Russian national security and Central Europe: Russian perspectives and policies
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AbstractThis thesis examines the development of Russian national security and foreign policy perspectives towards Central Europe (CE) after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The study focuses on two major aspects of bilateral relations between Russia and four states of Central Europe - Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic - militarypolitical and economic. The ties between Russia and the states of Central European are analyzed within the framework of the regional security complex. The regional security complex concept helps bring into the analysis both internal and external influences that shape these countries' security policies. The concept also allows the idea of mutual perceptions to be brought into the analysis that helps explain Russia-CE security dynamics in the postCold War era. Among the key external influences that significantly affected and shaped Russia-CE relations were the processes of NATO and EU enlargement. These are analysed closely in explaining changes and variations in Russia's CE policy. EU enlargement and the consequences for Russian-Polish relations are given particular consideration, with main focus on Russia's Kaliningrad exclave. The study is also organised around four periods that are marked by shifts in Russian security and foreign policy thinking. Evidence presented in this study suggests that Russian foreign policy, having reached a "consensus" on the statist, "great power" foreign policy in the mid-1990s, has since shown a tendency towards a more economically driven foreign policy, although still with a good measure of geopolitical thinking. Thus, the role of Russian economic actors in shaping Russian foreign policy towards CE is closely examined. The economic interests of Russia's key economic actors - oil and gas companies - have played an important part in sustaining and moderating Russia's policy towards CE and Europe as a whole. However, it is argued, Russian economic actors encountered a number of obstacles in advancing their interests in the region, in part due to the legacy of the past and lingering unfavourable perceptions. The thesis argues that Russia and the CE states have now left the most difficult epoch in their post-Soviet history behind. Completion of the most dramatic and sensitive changes - NATO enlargement, and Russia's grudging acquiescence to further growth of the alliance - opened the way to a new era in Russia-CE relations. The increasing role of economic factors in determining Russian foreign policy, along with improvements in Russia's relations with the West in general, with NATO and with the EU, send positive signals to the CE states. These changes, it is argued, are bringing about the shift towards a more constructive and amicable pattern of relations between Russia and the CE states which makes the overall security environment in Europe more positively stable, predictable and durable.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/