Russia: A Country Study, edited by Glenn E. Curtis

Re: Russia: A Country Study, edited by Glenn E. Curtis

Postby admin » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:05 am

The Emergence of Russian Foreign Policy

The Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR) of the Soviet Union began developing a separate foreign policy and diplomacy some time before the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991. The Russian Republic had possessed a foreign ministry and the "right" to conduct foreign policy since the 1936 Soviet constitution was amended in 1944. This power remained undeveloped, however, until the election of Boris N. Yeltsin as president of Russia and Russia's declaration of sovereignty in June 1990. Among the foreign policy institutions and procedures that emerged in Russia in this early period, some paralleled and others competed with those of the Soviet Union.

Recognized by world states and international organizations as the Soviet Union's successor state after its collapse, Russia aggressively assumed Soviet assets and most of the Soviet Union's treaty obligations. The assets included diplomatic properties worldwide and a large portion of the existing diplomatic personnel staffing those posts. Most foreign states simply reassigned their ambassadors from the Soviet Union to Russia, and international organizations allowed Russia to assume the Soviet seat. Most notably, Russia took over the permanent seat of the Soviet Union in the United Nations (UN) Security Council, which allowed it to join the elite power group with Britain, China, France, and the United States.

The Search for Objectives

In early 1992, Russian foreign minister Andrey Kozyrev announced that Russian foreign policy would differ from foreign policy under Gorbachev's New Thinking because democratic principles would drive it. These principles would provide a solid basis for peaceful policies. Kozyrev also stressed that the basis for the new foreign policy would be Russia's national interests rather than the so-called international class interests that theoretically underlay Soviet foreign policy. For two years (1992-93), Russian foreign policy was generally low key and conciliatory toward the West with endorsement of many Western foreign policy positions on world conflicts. Pressing domestic problems were a major determinant of this direction. Kozyrev argued that good relations with the West were possible because "no developed, democratic, civil society . . . can threaten us."

Domestic politics placed increasing pressure on this pro-Western and generally benign attitude. Bureaucratic infighting broke out in the government over foreign policy goals and the means of implementing them, and the same questions stimulated a major conflict between the legislative and executive branches of power. In this period, conflict and confusion exacerbated or triggered foreign policy problems with Ukraine, Japan, and the former Yugoslavia.

The lack of clarity in many aspects of foreign policy also reflected opposing Russian viewpoints over Russia's place in the world. Public debates raged over whether Russia should orient itself toward the West or the East, whether Russia was still a superpower, and what the intentions of the West were toward Russia--all indicating Russia's general search for a new identity to replace the accepted truths of Marxism-Leninism and the Cold War. In the debate, ultranationalists and communists strongly criticized what they viewed as pro-Western policies and argued that close relations with the West constituted a danger to Russia's national security because the West remained Russia's chief enemy. As early as December 1990, Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze had cited harsh criticism of his conciliatory position toward the West as a major reason for his resignation.

To allay Russians' broad uncertainty about their country's place in the world, in early 1992 Kozyrev presented the Supreme Soviet (parliament) with his concept of three main foreign policy objectives, but the conservative legislators did not accept them. In January 1993, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prepared another draft, which also met substantial criticism. Finally, in April 1993, the newly created Interdepartmental Foreign Policy Commission of the Security Council finalized a foreign policy concept that the parliament approved (see The Security Council, this ch.).

According to the 1993 foreign policy concept, Russia is a great power with several foreign policy priorities: ensuring national security through diplomacy; protecting the sovereignty and unity of the state, with special emphasis on border stability; protecting the rights of Russians abroad; providing favorable external conditions for internal democratic reforms; mobilizing international assistance for the establishment of a Russian market economy and assisting Russian exporters; furthering integration of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS--see Glossary) and pursuing beneficial relations with other nearby foreign states, including those in Central Europe; continuing to build relations with countries that have resolved problems similar to those that Russia faces; and ensuring Russia an active role as a great power. The concept also called for enhanced ties with Asian Pacific countries to balance relations with the West. Beginning in 1993, public statements about foreign policy placed greater emphasis on the protection of Russia's vital interests and less emphasis on openly pro-Western policies.

