For Immediate Release: November 30, 2000
Contact: Julie Shaw, 202-939-2211

 

Security and Foreign Policy High on Putin Agenda
Russian Leader Stakes Out Ground in Realpolitik Fashion

Webcast and Transcript Available

While the United States has been preoccupied with domestic events and the Middle East, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been laying down markers on the security front and traveling abroad like a whirlwind diplomat. His statements and actions portend a return to a traditional approach to nuclear arms and to balance-of-power geopolitics. Carnegie Endowment experts analyze the Russian leader?s stance on nuclear security and his foreign policy towards the East and West in "205 Days of Putin: Geopolitics and Nuclear Security," a panel discussion now available at www.ceip.org/files/daysofputin.

In the past decade, the U.S. arms control community has emphasized a less formal nuclear relationship with Russia. While at first enthusiastic about the progress made, Rose Gottemoeller, senior associate and a former nonproliferation official in the U.S. Department of Energy, now sees obstacles. "Putin?s rise in power has brought the security services to new prominence?we will have difficulty making headway in Moscow with a less formal approach to arms control because the government superstructure in Russia simply cannot support it."

Looking towards the East, Russia?s triangular relationship with China and India is bound by shared interests, but should not be exaggerated by U.S. policy makers, notes Andrew Kuchins, director of the Endowment?s Russian and Eurasian Program. "Conclusions that the Sino-Russian and the Indo-Russian strategic partnerships have either taken the place of the U.S.-Russian partnership?or are inherently deeply threatening to U.S. interests at this point?are misplaced."

Meanwhile, to the West, Putin has accentuated Europe over the United States, says Thomas Graham, senior associate and a former State Department official who served in Moscow. U.S.-Russian relations have been deteriorating because of "the growing asymmetry in power, attitude, and fortune between the United States and Russia." Also, in the absence of a bipolar world, "the United States no longer has an integrated policy towards Russia. What we have is a little box down in the corner of every other policy that says, the Russian element."

"205 Days of Putin" was held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on November 28, 2000 by the Endowment?s Russian and Eurasian Program. This was the third and final seminar examining initiatives and policies of the Putin administration?s first six months in power.

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