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The "Pro-Western Turn" in Russia's Foreign Policy: Causes, Consequences and Prospects

Point of View
2002-09-10

From Europe and Poland's point of view, one of the most important recent developments in international politics was the re-orientation of Russia's foreign policy. This paper aims to answer three important questions relating to this issue:

4. When and why did the "pro-Western turn" in the Russian Federation's policy take place?
5. Has it been profitable for Russia?
6. What goals will the Russian policy pursue in the future?

An analysis of the last two years in Russia's foreign policy leads to the several conclusions, including those:
5. Clearly, the Russian leaders realise that in the longer term, Russia - in its desire for more influence in the world - will not be able to survive as an independent pole of power in international politics and it will have to join forces with the West (most likely, the European Union).
6. September 11 was not the cause of Russia's pro-Western turn, but rather a catalyst that put the process which started when Vladimir Putin took his office in sharp focus.
7. In the nearest future, this new direction of Russia's foreign policy seems not be challenged by internal opposition in Russia.
8. The "pro-Western turn" proved to be beneficial for Russia, although:
d. Russia has not become a strategic ally of the US
e. There has been no breakthrough in the relations between Russia and the European Union, and Moscow has not gained any real influence on NATO's important decisions.
f. Russia has not become a major decision-maker of international politics.
5. Russia's closing to the West is in Poland's and Europe's interest.

 

 

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