Russian foreign policyin the new Putin-era is not going to fundamentally differ from the one pursued under DmitryMedvedev. In the post-Sovietregion the same integrationistpolicies — both economic andsecurity-related — are likely tocontinue, aimed at maintaining and increasing the formal and
informal inuence of the Russian
Federation, only with growing intensity. Concerning the West,Russian interests are likely tobecome increasingly divergent.Deepening and widening thecooperation with the EU is clearlyin the interest of the RussianFederation. On the other hand,existing tensions in the U.S.-Russia relationship are unlikely
to decrease, while a key eld
of common interest is going todisappear following the Alliedwithdrawal from Afghanistan in2014.
Good Cop or Bad Cop?Russian Foreign Policy in the New Putin Era
by Andras Racz
Te Russian presidential electionsin March 2012 are likely to result inthe return o Vladimir Putin to theKremlin. Tis paper analyzes the maintrends o Russian oreign policy, andprovides a short- and mid-term policy orecast. It examines three specicdirections o Russian oreign policy:the relationships with the post-Sovietregion, with Europe, and the UnitedStates. Te research question is similarin all three cases: should we expect any signicant changes in Russian oreignpolicy in the new Putin Era comparedto that o the Medvedev Era?
The Post-Soviet Region:An Even Firmer Grip
With the exception o the three Balticrepublics, Russia still views the coun-tries o the ormer Soviet Union asa zone o special interest. Te docu-ment “National Security Strategy o the Russian Federation until 2020,”adopted in 2009, makes this clear: “Tedevelopment o bilateral and multilat-eral cooperation with member stateso the Commonwealth o IndependentStates is a priority o Russian oreignpolicy.”
Tis perception is unlikely to
1 Стратегия национальной безопасности РоссийскойФедерации до 2020 года. [National Security Strategy of
the Russian Federation until 2020]. Available: http://www.scrf.gov.ru/documents/99.html Last accessed: January20, 2012.
change in the uture. Tereore, duringthe next presidency period, Russia islikely to do its utmost to maintain andstrengthen control over the post-Sovietregion.Te strengthening o various Russia-led integration ora will surely becontinued in the years ahead. Tisapplies to the Collective Security reaty Organization (CSO), theEurasian Economic Community (EarAsEc), and also to the newCustoms Union, which has recently developed into the Eurasian Unionproject. By deepening the institution-alization o these Moscow-dominatedorganizations, Russia can increasingly cement the inormal control it hasalready had over member countries,particularly in the elds o economy,energy, trade, and deense.In the eld o energy policy, Russiais likely to keep pushing to take overenergy inrastructure in the Common-wealth o Independent State (CIS)countries, or at least to secure a domi-nant position in them. Te motivationbehind this is to secure uninterruptedow o Russian energy to the West,and also to gain political and economicleverage over the aected countries.So ar, this strategy has been strik-ingly successul: the energy sectors o