Is Russia’s Foreign Policy ‘Schizophrenic’

  • Dina Moulioukova


The recent confrontation concerning Ukraine led President Obama to impose sanctions on Russia and to increase support for the new government of Ukraine. This could potentially have a direct negative effect on the ruling elites and on the overall economic situation inside Russia, with the potential flight of capital and a threat to Russia’s relations with its energy consumer states in the European Union. The question arises, therefore: what stands behind the calculations of Russia as an international actor in its recent standoffs with the West? The situation in Ukraine and Georgia, and the potential for more gas wars seems to be directly threatening its business interests, vital for the very survival of the Russian economy and regime. One can argue that all these events illustrate Churchill’s famous quote on Russia ‘I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma... ’ (Churchill, 1939, p. 6161). This seems to capture the very essence of Russia as an international actor that at times goes beyond conventional principles of rationality and logic. The second less-known part of the quote, however, might provide the key to Russia’s understanding ‘... but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest’. The main idea of this chapter is to provide the author’s interpretation of what currently constitutes Russia’s national interests and hence what drives and constrains the decisions of Russia as an international actor.


Foreign Policy Security Council International Actor Bargaining Game European Neighbourhood Policy 


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© Dina Moulioukova 2015

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  • Dina Moulioukova

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