Revolutionary Ideas, State Interests, and Russian Foreign Policy

Western analysts have become increasingly alarmed with Russia's assertive foreign policy -- in both the economic and the political/strategic spheres -- toward the new states of the former Soviet Union. Many have cited Russia's military interventions in Georgia, Tajikistan, and Moldova as signals of Russia's new imperialist designs. Russian policy toward the Baltic states has also spurred alarm. While Russian troops pulled out of the Baltic states as planned, the Russian Foreign Ministry has nonetheless threatened economic sanctions against Estonia and Latvia if citizenship rights for Russians are not further delineated in these states. Beyond the territory of the former Soviet Union, Russian assertiveness regarding sanctions against Serbia, NATO expansion, and arms trade with developing countries has compelled several analysts to speak of a renewal of Russian expansionist tendencies and hence a return of Cold War tension between West and East.

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