Policy Memos

Chairing the G8: Russian Energy and Great Power Aspirations

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At the start of 2005, Russia hit a low in its international relations. Awkward interference in the Orange Revolution in Ukraine resulted in serious tensions with the European Union. The Bratislava summit was marked by little of the old chemistry between Presidents Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush. In the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Russia again found itself in a minority of one. Russia’s external profile also suffered from internal setbacks, such as the revolt of pensioners over proposed reforms to the social benefits system, and the obvious disorganization of decisionmaking after the sudden death of Askar Akayev’s regime in Kyrgyzstan. At that point, many experts and politicians questioned the rationale for Russia’s participation in the G8, and the possibility that Russia would become its chairman looked like a joke. [...]

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About the author

Research Professor
Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)