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.

The United States: The Main Enemy or Strategic Partner?

The United States: The main enemy or strategic partner?

For the last 60 years, the United States has been the main focus of both Soviet and Russian foreign policies. James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, noted that “the United States has been for a half century the … model that Russians first tried to ‘overtake and surpass’ in the late Cold War and, in some ways, emulate since then.”1

Russia has always had a roller-coaster relationship with the United States. At the time of the Revolutionary War, King George III had initially approached Empress Catherine the Great to hire battle-tested Russian regiments to put down his rebelling colonists; when rebuffed by her, he procured the services of the ...

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