In 1990s, due to the lack of economic independence, Russia was not able to play an active role in international affairs. The country was highly dependent on donations from the United States and Europe. Oil production had dropped by 50% after the collapse of communism. As much as Russia was willing to repair the damages of the past, it lacked a strategic vision for future.
BY LAILA MAHDIYEVA | JULY 2012
With Putin’s rise to power, Russia saw a dramatically different approach to its relations with the West. Putin, an ambitious man, strived to give Russia its one-time hegemonic position. Referring to Russia, “A voice to be heard and a presence to be reckoned with” are kind of statements reflecting Putin’s foreign policy rhetoric.
In his interview published on February 27, 2012, in RIA Novosti, Vladimir Putin stated:
“Our foreign policy objectives are strategic in nature and are not based on opportunistic considerations. They reflect Russia’s unique role on the world political map as well as its role in history and in the development of civilization.”
The new Foreign Policy Concept, approved by Medvedev in 2008, outlines the main points of Russian foreign policy priorities. In regards to the international economic and environmental cooperation, the Russian Federation:
- “seeks maximum benefit and minimizes risks in the process of further integration of Russia in the world economy taking into account the need to ensure economic, energy and food security of the country;
- created favorable political conditions for diversifying Russia’s presence in the world markets through expanding the export range and geography of foreign economic and investment links of Russia;