Putin's Policy towards the West. Reflections on the Nature of Russian Foreign Policy

T.R. Casier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article argues that russia's foreign policy towards the west has acquired a relatively high level of continuity over the last few years. When putin came into power he kept primakov's foreign policy concept largely intact, but increased its pragmatic character. Under his presidency economic concerns and multilateralism became the leitmotiv. It is argued that this pragmatic character of russian foreign policy is not pragmatism by default, but a deliberate choice consistent with the country's national interests. Its roots are related to russia's lack of means to exert pressure and the priority of internal reforms, which make it essential for russia to avoid international isolation. In the second part, the article evaluates the success of this pragmatic policy by looking at russia's integration into the world economy and its relations with key players such as the european union and the united states. This reveals how the nature of russian foreign policy towards the west has fundamentally changed and shifted away from zero-sum thinking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-401
JournalInternational Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

Cite this