Russia Direct has released the e-book Guidebook to Russian Foreign Policy. Written by prominent international experts, it looks back at some of the defining moments in Russian foreign policy over the past 12 months and analyzes the challenges ahead.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin waves as he leaves the Itamaraty Palace after the 6th BRICS summit and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), in Brasilia. Photo: Reuters
The issues covered in this guidebook span a range of topics: how Russia is projecting its military power abroad in conflict zones such as Afghanistan, how it copes with the problem of global terrorism along its own borders, how it manages its economic development by trying to reverse the brain drain, and how Moscow is pivoting in its approach to soft power.
"These issues will only gain more relevance with changing political circumstances as well as continue to play a major role in guiding Russian foreign policy decisions in the near future," says one of the editors of the e-book, Ekaterina Zabrovskaya.
This guide compiles five reports published by Russia Direct from 2013 to 2014 which delve into the changing geopolitical conditions of the time:
• "Russian Soft Power 2.0"
• "Afghan Endgame: What Comes Next"
• "Sochi: Going for the Olympic Gold"
• "Megatons to Megawatts Program: Hard Lessons and New Opportunities for US-Russian Nuclear cooperation"
• "From Brain Drain to Brain Gain"
The authors include Thomas Neff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ivan Timofeev of the Russian International Affairs Council, and George Joffé of the University of Cambridge – just to name a few.
As Timofeev explains, with the recent Ukraine crisis and other developments in the international arena “the focus of Russia’s national interest is more sharply expressed than six months or a year ago: security on its borders and the preservation of sustainable, constructive ties with its partners in both the West and the East.”
“The tools needed to solve these issues are familiar to all the involved parties: continued dialogue in order to clarify positions, and the continued search for acceptable solutions. Behind this broad intellectual concept stands painstaking, behind-the-scenes work in order to find significant solutions for Russia’s foreign policy development,” Timofeev says.
The Russia Direct Guidebook to Russian Foreign Policy includes maps, full-color photographs, infographics, charts as well as a selection of top Twitter accounts and recommended books for each of the topics.