The relationship between Russia and the rest of Europe has been extremely precarious throughout its existence. From looking to Europe for guidance to outright opposing the interests of Europe, the stance towards Europe has varied greatly. In the post-Cold War era, Russia’s policies have been formed in an attempt to reclaim control over their former sphere of influence, often clashing with European interests in regards to economic, energy, and security matters facing the world.
In the post-Cold War world, Russia has been struggling to reestablish itself as a world power. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia found itself surrounded by hostile nations that feared nationalism and expansionism from Moscow, leading many to seek solace in the form of closer relations to America. Isolated geo-politically, Russia has sought to reclaim what it considers its rightful place in the world through both its foreign policy and economic/energy policies.
According to Oudenaren and Tiersky, “Russian’s relationship with Europe is a geopolitical story of major consequence that goes back centuries to the beginnings of the modern European order” (European Foreign Policies 69). While Tsar Peter the Great did much to modernize Russia’s economy and technology, he did so while repressing many aspects of the European enlightenment and even European culture. In going about the modernization in such a way, Russia failed to develop its own sense of foreign policy for the 18th and 19th centuries, frequently “alternating between periods of introspection and retreat and aggressive moves towards Europe along its western frontier” (69). It was this inability to adapt to a changing world that contributed to a series of collapses of Russia’s governme...
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... both Western Europe and Russia are attempting to impose their view of politics and international relations upon Eastern Europe has caused both sides to exhibit ambivalent stances towards one another, agreeing with one another only when it is their best interests, and disagreeing on many aspects frequently. While both sides wish to become closer to the other, for the obvious economic and strategic benefits, it is unlikely to happen in the near future without a drastic change in one side’s ideology.
Tiersky, Ronald, and Oudenaren John. Van. European Foreign Policies: Does Europe Still Matter? Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010. Print.
Tiersky, Ronald, Erik Jones, and Saskia Van. Genugten. "Russia." Europe Today: A Twenty-first Century Introduction. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011. 209-41. Print.
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