'Was Putin Ever Friendly to the West?': An Expository Study of the First Two Terms of President Vladimir Putin, In Light of the Theories of Realism
JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (MEDZINÁRODNÉ VZŤAHY) Faculty of International Relations, University of Economics in Bratislava 2016, Volume XIV, Issue 1, Pages 58-92. ISSN 1336-1562 (print), ISSN 1339-2751 (online) Published 15. 3. 2016
36 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2016
Date Written: March 15, 2016
It is common notion among a lot of Western analysts that Vladimir Putin was a friend of the West, and due to causal and structural reasons, like Iraq War, NATO expansion, East Europe missile defense and oil price index, he turned into a revanchist ruler that he is today. I argue, that was not the case, and this essay highlights that he was always a shrewd Realist, on a tactical alignment with the West, looking to chart his own course at his earliest convenience. The study of this time period, of Putin’s first two terms, highlights the importance and suggests future policy course in dealing with him. This study is expository and tests the theory of Realism with Russian actions under the first two terms of Vladimir Putin, which broadly coincides with the George W Bush Administration.
Keywords: Russia, Putin, Eastern Europe, Realism, NATO, US, Foreign Policy
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