The 1993 concept disclosed a dispute between liberals and conservatives over the nature of Russian foreign policy toward the CIS. Liberals warned of the great human and material costs Russia would be forced to shoulder if it reabsorbed the former Soviet republics, a step the conservatives increasingly advocated in the 1990s. Liberals argued that Russia could be a great power without pursuing that policy. Both liberals and conservatives agreed, however, that Russia should play an active role in safeguarding the human rights of the 25 million ethnic Russians who found themselves in a foreign country for the first time after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The 1993 foreign-policy concept called for strengthening a "unified military strategic space" in the CIS and protecting Russia's major interests there. It warned that a third state's military-political presence in the CIS, or actions among the CIS states such as creation of an economic or religious bloc of Central Asian states, could negatively affect Russia's interests. In the case of Central Asia, this would occur if ethnic Russians were forced to flee the region. On a somewhat more liberal note that showed its compromise quality, the concept recognized that intraregional cooperation could have positive results and that Russia should react to each effort individually. The primacy of relations with the CIS was strengthened after the December 1993 Russian legislative elections, in which nationalist factions expanded their power base.

For the conservatives, Russian dominance was necessary to secure southern borders and to ensure continued access to the waterways, ports, and natural resources of the newly independent states. Some conservatives asserted that Russia's military security required a line of defense outside Russia's own borders and along the borders of the former Soviet Union (and even, according to some, including a "neutral" Central Europe) (see The Geopolitical Context, ch. 9). A related position called for Russia to counter efforts by countries such as Turkey and Iran to gain influence in the new states.

Some Western observers suggested that the characteristic positions of Russian conservatives and liberals regarding the near abroad differed only in the degree of hegemony they demanded that Russia have over the CIS states. These observers also saw Russia engaging in a two-sided foreign policy that distinguished policy toward the near abroad from policy toward the rest of the world (see The Near Abroad, this ch.).

The 1993 concept and a new military doctrine were to be parts of an all-inclusive Russian national security concept. In April 1996, the Yeltsin government announced a draft national security concept. That document included the seemingly progressive renunciation of strategic and military parity with the United States, reaffirmation of collective security within the CIS, and support for reductions in nuclear arsenals and domestic military reforms. Ratification of the new concept was subject to the political events of mid-1996, including the presidential election.

The State of the Federation Speeches

In February 1994, Yeltsin outlined Russia's foreign policy in his first state of the federation address to the Russian parliament, as the 1993 constitution required. Yeltsin's address to the more nationalistic legislative body that had just been elected called for a more assertive Russian foreign policy. However, Yeltsin showed the still inchoate and even contradictory character of Russian foreign policy by making several references to conciliatory, Western-oriented policies.

Yeltsin noted that as a great country, Russia had its own foreign policy priorities to pursue, including prevention of cold or hot global war by preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. By mentioning the possibility of global war, he supported the view of the Russian military and other conservative and hard-line groups that the United States and the West remain a threat. Yeltsin voiced support for the Partnership for Peace (PfP--see Glossary) program of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO--see Glossary) and opposition to the expansion of NATO to include Central European states without including Russia (see Western Europe, this ch.). On international economic matters, Yeltsin called for quick removal of obstacles to trade with the West and for making the CIS into an economic union with a common market as well as a common security system and guarantees on human rights. As a warning to those calling for reconstituting the empire, he stated that such integration should not damage Russia by depleting the nation's material and financial resources.

Yeltsin's February 1995 state of the federation address did not repeat the contradictory and sometimes harsh tone of the 1994 speech. Yeltsin broadly depicted a cooperative and conciliatory Russian foreign policy, but he offered few details on policy toward specific countries or regions. Yeltsin outlined Russia's cooperation with the Group of Seven (G-7; see Glossary) of top world economic powers, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE--see Glossary), the UN, and NATO; the need for Russia to adhere to arms control agreements; and reductions in Russian armed forces. Despite his broadly conciliatory attitude toward the West and his general support of world cooperation, Yeltsin still objected to NATO enlargement as a threat to European security.

