Policy Memos

Russia's Security Agenda vis-a-vis Transatlantic Developments after the War in Iraq

Policy Memo:


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The sharp disagreements among Western countries over U.S. actions in Iraq are a serious test for Moscow for several reasons. First, although disagreements in the West have occurred before and indeed deepened after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the Iraq crisis is qualitatively different. NATO members disagreed about the expansion of the alliance and the operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in Kosovo, but during the Iraqi crisis they have reached the critical level of a “split.” Second, despite great pains, Russia has almost adapted to its new role as a regional power rather than a global power. Two notions have factored into its practical foreign and security policy and, sometimes, even into its rhetoric. These are the recognition, first, of U.S. unilateral dominance in the security domain, particularly after the war in Afghanistan, and second, of Russia’s limited leverage, whether military-technical or political, to influence international security decisionmaking. [...]

About the author

Senior Research Fellow
Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Moscow