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Russia and the Challengers

Russian Alignment with China, Iran and Iraq in the Unipolar Era

Russia and the Challengers by Helen Belopolsky
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Less than two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, China, Iran and Iraq number among a cadre of Russia's closest friends. The resolute turn to the West which had characterized Russia's early foreign policy strategy, by the mid-1990s, had been tempered by the move to a more reserved policy. Indeed, the Bush Administration has been marked by diplomatic tensions with China, unambiguous intentions to end Iran's nuclear program and the invasion of Iraq.

The question becomes why Russia has chosen to jeopardize its embryonic partnership with the West in favour of alignment with 'challenger' states like China, Iran and Iraq. On the surface, it would seem that Russian alignment with these states suggests a strong connection with the United States. The author unpacks preconceptions and examines the true extent to which the American factor interacts with Russian economic, domestic security, and regional objectives in driving Russian foreign policy.

Palgrave Macmillan; November 2008
277 pages; ISBN 9780230583276
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Title: Russia and the Challengers
Author: Helen Belopolsky