Vladimir Putin and the West Anne de Tinguy, Politique étrangère, 3/2001 - Year 66.
The weakening of Russia, the United States’ disaffection for it, the European Union’s expansion to the East – which could just as easily be a factor of isolation as a historic opportunity – and Nato’s similar encroach have led President Putin to review his country’s foreign affairs priorities. The Washington partnership, a symbol of power, was traditionally at the centre of Soviet then Russian policy. Currently, Russia would seem to have no alternative: at the risk of not finding its place in a rapidly changing world, she must somehow integrate herself in Europe. This does not mean renouncing its status of Eurasian state and the “most important country in the CIS”. Pragmatism and dynamism, which are meant to compensate for the paucity of means at Russia’s disposal, dominate the “Putin method”.
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