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.
Chapter 1: The Historical Legacy for Contemporary Russian Foreign Policy
The Historical Legacy for Contemporary Russian Foreign Policy
No other country in the world is a global power simply by virtue of geography.1 The growth of Russia from an isolated, backward East Slavic principality into a continental Eurasian empire meant that Russian foreign policy had to engage with many of the world's principal centers of power. A Russian official trying to chart the country's foreign policy in the 18th century, for instance, would have to be concerned simultaneously about the position and actions of the Manchu Empire in China, the Persian and Ottoman Empires (and their respective vassals and subordinate allies), as well as all of the Great Powers in Europe, including Austria, Prussia, France, Britain, Holland, and ...