In a truly contemporary analysis of Moscow's relations with its neighbors and other strategic international actors, Gvosdev and Marsh use a comprehensive vectors approach, dividing the world into eight geographic zones. Each vector chapter looks at the dynamics of key bilateral relationships while highlighting major topical issues—oil and energy, defense policy, economic policy, the role of international institutions, and the impact of major interest groups or influencers—demonstrating that Russia formulates multiple, sometimes contrasting, foreign policies. Providing rich historical context as well as exposure to the scholarly literature, the authors offer an incisive look at how and why Russia partners with some states while it counter-balances others.

Africa and Latin America: The Southern Vector

Africa and Latin America: The Southern vector

The southern vector is the least developed of Russia's foreign policy orientations, in part because Africa and Latin America have historically had few connections to Russia. It is true that there were some contacts with Africa (via the Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria) in the days of Kievan Rus,’ and the merchant Afanasy Nikitin, in attempting to open a trading route between Russia and India, both met with Ethiopians in India and, on his return to Russia, stopped in Ethiopia for “five days.”1 In 1723, Peter the Great sent an expedition to open relations with the island of Madagascar (and to explore the possibility of planting a Russian colony there) in order to ...

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