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Publication Detail
Batman and Robin? Exploring foreign policy differences between Putin and Medvedev during the Medvedev presidency
  • Publication Type:
    Working discussion paper
  • Authors:
    Duncan PJS
  • Publisher:
    CEPSI Centre for European Politics, Security & Integration, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies
  • Publication date:
  • Place of publication:
  • Report number:
    Working paper 2013-03
  • Series:
    CEPSI Centre for European Politics, Security & Integration Working Papers
  • Editors:
    Hanley S
  • Status:
  • Language:
  • Keyword:
    Russian foreign policy, Russia, Dmitrii Medvedev, Vladimir Putin, tandem, International relations
  • Addresses:
Following the return of Vladimir Putin to the Russian presidency, the specific features of Russian foreign policy under the 2008-12 presidency of Dmitrii Medvedev can now be analysed. This paper investigates how significant the foreign policy differences were between Medvedev and Putin; the importance of Medvedev’s influence and the achievements of Russian foreign policy under his presidency. It argues that Medvedev’s presidency did not lead to fundamental change in Russia foreign policy, but allowed an improvement in relations with the West and the maintenance of the strategic partnership with China. However, both Putin and Medvedev shared a belief in Russia as a great power and a pragmatic outlook. Both opposed NATO enlargement into the former Soviet Union although Medvedev leaned more towards collaboration with the West, and Putin towards integration based on the CIS. Relations with the West deteriorated at the end of the Medvedev presidency following the announcement of Putin’s planned return to the Kremlin and the rigging of parliamentary elections. However, five major foreign-policy achievements can be identified: the postponement of NATO enlargement into post-Soviet space following war with Georgia; the defeat of the leaders of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine; the ‘New START’ treaty; entry to the WTO; and the implementation of the Common Economic Space with Belarus and Kazakhstan.
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