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.

Europe: Russia's “Traditional Orientation”

Europe: Russia's “traditional orientation”

Western and Central Europe have always had long-standing ties to Russia. Most historians accept the initial band of the “Rus’” were Vikings who settled among the East Slavs yet kept their close links with the Viking communities of Scandinavia and the trading centers of the Baltic Sea. The princes of Rus’ intermarried with the nobility and royalty of Germany, France, and England; for instance, Gytha, the daughter of King Harold, the last Anglo-Saxon ruler of England, married Vladimir Monomakh (ruled 1113–1125), and her son, Mstislav, ruled in Novgorod and the north before becoming the ruler of a united Kievan state. During the Middle Ages, the city-state mercantile republic of Novgorod was connected to the medieval German trading network ...

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