Russiaï¿½s resurgence as an assertive actor in the global diplomatic arena after a long period of introspection and preoccupation with domestic troubles, and the economic revival that underpins it, are among the most striking developments in international relations of recent years. But what drives Russian foreign policy at the end of the Putin era? To what extent is it shaped by Russiaï¿½s role as a major energy supplier, and how long can the country remain an ï¿½energy superpowerï¿½, if indeed it is one? How might Russian foreign policy change in the years ahead? Which way will Russia, faced with the might of growing powers around it, and struggling with the fragility of its economic success and stability at home, choose to face in international relations?
This Adelphi Paper examines the domestic context of contemporary Russian foreign policy and its key political, economic, military and security drivers, as well as looking at the contrasting outlook that preceded it, and at how Russiaï¿½s international posture may adjust again in the coming years. It concludes with recommendations for Western policy makers on how to respond to Russiaï¿½s return.
Eugene B. Rumer is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Washington DC. Previously, he served at the State Department, on the staff of the National Security Council and at RAND. He has written extensively on Russia and other former Soviet states. Educated at Boston and Georgetown Universities, he also holds a doctorate from MIT. In 2007, he was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the IISS in London. The views expressed in this paper, which he wrote while in residence at the IISS, are his own, and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the US Department of Defense or the US government.