Russian National Security Policy After September 11 [August 20, 2002]   [open pdf - 153KB]

"Russian President Putin appears to have made a strategic decision to shift Russian policy toward cooperation with the United States and the West. This is a major departure from the policy that Putin inherited from his predecessors, which saw Russia as the leader of a coalition aimed at opposing U.S. 'global domination.' Putin seized upon the events of September 11 to promote his new policy by: cooperating with the United States against Al Qaeda and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan; softening Russian opposition to NATO enlargement, including admission of former Soviet republics, and establishing a new cooperative relationship with NATO; acquiescing in U.S. decisions regarding withdrawal from the ABM [Anti-Ballistic Missile] Treaty, strategic nuclear force reductions, and missile defense; and closing Russia's large military intelligence base in Cuba. The principal reason given by Putin for the new policy is that Russia must integrate with the West in order to reconstruct its own economy and achieve a decent living standard for its people. Putin also acknowledges Russia's weakness and inability to act globally in opposition to the United States. He may also have rejected as unwise, the previous policy of de facto alliance with China against the United States, instead seeing China as a possible long-term threat to Russia. Putin's new policy does not seem to enjoy strong support among Russian political elites, the military and foreign policy establishment, and the general public. Putin's overall political power and prestige, however, may be sufficient to sustain the policy. The Bush Administration responded positively to the new Russian policy after September 11. The Administration, however, did not make many concessions on key issues related to arms control, missile defense, and NATO. It has been more forthcoming on some economic issues."

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