Foreign policy in Putin’s Russia

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Since Vladimir Putin became Russia’s president in April 2000, the country’s foreign policy has become more pragmatic. Aimed primarily at meeting Russia’s economic interests, it emphasises dialogue rather than confrontation, and achieving realistic goals rather than stating unrealistic ambitions. In this new framework, downgrading the weight of the « US factor » in Russia’s diplomatic efforts has been considered as a necessity. However, these changes, deemed as positive by Moscow’s Western partners, may, as paradoxically as it may seem, be threatened by the consequences of September 11th, by revealing the limits and constraints of the « economization » of Russia’s foreign policy, and by comforting the inertia among the political, diplomatic and military elite, especially concerning the relationship with the US. –Summary AFRI-2003