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Circumstances Have Changed Since 1991, But Russia’s Core Foreign Policy Goals Have Not

Circumstances Have Changed Since 1991, But Russia’s Core Foreign Policy Goals Have Not
President Bill Clinton & Russian President Boris Yeltsin at the FDR Library in Hyde Park, New York

Since the Ukraine crisis, the dominant Western perspective on Russian foreign policy has come to emphasize its increasingly confrontational, even revanchist, nature. Experts have focused on discontinuities in Russian foreign policy either between the ostensibly more pro-Western Yeltsin presidency and the anti-Western Putin presidency or between the more cooperatively inclined early Putin period (2000-2008) and the more confrontational late Putin period (2012-present). In this memo, I argue that Russian foreign policy preferences and activities have been largely continuous since the early 1990s…

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