This book examines the nature of Russia’s relations with the former Soviet states (FSS), in particular with countries which formed the Commonwealth of Independent States, in order to assess whether there has been a resurgence of Russian imperialism since the collapse of the USSR.
The book sets out to determine whether Russian leaders have attempted to restore a sphere of influence over the former Soviet republics or whether Russia’s policies reflect a genuine desire to establish normal state-to-state relations with the new states. It adopts a comprehensive approach, analysing Russia’s policies towards the FSS across a broad range of areas: energy, trade and investment; military assistance, security provision and peacekeeping; conflict management, political support, and alliance formation. While not denying the Kremlin’s assertive role in the FSS, this book challenges the assumption that Russia has always intended to restore a sphere of influence over its ‘Near Abroad’. Rather, it argues that Russia’s policies are much more complex, multi-faceted, and often more incoherent than is often assumed. In essence, Russia's actions generally reflect a combination of legitimate state interests, enduring Soviet legacies, and genuine concerns over events unfolding along Russia’s borders. This book also shows that, at times, Great-Power nostalgia and a real difficulty with discarding Russia’s imperial legacy shapes Russia’s behaviour towards the FSS.
This book will be of great interest to students of Russian politics and foreign policy, east European politics, and International Relations in general.
Table of Contents
1. What is Russia? Russia’s Foreign Policy Orientation under Yeltsin
2. Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States
3. CIS Integration under Yevgeny Primakov: Russia’s Post-Imperial Model
4. Russia’s CIS Gas Trade during Yeltsin’s Presidencies: Towards Market-based Relations?
5. The Outbreak of Military Conflicts: Russia’s Difficulties in Discarding its Imperial Legacy
6. Vladimir Putin at the helm of Russia: A return of Russia’s Hegemony?
7. CIS Economic Integration Gathers Speed
8. Vladimir Putin Strengthens CIS Military Integration: A New Military Bloc emerges
9. Separatist Conflicts in Eurasia: Russia’s Hegemonic Power is Reinforced
10. From Putin to Medvedev… and back to Putin: Whither Russia?
11. The Eurasian Economic Union: A neo-Imperial Paradigm?
12. Russia’s CIS Gas Trade: an Instrument of Russia’s Hegemony?
13. The Russian-Georgian War and its Aftermath: Russia’s Neo-Empire
14. Russia’s Annexation of Crimea and the War in the Ukrainian: Russia’s Neo-Empire expands
Domitilla Sagramoso is a Lecturer in Security and Development at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, UK.