup of Yugoslavia 23

2 Meddling in Europe's Backyard: Russia and the Western Balkans 51

3 Across the Black Sea: Bulgaria and Romania 86

4 Friends with Benefits: Greece and Cyprus 113

5 The Russian-Turkish Marriage of Convenience 139

Part II Areas of Russian Influence

6 From a Military Standoff to Hybrid Warfare 179

7 Playing the Energy Card 198

8 The Allure of Russia's Might 225

Epilogue: Russia's Influence - What's It All About? 245

Appendices 250

Notes 254

Select Bibliography 283

Index 290

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