Russia's foreign policy in a world in crisis: a long path to fluid and "normal" relations. EUMA Paper Vol. 10, No. 4, May 2010

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Francesc Serra Massansalvador.
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[From the Introduction]. ....From Moscow we perceive clear indications of Russia’s new positioning in the global arena in the near future, due to a series of events that affect the country directly. In particular, 2008 and early 2009 brought forth a number of unexpected challenges for the new Russian administration, which have created an image of Russia abroad that is far more aggressive than the one desired by the Kremlin. These unforeseen challenges can be grouped around three major events that placed severe conditions on Russia’s short-term foreign policy. These three key events strongly affecting Russia and its international relations during Medvedev’s first year of Presidency are 1. the conflict with Georgia, 2. the severe financial crisis, and 3. the renewed tensions seen in January 2009 due to the supply of Russian oil and gas to Western Europe. Below follows an analysis of Russia’s policy in relation to those areas considered as priority for its diplomacy: formerly Soviet territories, Western Europe, and the position of Russia as a world power. Finally, we will analyze the impact of the first year of Medvedev’s administration with regard to further Russian attitudes towards the international arena.