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Russia and Its Current Geopolitical Issues Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 17th, 2020

Over the past few years, the relationships between Russia and the rest of the world, particularly, Europe and the United States, have been extraordinarily tense. Partially due to the economic and political challenges that Russia had to face in the realm of the 21st century globalization, and partially because of the strategy that the state government has chosen to address these issues, Russia has been choosing consistently the policy that can be described as rather acute.

Conditioned by the geopolitical specifics of its location as viewed from the point of the Rimland theory, Russia is currently in a deadlock of choosing between its national integrity and the reconciliation with the current world leaders, including major states of Europe and the United States of America, which explains its focus on defensive power.

Being insecure about its position among the current world leaders, Russia prefers an aggressive policy as a key tool for responding to outside threats. While the specified approach can be viewed as understandable, it still feeds the state’s insecurity, therefore, catering to the need of the Russian Federation to become a more influential leader. The fact that Russia uses external threats as a response to the complicated situation that it is currently in reduces the credibility of the state’s success a few notches.

The progress that Russia has made so far in its international relationships is literally defied by the actions that it is currently taking. Seeing that at present, Russia is highly dependent on the success of the economic relationships with the states that make the Rimland, it is highly undesirable for the Russian government to start an open confrontation with Europe and the USA (Berryman, 2012).

Even though the defensive power of the Soviet Union was far more impressive than the one that Russia has at present, the state has gone an admittedly long way in upgrading its military forces and improving military strategies (Pugačiauskas, 2011). The shift of the emphasis from the number of people used as the state’s military force to the quality of their actions and the speed of movement, as well as the integration of Special Operation Forces into the state’s defense has clearly had a major impact on Russia’s political strength.

However, the aforementioned approach has its problems. While Russia admittedly has enough power to influence the states that are located in the vicinity and that used to constitute the former USSR, it still has a very limited influence on a more global scale. As a result, the state remains in the deadlock of the Rimland (Kubyshkin & Sergunin, 2012).

Despite the fact that the responses, which Russian government gives to the world’s leaders, including Europe and the United States, can be viewed as rather harsh and even risky, its defensive strategy used as the key tool for foreign relationships can be explained by the blooming insecurity within the country, rooting from the lack of control that it has within the Rimland, as well as the geopolitical and especially economic restrictions, which the Rimland sets for the Russian Federation.

It can be assumed that a milder and a more lenient policy towards its economic and political partners could help Russia take a more comfortable position within the environment of the Rimland; however, a closer analysis of the situation will show that Russia will have to resort to a more reasonable approach towards foreign policy and base its relationships with the rest of the world on compromise in order to retain its economic power and strengthen its position.

Reference List

Berryman, J. (2012). Geopolitics and Russian foreign policy. International Politics, 49(4), 530–544.

Kubyshkin, A. & Sergunin, A. (2012). The problem of the “special path” in Russian foreign policy. Russian Politics and Law, 50(6), 7–18.

Pugačiauskas, V. (2011). The military doctrine of Russia and practical realities. Lithuanian Annual Strategic Review, 9(1), 123–137.

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