Some political analysts in the West suggested that the 1995 speech was an attempt to reassure the world of Russia's peaceful foreign policy in the wake of its widely censured attempt to suppress separatism in the Republic of Chechnya in December 1994 (see Movements Toward Sovereignty, ch. 4). Later in 1995, arguing that the West was wrong to fear Moscow's intentions toward Central Europe, Yeltsin announced that in 1995 Russian foreign policy would be nonconfrontational and would follow the principle of "real partnership in all directions" with the United States, Europe, China, India, Japan, and Latin America. The priorities of this stance would be enhanced interaction with the CIS states and partnership with the United States on the basis of a "balance of interests."

The February 1996 state of the federation speech occurred just after the convocation of the Federal Assembly (parliament) following the December legislative elections and a few months before the June 1996 presidential election. The legislative elections brought substantial gains for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (Kommunisticheskaya partiya Rossiyskoy Federatsii--KPRF) and losses for reformists, which indicated deep discontent with the Yeltsin administration. Under these conditions, Yeltsin gave foreign policy only brief mention in his February speech. He noted that there had been problems in defining Russia's foreign policy priorities and in matching policy to execution. He vaguely promised a more realistic and pragmatic policy that would support Russia's national interests. Yeltsin singled out NATO enlargement, efforts against Russian interests in the CIS, conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and controversies over the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE Treaty--see Glossary) and the Anti-Ballistic MissileTreaty (ABM Treaty--see Glossary) as persisting problems of Russia's foreign policy.

Despite these problems, Yeltsin emphasized that his foreign policy had scored several major achievements, including moves toward further integration of the CIS. Repeating statements from the 1995 speech, he noted that Russia's strategic arms control and security agreements ensured that the country faced no real military or nuclear threat. He argued that such security gains made Russia's signing of the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II--see Glossary) advisable. He praised United States and Russian cooperation in extending the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT--see Glossary), and he noted the international prestige that Russia had gained through participation in meetings of the G-7, membership in the Council of Europe (see Glossary), and new ties with China and the states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Persian Gulf.
Site Admin
Posts: 28296
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Russia: A Country Study, edited by Glenn E. Curtis

Postby admin » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:20 am

The Foreign Policy Mechanism

In the Soviet system, the predominant foreign policy actor was the general secretary of the CPSU, who also was the preeminent figure in the party's Politburo (the highest executive body of the government). By virtue of this position, the general secretary also was the country's recognized foreign representative. Other Politburo members with major foreign policy responsibility were the ministers of foreign affairs and defense (always members of the Politburo), the chairman of the Committee for State Security (Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti--KGB; see Glossary), and the chief of the CPSU's International Department. The minister of foreign economic relations had foreign policy responsibility in commercial relations, and other members of the Council of Ministers provided input when their specific areas involved foreign affairs.

In 1988 constitutional revisions gave the Supreme Soviet, the Soviet Union's national parliament, new powers to oversee foreign policy and some input in policy formulation. The centralization of foreign policy decision making in the Politburo, together with the long tenure of its members, contributed to the Soviet Union's ability to plan and guide foreign policy over long periods with a constancy lacking in pluralistic political systems.

When a large part of the Soviet Union's foreign policy functions devolved to Russia in 1992, the Soviet pattern of centralizing foreign policy continued. The Russian constitution of 1993 gives the executive branch the chief role in making foreign policy, with the legislative branch occupying a distinctly subsidiary role. In the years since 1993, President Yeltsin has formed various organizations in the executive branch to assist him in formulating foreign policy. The mechanism of policy making has remained unwieldy, however, and the increasingly nationalistic parliament has used every power it commands to influence policy making.

The President

Under the provisions of the 1993 constitution, the president exercises leadership in forming foreign policy, represents Russia in international relations, conducts talks and signs international treaties, forms and heads the Security Council, approves military doctrine, delivers annual messages to the parliament on foreign policy, appoints and recalls diplomatic representatives (after consultation with committees or commissions of the parliament), and accepts credentials and letters of recall from foreign diplomats.

Between 1992 and 1996, there were indications that Yeltsin made important foreign policy decisions with little or no consultation with other officials of his administration or with the legislative branch. In that period, the size of the presidential apparatus steadily increased until it reportedly numbered several thousand staffers, including a Security Council staff of hundreds (see The Executive Branch, ch. 7). At the end of 1993, Yeltsin appointed a national security adviser who established his own staff, and during 1995 the Presidential Security Service, under the direction of Aleksandr Korzhakov, apparently also assumed some responsibility for foreign policy analysis. According to some observers, the vast size of the presidential apparatus exacerbated the confused and unwieldy formulation and implementation of foreign policy. In the early 1990s, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs came directly under presidential control, which further enhanced presidential power.

