Debates Seminars and Round-table Conferences
Ifri Paris
from 09:00 to 17:30
This event is restricted

Russia’s thwarted ambitions By personal and non-transferable invitation

This event is dedicated to the Russia/NIS Centre Corporate supports. By personal invitation only.

Russia’s foreign policy is driven by a twofold ambition: to mitigate the effects of Western sanctions while consolidating relations with its historical “clients”, and, where possible, to counter the West without neglecting any lever of influence. Even though this policy produces visible effects (Middle East, Africa, South Asia), it struggles to bring about genuine adherence beyond the traditional circles of influence of the Kremlin. The post-Soviet space, however, is marked by an increasingly divergent trajectory, and the Russian domestic political scene poses new uncertainties as to the strength of Moscow’s global stances.



09:00-09:30. Introduction by Thomas Gomart, Head of the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri), and Alice Guitton, General Director for International Relations and Strategy, French Ministry of the Armed Forces

09:30-11:00. Panel 1. Domestic policy: three critical issues for the stability of the Putin system

Moderator: Tatiana Kastueva-Jean, Director of Ifri’s Russia/NIS Center, Paris

  • The Russian economy: a new crisis on the horizon? Olivier de Boysson, Chief Economist Emerging Markets at Société Générale Group, Paris
  • Russian regions: a counterbalance to the federal center? Natalia Zubarevich, Chief Research Fellow, Institute for Social Policy, Higher School of Economics (HSE), Professor of Economic Geography at Moscow State University (MGU)
  • North Caucasus: behind the apparent stability, Jean-François Ratelle, Professor of Conflict Studies and Human Rights, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), University of Ottawa

11:00-11:30. Coffee break

11:30-13:00. Panel 2. The extension of Russia’s spheres of influence

Moderator:  Bobo Lo, Associate Research Fellow, Ifri’s Russia/NIS Center, Paris

  • Balkans: Is Russia’s influence overestimated? Maxim Samorukov, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Carnegie Moscow Center
  • Russia in Venezuela: A proxy confrontation? Victor Jeifets, Professor and Director of the Center for Iberoamerican Studies, School of International Relations, St. Petersburg State University
  • India and Pakistan: Is diplomatic equilibrium viable? Aleksei Zakharov, Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow

13:00-14:00. Buffet lunch at Ifri

14:00-15:30. Panel 3. The mobilization of new levers of influence

Moderator: Isabelle Facon, Deputy Director, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique (FRS), Paris

  • Rosatom, the nuclear vector of Russia’s power, Anastasiya Shapochkina, Lecturer on Europe and Russia geopolitics, Sciences Po Paris
  • S-400 diplomacy: a new era in Russian arms sales? Konstantin Makienko, Deputy Director, Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST), Moscow
  • The internationalization of Russian private military companies, Kimberly Marten, Professor of Political Science (and department chair), Barnard College, Columbia University, New York

15:30-15:45. Coffee break

15:45-17:15. Panel 4. Russia’s neighborhood: towards the end of post-Soviet space?

Moderator: Anne de Tinguy, Researcher at CERI Sciences Po, Paris

  • Ukraine after the presidential election: a change of course in perspective? Volodymyr Fesenko, СEO, Center for Political Studies “Penta”, Kiev
  • Belarus: an ambivalent ally, Artyom Shraibman, Political Contributor to TUT.BY (Minsk) and Carnegie Moscow Center
  • Moldova: a glimmer at the end of a crisis tunnel? Stanislav Secrieru, Senior Analyst in charge of the Russia and Eastern neighborhood portfolio, European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), Paris

17h15-17h30. Concluding remarks by Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, Director, Policy Planning Staff (Centre d’Analyse, de Prévision et de Stratégie: CAPS), Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Tatiana Kastueva-Jean, Director of Ifri’s Russia/NIS Center, Paris


This seminar will be held in English, French and Russian with simultaneous translation, under the Rule of Chatham House.


This event will be held within the framework of the “Russia, Caucasus and Eastern Europe Observatory” with the support of DGRIS (Directorate General for International Relations and Strategy), French Ministry of the Armed Forces.


Ifri - Salle de Conférence, 27 rue de la Procession, 75015 Paris. Métro Volontaires (12) ou Pasteur (6)
Contact the organizers: 

For more information, please contact Anne Souin, Project Officer at Ifri's Russia/NIS Center, souin@ifri.org

politique étrangère politique intérieure Vladimir Poutine Amérique latine Russie