FPRI is pleased to feature a lecture and report presentation on Russia’s political and economic influence abroad by Dr. Nick Gvosdev.
Russia’s economic interests in foreign countries are often described as a “Trojan Horse” through which the Kremlin seeks to pressure neighbors. The United States and its allies, in response, expend significant resources, both financial and diplomatic, to limit Russia’s economic links with its neighbors and strategic partners. Moreover, the Russian Federation is pursuing an active and wide-ranging strategy to reassert and strengthen its dominant position in the greater Black Sea region, which the Kremlin believes is critical for the restoration of Russia’s great power status. Consolidation of the Russian position in this region will establish and enhance the military, political, and economic foundations of Russia’s position as a great power. Throughout the “four basins” of this region (Caspian, Black, Eastern Mediterranean, and Persian Gulf), Moscow aims to make itself the indispensable partner for settling conflicts and constructing and maintaining regional security and economic arrangements. The Russian approach has three main prongs. First, the Russia- Republic of Azerbaijan relationship is the new template for how Russia plans to conduct its relations with the countries of the Black Sea, in place of the confrontational approach that has characterized the Russia-Georgia and Russia-Ukraine relationships. Second, the Caspian Convention—successfully concluded after years of deadlock when Russia accepted compromises with its neighbors in return for keeping outside powers out of the process—provides a model for Russian approaches in other parts of the region. Third, Russia seeks to export these approaches to other parts of the greater Black Sea region, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Persian Gulf.
Nikolas Gvosdev is a Eurasia Senior Fellow at FPRI. He is Professor of National Security Affairs, holding the Captain Jerome E. Levy Chair in Economic Geography and National Security at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He was formerly the Editor of The National Interest magazine and a Senior Fellow at The Nixon Center in Washington, D.C. Gvosdev received his doctorate from St Antony’s College, Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship. A frequent commentator on Russian and Eurasian affairs, his work has appeared in such outlets as Foreign Affairs, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Orbis, and he has appeared as a commentator on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and BBC. He is the co-author of US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy: The Rise of an Incidental Superpower, and the co-author of Russian Foreign Policy: Vectors, Sectors and Interests.
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