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Changing Course in Moscow

Is Medvedev Serious About a New Vision for Russian Foreign Policy?

Courtesy Reuters

Over the past decade, Russian foreign policy has experienced a number of dramatic shifts. Following 9/11, Russia pursued a strategic partnership with the United States, pledging cooperation in Afghanistan while downplaying its long-standing opposition to NATO expansion and European missile defense. But then, during Vladimir Putin’s second presidential term, Russia took advantage of rising energy prices to push back against the United States and the West, seeking to undermine pro-Western regimes in Georgia and Ukraine, and even threatening to point nuclear missiles at European countries that hosted U.S. missile defense facilities. The resurgence of Russian power in opposition to the United States and the European Union reached its apex with the August 2008 war in Georgia.

Since the war, Russian foreign policy has begun to swing back toward cooperation with the West. The public face of this new course is Dmitry Medvedev, who succeeded Putin as president in 2008. Its fundamental

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