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Essay: Putin`s strategy regarding Russia’s foreign policy

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  • Subject area(s): Politics essays
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  • Published: September 15, 2019*
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  • Putin`s strategy regarding Russia's foreign policy
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This essay will elaborate Putin`s strategy regarding Russia’s foreign policy. It will cover political relationship between Russia and United States and European Union, it is being investigated the way these initiatives evolved, identifying, on the one hand, the phenomena that led to the conclusion of mutually beneficial partnerships, and on the other hand part is exposed the reasons why these initiatives failed.
Whether we like it or not, the historians who are going to bend over Russia’s chronicles will have to admit that on December 31, 1999, through the resignation of Boris Eltin, and the accession of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin – more precisely to the highest office in the state – there was a key moment in the post-Soviet Russia construction. The presidential election in March 2000 only officially legitimized what later was called Era Putin. Vladimir Putin declared in February 2012 for press that „The world will never be the same as we know it. It ends half a millennium of domination by some states. The West is now second. There is every chance that one of the power centers of the new world construction will be Russia. We have passed the transition phase of the post-Soviet period. We need a new change. That was the case in 2000, so it is now, only the principles and priorities are different ” (Omul fără chip. Incredibila ascensiune a lui Putin, de Masha Gessen). Masha Gessen described Putin`a psychological profile before his start of political career as aggresive which it can be seen now because he is know as a cold person . Matthew Chance, CNN correspondent declared after 2018 Rusia1s election : “More than strict media control, it helps that opposition politicians have been killed, silenced or excluded from the electoral process. The leader of the Russian opposition, Alexei Navalnai, was not allowed to run for a criminal conviction, which he described as politically motivated.

But it is true that many Russians are steadfast supporters of Putin. The mix in the US elections, the intervention in Ukraine, the systematic doping of the Russian Olympians, the military presence in Syria are also such topics that – externally – bring serious accusations against Vladimir Putin but at the same time allow him to project the image of a player at home on the international stage. Of course this is a risky strategy: it has already attracted international sanctions, which could escalate, even now involving an economic burden for many Russians. “(CNN)

The Russian Federation has always structured its foreign policy on five major lines of action: two of them relate to the West: the United States and the European Union – being also the most visible in the past twenty years. The other three target East Asia / Far East, and mainly China, the Near East and former ex-Soviet states, ie Neighbourhood Neighbourhood. An instrument that proved redundant: energy and energy policy and two principles of action: unilateral and multilateral. At a declarative level, officials of the Russian Federation support the multilateral line in decision-making. Moreover, in line with the European Parliament’s recommendation of 2 April 2009 to the Council on the new EU-Russia agreement, the main document governing the international policy of the Russian state contains clear provisions in this regard. Officially, “Russia will continue to insist on the multilateral beginnings in global affairs and the formation of such an architecture of international relations that will be based on the recognition by the international community of the principles of security indivisibility in the modern world, reflecting its diversity.” But at the same time we can see that the use of multilateralism in diplomatic relations by the Russian Federation is rather an optional principle. Whenever Russia’s national interest will require the application of unilateral action methods, it will not hesitate to use unilateralism, as demonstrated in the Russian-Georgian conflict in August 2008. Examples may be more (especially on energy policy and relations with the EU), being only the best known. So, we can observe how official Russian foreign policy has as a principle multilateralism, but unofficially acts unilaterally because the national interest (in the eyes of its rulers) does not have (let) know a limit between the two antagonistic principles.

To understand the main directions in which the Russian Federation has evolved externally, we need to connect to our internal plan. From the rebuilding of a country undergoing economic collapse to its re-appointment to the masses of the big political decision-makers as a power (uncontested from a regional point of view, but with certain aspirations of world power), the Kremlin has continuously relied on the popular support generated by a certain type of tributary nostalgic culture of the greatness of the East Empire. The ideology of national interest, which must be achieved, regardless of the relationship with our partner or rival, will see that it will come back to force in Vladimir Putin’s current mandate. It is good to note that the concepts of sovereign and vertical power democracy were created in the Kremlin’s laboratories and accepted by the silent international community as nowadays controlled bankruptcy is accepted.

