The Russian Threat — Real or Imaginary?

  • Olga Alexandrova

Abstract

After the 1996 presidential elections one may ask whether the question ‘Is there a Russian threat?’ is still relevant. However, the short history of Russian politics after 1991 is marked by abrupt ups and downs. It has nurtured scepticism among Western analysts about the prospects for the transition to democracy and a market economy as well as about Russian foreign policy. Thus, it is good advice to be sober in evaluating Russia’s future development. Boris Yeltsin’s re-election as President of the Russian Federation has been assessed in the West as a further step towards democratization which, in turn, opens the prospect of working relations with the West. However, democratization alone may not necessarily promote harmony between Russia and the West and guarantee Russia’s benign policy towards its ‘internal abroad’ (subjects of the Russian Federation), ‘near abroad’ (former Soviet republics and newly independent states), and the outside world.1

Keywords

Migration Europe Mold Coherence Assure 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    The topic of the democratic peace has recently become a most widely debated issue in IR literature. On the relationship between Russia’s democratization and its international conduct see N. Malcolm and A. Pravda, ‘Democratization and Russian foreign policy’, International Affairs, 72, 3 (1996) 537–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    J.F. Matlock, Jr, ‘Dealing with a Russia in Turmoil’, Foreign Affairs, 75, 3 (1996) 41.Google Scholar
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    Sergei Rogov, then a deputy director of the Institute for the US and Canada, has pointed out that the Russian military continues to consider the West as ‘the most dangerous opponent’ of Russia and that the new military doctrine still assumes a ‘large scale war’, implying the ‘possibility of a clash with a coalition of the strongest and industrially most developed states’. S.M. Rogov, ‘Novaya voennaya doktrina Rossii’, SSha: ekonomika, politika, ideologiya, 4 (1994) 9–10.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olga Alexandrova

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