Russian Foreign Policy
Russia’s foreign policy has in recent years become more assertive than it had been in the first two decades since independence. The Kremlin surprised many with its 2008 war in Georgia, its 2014 seizure of Crimea and intervention in eastern Ukraine, and its 2015 deployment of forces in the Syrian civil war. Underpinning this greater assertiveness is a growing consensus among Russian analysts, scholars, and officials that Russia should play a larger role in the world, one where Moscow is free to act according to its own interests without being beholden to others and where no issue of global significance can be resolved without Russian participation. While the post-Soviet region continues to be a focal point for Russian foreign policy, Moscow is also recalibrating its approach to the U.S., the European Union, and China, among others, as it defines its global interests. The viability of Russia’s assertive approach, however, depends on many factors, not least the health of the Russian economy. The CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program engages in research and analysis regarding all aspects of Russia’s foreign policy.