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 6: Eastern Europe: Comrades No More
Eastern Europe: Comrades No More
“Eastern Europe” has always been an amorphous concept.1 Some trace its origins to the final division of the Roman Empire into western and eastern halves in 395 AD and the subsequent development of two distinctive forms of Christianity, one centered on the Pope in Rome and the other around the Patriarch of Constantinople. In a cultural sense, “Eastern Europe” has often been taken to designate those countries that were part of the Byzantine commonwealth of nations—including not only Russia and Ukraine but also Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, Greece, and Romania.2 In a geopolitical sense, the term has been used to designate “the lands between” that fell between the German and Russian spheres of influence.3 The 19th-century political ...