"Russia demands more respect from and equality with Washington and a free hand in world politics. In key respects, Moscow’s new foreign policy grows out of the logic of its ever more autocratic and neo-imperial political structure.”
Only last month a new report from the Strategic Studies Institute examining Russia’s foreign policy objectives in relation to U.S. policy summarized that, “East-West relations have noticeably deteriorated, and Russia’s behavior has become commensurately more self-assertive. Key arms control achievements are in jeopardy, and Russia claims to be facing an array of growing threats, most prominently from America. In fact, Russia demands more respect from and equality with Washington and a free hand in world politics. In key respects, Moscow’s new foreign policy grows out of the logic of its ever more autocratic and neo-imperial political structure.”
Within its borders, it also took measures to boost patriotism and point the nation on a more menacing path with the creation of a patriotic youth group "Nashi", which translates to “ours”, whose purpose is to inculcate nationalistic virtues in tune with Putin’s vision of a greater Russia. Also disturbing are reports that Mr. Putin has complimented the authors of a new manual for high school history teachers that encourages renewed pride in their country's past and instills a renewed sense of camaraderie. Sound familiar?
In addition, last month Putin appeared to confirm the inception of a new arms race by vowing to modernize Russia’s armed services in response to America’s European defense shield. I guess it came as no surprise, "HELLO", that some European leaders view Putin’s latest antics as a, “wake-up call from a tougher Russia.”
The Russians have merely flirted with the open society option and now return to a less than perfect centralized democratic system that in the longer term will only compromise stability. In other words, while the nation is vying to return to the stage as a world player they are shooting themselves in the foot. Not addressing the demographic challenges of life expectancy and falling birth rates for example, while stacking money on the military and moving away from democracy, will ultimately be there undoing.
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