The charges and countercharges between Russia and the West, the expanded military budgets and exercises, the denigration in both Russia and the US of past nuclear arms agreements, and Russia’s direct involvement in the internal affairs of Western countries parallel some of the most conflictual periods during the Cold War. This paper argues that the deterioration of relations between Russia and the West from the euphoria of the early 1990s to the confrontation of today stems from two interrelated developments. The first is the West’s commitment to expand the liberal international order eastwards by incorporating large segments of the former Soviet empire via the exportation of liberal economic and political values along with the enlargement of both NATO and the European Union. The second development that led to the downturn in Russia’s relations with the West is the change in Russia’s strategic culture in a more assertive and aggressive direction. This change is partly a response to the West’s expansion into the post-Soviet space, and partly a response to internal threats to the political system that President Putin and his associates have created.
- East-West confrontation
- liberal world order
- Russian strategic culture
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations