New Horizons in Public Policy series
Edited by Fergus Carr and Andrew Massey
Chapter 8: Russia and the West: The New Pragmatism
Paul Flenley Relations between Russia and the West have undergone substantial changes since the initial period after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the years of the Yeltsin presidency. This is in part due to the development of a more assertive and pragmatic foreign policy in Russia under Vladimir Putin from 2000 onwards and in part due to a reassessment in the West of Russia’s relative stability and signiﬁcance. In particular there has been a move away from a relationship based on the memories of the Cold War involving mutual suspicions over such issues as NATO expansion and where ‘partnership’ often involved pro forma commitments and the need to bolster a fragile Russian democracy against the internal threat of communist or nationalist opposition. The contemporary relationship is much more based on a realistic appreciation of mutual interests and needs, whether it is in ‘the war on terror’ or in working out the consequences of EU enlargement to the beneﬁt of both sides. This chapter seeks to explore the origins and nature of the new pragmatism in the relationship between Russia and the West and considers Russia’s relations with Europe in the context of its overall foreign policy, especially in relation to the USA. The chapter examines such issues as the changing relations between Russia and NATO and the effects of the 11 September terrorist attacks. It also looks at the different dimensions and determinants of the relationship with the EU. Throughout the chapter it will be seen...
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