Russia presented a document, Russian strategy, in Bruxelles 1999, where it was about the development of relationship between Russia and European Union as an answer of Common Strategy of the European Union on Russia of 4 June 1999 on Russia. According to Lynch in” Russia`s strategic partnership with europe”, Vladimir Putin and other politicians considered that the european`s document was elaborated unilateral and it was understand that European Union has proposed to support Russia as a policy objective and not as an equal partner, which is why Russia has kept it reiterates Russia’s autonomy as a great power, part of a multi-polar world and a pan-European collective security system. This document was complemented by the National Security Concept adopted in January 2000 by the Policy Concept External June, same year, butand another semi-official document, however extremely important, the Putin Manifesto “Russia at the Turn of the Millennium” in December 1999, according to Haukkala in EU-Russia strategic partnership. As a result, the EU’s attempts to apply post-sovereign principles to Russia have come to the challenge. Instead of adopting the obdurate norms and values promoted by the EU, Russia aspires to the role of regulator. In this sense, Putin’s Russia prefers to be inspired from the European Union model, but it is not wants to adopt it, as the EU stake.

Since 2001, the Russian economy has begun to recover. This was largely due to profitable oil exports have natural gas in the European markets, which brought to the state budget revenues that accounted for about 50% of the total money collected by the Russian government. In addition, the wealth gained from the sale of energy resources helped Moscow and reduce the financial dependence of the West, which inevitably allowed him to consolidate his freedom of handling the accounts with the West.

If, in Primakov’s view, the world was seen exclusively in terms of new threats to Russia, Putin saw it both in terms of threats,and opportunities taking into account the economic nature of the contemporary world, Putin stressed the need for Russia to succeed in the geo-economic struggle rather than the military one

Thus, Russia’s upgrading and economic growth was part of the national goals, the Russian leader arguing that by holding the economic resources, the Federation may subsequently defend and pursue its own interests. The primary purpose of Russian decision-makers during the time of Vladmir Putin was and remains the transformation of Russia into a great power to be treated equally by both American and European partners. At the same time, Russia’s policy has become more assertive because of the expansion plans of the North Atlantic Alliance towards the eastern flank, but and due to the near-neighborly European soft power initiatives.Rusia perceived its exclusion from NATO’s expansion plans as a power game through which America would take advantage of Russia’s temporary weaknesses.

the Kremlin’s relations with the European Union remain a traditional priority of foreign policy, their common goal being to create a stable and democratic system of European security and co-operation. The EU has been perceived from the outset as an economic and political partner with which Russia seeks to develop stable and long-term cooperation relations. Consequently, Europe has become the main trading partner for Russia, and the largest supplier of technology, chemicals, medicines and agricultural products. At the same time, Russia is the third trading partner for the European Union, as well as the main supplier of energy resources. Over a period of almost 20 years, the two partners have been able to develop mutually beneficial but strong interdependence relations, whose repercussions have been particularly felt after the illegal annexation of Crimea. Last but not least, Putin’s geo-economic pragmatism has been reflected and in its decisions to deepen bilateral relations with Member States such as Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Greece and Hungary, not just with the European Union. Because Russia was aware of the importance of protecting its interests despite European normative transformation initiatives, Russia has developed bilateral relations with key states, which often tend to undermine EU policies in favor of national interests according to Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, approved by President of the Russian Federation V. Putin. This priority of Russia is found and in the Foreign Policy Concept in 2013, where the importance of relativity is mentioned bilateral relations with Western states, which are seen as special resources for the promotion of Russia’s national interests in the business world. Consequently, Putin’s tactics used by Russia mark a lot of caution and pragmatism to achieve own goals.

it is essential that the United States maintain a constructive relationship with the Russian federal government, having much more to gain from the development of relations at the central level, extending to regional governments, nongovernmental organizations and indigenous peoples, and in order to tackle cooperation not only in security affairs, but also in economy, commerce, science and environmental conservation. It is widely accepted that the signing of the START2 treaty was a major achievement, but it failed to lay the foundations for a lasting relationship with profound changes in confidence between the two states. It does not mean we have reason to expect a new glaciation in the US-Russia relationship. But if we remember sharply exchanges between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin on the subject of defrauding parliamentary elections and the protests that followed in December 2011, or the diplomatic language between the two states’ representatives in the Security Council on the subject the veto rejection of a resolution on Syria, then we have reason to be careful about the chances of a truly viable reset. Moreover, the re-instatement of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin, whose relationship with the US was not very convenient, did not seem to have forgotten that Barack Obama and his team, after installing the White House, considered Medvedev a more desirable interlocutor. Maybe this is the signal given by the US President in talks with Medvedev at the Seoul Summit. Of course, Russia needs investment, technology, so there will be a number of compromises to make it easier for them. But these compromises will be pragmatic and limited. It is good to remember that Russia has already made compromises in recent years (regarding the anti-missile shield, voted for intervention in Libya, suspended a huge arms sale contract to Tehran), compromises that did not bring its intended gain – treatment as an equal partner by the US. Then it is good to remember that although Russia has joined the WTO, the US is still thinking about whether to remove the Jackson Vanik amendment.

