The Russian Factor

  • Geir HønnelandEmail author


Russia’s relations with the West have been at the heart of Russian political philosophy and Russia’s foreign policy outlook for centuries. By the nineteenth century, two well-defined but separate camps had crystallized: Westernizers versus Slavophiles. We can trace the alternating dominance of the one camp over the other also in post-Soviet foreign policy, and relations with Norway have followed these wider fluctuations: openness to Western influence in the early post-Cold War years, and a resurgence of scepticism and suspicion in the late 1990s. This chapter engages with the Russian idea that the West is trying to encircle Russia in the Arctic and shows how Western ambitions in the European Arctic met the harsh Russian reality around the turn of the millennium.


Russian foreign policy Russia and the west Barents region 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fridtjof Nansen InstituteOsloNorway

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