The Security Council

The function of the Russian Security Council is somewhat similar to that of the Defense Council that Nikita S. Khrushchev (in office 1953-64) created. Khrushchev's successor, Leonid I. Brezhnev (in office 1964-82), had retained the Defense Council as a consultative body on foreign policy and defense security, and this role was codified in the 1977 Soviet constitution. Gorbachev replaced the Defense Council in 1990, first by the Presidential Council and then by the Security Council.

After its statutory establishment in mid-1992, the Russian Security Council became part of Yeltsin's presidential apparatus. To distinguish his Security Council from earlier councils, Yeltsin presented the new body as an open organization that would obey the constitution and other laws and would work closely with executive and legislative bodies. He said the new council was based partly on that of the United States National Security Council. By statute, the Security Council is a consultative rather than decision-making body. It has the authority to prepare decisions for the president on military policy, protection of civil rights, internal and external security, and foreign policy issues, and it has the power to conduct basic research, long-range planning, and coordination of other executive-branch efforts in the foreign policy realm.

The Security Council's founding statute stipulates that voting members include the president, the vice president, the prime minister, the first deputy chairman of the Supreme Soviet, and the secretary of the council. It also includes nonvoting members from the Government (Russia's cabinet), including the ministers or chiefs of defense, internal affairs, foreign affairs, security, foreign intelligence, justice, and others. Other officials and foreign policy experts, including the chairman of the Supreme Soviet, also are invited to participate in council sessions. By statute the Security Council is to meet at least once a month. The 1993 constitution makes formation of the council the prerogative of the president, who is to be its chairman. In February 1994, Yeltsin reapportioned the membership of the council, giving additional influence to defense, internal affairs, justice, civil defense, security, foreign intelligence, and foreign affairs bureaucracies. Another adjustment in mid-1994 included the heads of both chambers of the new Federal Assembly and the head of the Federal Border Service. In 1995 Yeltsin added the minister of atomic energy to the council. After the election of a heavily antireformist parliament in December 1995, Yeltsin announced that the speakers of the two chambers of the Federal Assembly would be excluded from membership in the Security Council.

Some Russian commentators complained that the methods of the Security Council under its first secretary, Yuriy Skokov, were authoritarian, secretive, and antireformist. In early 1993, a major rift occurred between the Security Council and Yeltsin. Skokov led the council in opposing Yeltsin's attempt to declare a so-called special rule for the executive branch as a means of circumventing an executive-legislative deadlock and forcing legislative elections. After Yeltsin won this power struggle against the parliament, he felt strong enough to replace Skokov as secretary of the council. He named Oleg Lobov as secretary in September 1993, and Lobov served until Aleksandr Lebed' replaced him in June 1996.

The Security Council reportedly has played an important role in several vital foreign policy decisions. In September 1992, after an outcry from the Security Council over possible concessions to Japan on the issue of possession of the Kuril Islands, Yeltsin canceled a planned visit to Japan (see Japan, this ch.). In 1993 the Security Council's Interdepartmental Foreign Policy Commission (IFPC) reworked Foreign Minister Kozyrev's foreign policy concept to make it more conservative. The IFPC also appeared to be influential in Russian troop withdrawal policy in the Baltic states, which concluded in mid-1994. The Security Council's agenda also reportedly included deliberations on United States-Russian relations, nuclear arms reduction, ethnic relations within Russia, crime fighting, and relations with the former Soviet republics. On many issues, however, the council apparently failed to conciliate opposing positions of the ministries of defense and foreign affairs, and the council's overall influence appeared to wane after Skokov's dismissal. In December 1994, the council rubber-stamped Yeltsin's decision to send Russian security forces into Chechnya, and it invariably approved his policies there during 1995 and early 1996. Major questions remained about the quality of debate in the council because military and police authorities may not have furnished Yeltsin with complete information on operations in Chechnya during this period. The council likely had become moribund as a consultative body before Lebed' attempted to revitalize its role in 1996.

