Russia and its Foreign Policy: Influences, Interests and Issues takes an up to date look at the key factors confronting Russia’s international situation from both western and Russian perspectives. Events of the first five years of the 21^st century have added to the complexity – Putin’s rise to power, 9/11, the renewal of the Chechen war, the Iraq war, and peaceful revolutions in Russia’s neighbours Georgia and Ukraine have all forced Russian foreign policy in new directions.
This book makes sense of these complex developments by examining rhetoric and practise in a clear and concise manner, looking at the influences of different domestic and international pressures on foreign policy, and competing versions of what interests Russia should pursue in international affairs, analysed in the light of a number of important issues. Based on a year long project funded by Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with additional chapters by leading experts from Russia itself, it provides an overview of the context of Russian foreign policy making and the factors influencing it. It covers the evolution of Russian foreign policy under Vladimir Putin, and examines in more detail Russia’s relationship with the European Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States, the security dimension, the Russian view of a multipolar world, and the impact of regional interests on foreign policy. For both the student looking for an introduction to the topic, and the specialist who is after up to date analysis and challenging interpretations, this is an essential read.