Putin, Nationalism and Foreign Policy

  • Graeme Gill


The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 created a range of policy dilemmas for the Russian government in both domestic and foreign affairs. In the latter, Russian policy has gone through a number of phases. The initially rather supine attitude Russia adopted toward the West in the early years of Yeltsin’s presidency changed somewhat, following the replacement of Alexander Kozyrev as foreign minister by Evgenii Primakov in January 1996, when a more independent stance became evident in Russian policy. But the real change came following the election of Vladimir Putin to the presidency in 2000. Increased attention was devoted to the former states of the USSR and to Asia than had been evident earlier, and Russia became more assertive with regard to its basic interests, especially in terms of its relationship with the West. However although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a number of ‘Foreign Policy Concepts’ outlining a framework for Russian foreign policy (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 2013; earlier such documents appeared in 1993 and 2008). There has been no clear articulation of an ideology or vision that might provide an intellectual rationale to underpin the foreign policy process. This is in sharp contrast to the situation that had applied in the USSR when a developed meta-narrative had provided this sort of intellectual underpinning (Gill, 2011).


Foreign Policy Regime Change Foreign Affair Russian Society Russian People 
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© Graeme Gill 2015

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  • Graeme Gill

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