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Foreign policy at the service of modernisation: old wine in a new wineskin. OSW Commentary No. 39, 2010-08-31

Kaczmarski, Marcin (2010) Foreign policy at the service of modernisation: old wine in a new wineskin. OSW Commentary No. 39, 2010-08-31. [Policy Paper]

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    Russia’s contacts with the external world over the past year have been characterised by a gradual improvement in its relations with the West, as well as the use of non-confrontational rhetoric, the most far-reaching example of which was the address President Dmitri Medvedev gave to Russian ambassadors this July. In an attempt to harmonise foreign policy with the widely propagated programme for the modernisation of Russia1 President Medvedev presented a vision of the Russian Federation as a responsible global power which is open to co-operation. According to this vision, Russian foreign policy would help to attract foreign investments and technologies. The West was presented as a partner, not a rival. Both this rhetoric and the atmosphere of co-operation in relations with the USA and the EU contrast with the assertive and aggressive Russian policy which was symbolised by and culminated in the Russian-Georgian conflict of 2008. The changes observed in Russian foreign policy are quite limited, and are not constructing a new external strategy. Those changes are rather an attempt to find more efficient ways to implement old strategic goals. The new image of a responsible global power is inconsistent, and Russian policy is still assertive and geopolitically motivated. Although a new rhetoric is really in place, the Russian political elite’s perception of their country’s place and role in the contemporary international order remains unchanged. Moscow’s readiness to become engaged in genuine co-operation with the West has not increased significantly; it is still to a great extent declarative in nature.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > common foreign & security policy 1993--European Global Strategy
    Countries > Russia
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2014 14:55
    Number of Pages: 6
    Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:55

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