Nicolai Petro: Russian Foreign Policy
After discarding the baggage of Soviet ideology, Russia slowly began to conceive, and even more slowly to assert, its sovereign national interest. Throughout the 1990s senior Russian officials looked almost exclusively to the West for guidance and partnership. The Western response--containment recast in the form of NATO expansion eastward--will be judged as one of history's great missed opportunities.
Vladimir Putin came to office with similarly romantic notions of a deep partnership with Germany. In recent years, these too have yielded to a more cynical, but realistic, assessment of Western objectives.
In this section I trace Russia's gradual, reluctant turn away from Europe toward a new and independent global coalition of states--the BRICS.
Comments prior to 2007 are available at my web site