New Challenges for Putin’s Foreign Policy

Abstract

This article evaluates Russia’s foreign policy after Vladimir Putin’s reelection as president in March 2004. New challenges, such as the intensification of terrorist activities in the Northern Caucasus, the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the destabilization of Central Asia, and the refusal by some European states to attend the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of victory over fascism hosted in Moscow became important tests of Putin’s strategy of great-power pragmatism. That strategy reflected a desire for Russia to be a normal great power and focused on cooperating with Western nations on a range of economic and security issues. This course had to be defended against criticisms at home in the context of intensified efforts by Western nations, particularly the United States, to influence developments in the former Soviet states. The article concludes by reflecting on some dilemmas that Putin’s strategy is likely to encounter in the future.

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