According to Octavian Sergentu in his book(Matricea Rusa) , Russia is no longer the former USSR, but paradoxically attempts to return to the traditional values of the Tsarist empire. Russia is rebuilding its ethno-political and religious identity on the traditional and religious Orthodox matrix, but at the same time it approaches an accented modernization style different from the Western model. We Romanians and Europeans have a world-wide vision of the world, but the Russians do not. In the Russian space, Western, nationalist, post-communist and liberal currents converge to a new type of reconstruction in the former USSR. After the disastrous economic crises of the 1990s, when the Russian capital was devastated by the interests of the multinationals, the Russian elite was reconfigured on national principles and own economic interest, bringing to power by electoral process the current Kremlin leader, who legitimized the initial power through an unprecedented economic growth, by defeating the Chechen Islamic terrorism and the dismantling of the corrupt financial reform oligarchy that collaborated with transnational capital. Current Russia is a presidential democracy according to the constitution originally initiated by Eltin in 1993 after the parliamentary coup that actually wanted a restoration of the post-Soviet elite, according to Octavian Sergentu.
Octavian Sergentu manages to develop Russian geopolitics in detail. The “arms” of Russia’s foreign policy are not primarily the best performing nuclear and conventional weapons in the world, but primarily cultural and religious. Added to the economic ones. Oil, gas, and natural resources are geopolitical factors of pressure or collaboration that Russia uses in diplomatic dialogue. Especially after 1988, with the reluctance of Tsar Nicholas I, Russia returned to the values of Orthodoxy. But here is a specific paradox: although Russians account for 80 percent of the population of the Russian Federation, only 52 percent are Orthodox Christians or practitioners. The other 52 percent of the Orthodox religions belong to the national territory: Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Moldavians or Belarusians.

Russia today attempts to continue the Third Rome project as a continuation of Byzantium, yet the Orthodox religion has not yet become the majority in absolute proportion, despite the Kremlin’s support for the Russian Orthodox Church. It is understandable: the atheist Bolshevik revolution of 1917 killed most Orthodox priests, and out of 130 bishops only four remained alive in 1943, when Stalin decided to re-establish the Patriarchate of Moscow. However, the spirit of Orthodoxy becomes more and more powerful in Russia: if there were 1,200 Orthodox religious institutions in 1989, today there are over 3500 and their number increases. In Russia, Orthodoxy acquires ideological valences to restore universal Christian universalism. Russia is today in full swing, surprised by statistics and thorough analyzes by Octavian Sergeant. It is trying to form new Russian territorial entities such as Novorusia in the northern Black Sea, project of Tsarina Ecaterina and his counselor lover Potemkin.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Putin intends to address foreign policy through the “creation of favorable conditions for solving internal problems”.At the same time, Peskov claims that Putin intends to improve relations with Europe and the United States.It has a concrete development project with priority dossiers and secondary files. In fact, the president needs the support of diplomacy to ensure conditions favorable to their settlement, Russia and President Putin want to improve relations where possible, develop and promote ties with many countries, especially with our partners in Europe, with the United States, he said.In addition, he argued that Russia does not want to enter a new arms race, but it is even going to reduce its defense budget to below 3% of GDP by 2022.This discourse is in contradiction with Putin’s regime, which always announces that it is developing new weapons and launches warnings to those who criticize its policies.Moscow’s relations with the United States and most of the Western states worsened especially after the Crimea’s annexation to Russia, the first territorial breakdown after the Second World War, and the involvement of the Russian Army in Syria by the Bashar al-Assad regime. At the same time, Russia is accused of intervening in the armed conflict in Ukraine on the part of the breakaway separatists, but also manipulating crucial scrutiny, such as Brexit, and the last presidential election in the United States. Moscow denies all the accusations made against it.”( ”Russia and the Former Soviet Space. Instrumentalizing Security, Legitimizing Intervention”)


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