The Security Council contains various subdepartments and committees. Most significant to foreign policy formation is the IFPC, which was created in December 1992. The IFPC analyzes and forecasts information on foreign policy for the president. Creation of the IFPC coincided with increased opposition to Kozyrev's conduct of foreign policy and to Yeltsin's pro-Western policies. In 1993 the IFPC attempted to block Kozyrev's pro-Western foreign policies and urged a more "imperial" foreign policy toward the near abroad. After 1993, however, the IFPC appeared more amenable to the foreign ministry's policies.

The Parliament

During the first two years of Russia's independence, the Russian parliament's foreign policy powers were a matter of contention with the executive branch. This discord was part of a broader legislative-executive branch standoff that culminated in Yeltsin's forced takeover of the legislative building--the so-called White House--in early October 1993 and his rule by decree until December. In 1992-93 the parliament still derived its power from the 1978 constitution of the Russian Republic and numerous amendments to that document. Its foreign policy prerogatives included the right to ratify or abrogate international treaties, to confirm or recall diplomats serving abroad, to approve or reject the deployment of armed forces to areas of conflict abroad, and to approve the general direction of foreign policy.

In this period, the parliament increasingly attempted to widen its foreign policy prerogatives in opposition to official policies. These efforts included attempts to influence Russia's votes in the UN Security Council on economic and military sanctions against the former Yugoslavia, an open letter decrying Yeltsin's planned September 1992 visit to Japan, a July 1993 resolution declaring the Crimean city of Sevastopol' a Russian port although it is located in Ukrainian territory, and denunciation of United States aerial bombing of Iraq in 1993. Kozyrev tried to work with the International Affairs Committee of the Supreme Soviet and its successor, the State Duma, on several of those issues, but legislative criticism became increasingly strident in the period before Yeltsin forcibly dissolved the parliament in September 1993.

The 1993 constitution substantially reduced the parliament's foreign policy powers. The State Duma retained broad responsibility for adopting laws on foreign policy, but the constitution stipulated no specific foreign policy duties for the legislative branch. The constitution gave the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, the responsibility for deciding on the use of troops abroad and reviewing State Duma ratification and denunciation of international treaties and Duma decisions on war and peace. In January 1994, the newly elected parliament established committees dealing with foreign policy issues, including a Committee on Geopolitics with a member of hard-liner Vladimir Zhirinovskiy's Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia as chairman. Vladimir Lukin returned from his post as ambassador to the United States to head the Duma's International Affairs Committee, which worked in 1994 with Kozyrev and Yeltsin to forge a more conservative consensus on foreign policy issues.

After remaining relatively quiescent on foreign policy matters in 1994, the parliament stepped up its criticism of Government policy in 1995. Four State Duma committees investigated Ministry of Foreign Affairs policies toward the near abroad, Asia, and the West, timing their queries to enhance electoral prospects for anti-Yeltsin deputies in the December legislative elections. In September 1995, the State Duma called for Russia to unilaterally lift UN-approved economic sanctions against Serbia; then it demanded that Yeltsin condemn NATO air strikes against Bosnian Serb targets and convened a special session to debate Russian policy toward the former Yugoslavia. In that session, ultranationalist and communist deputies called for Kozyrev's resignation and for a wholesale redirection of foreign policy.

After the legislative elections of 1995, more deputies called for the parliament to take a more active role in foreign policy oversight. The reformist Yabloko coalition managed to gain the chairmanship of the International Affairs Committee in the State Duma, somewhat mitigating the anti-Government and anti-Western tone of legislative proceedings. However, many of the State Duma's nonbinding resolutions complicated foreign policy by arousing protests from foreign governments. In March 1996, the State Duma passed nonbinding resolutions abrogating the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which brought condemnation from most CIS member states as a threat to their sovereignty and independence. In 1996 the Duma also passed a resolution calling for elimination of international economic sanctions against Libya.

The Government (Cabinet)

According to the 1993 constitution, the chairman of the Government, the prime minister, defines basic policy guidelines, and the Government enacts the nation's foreign policy according to those guidelines. After referendum approval of the 1993 constitution, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, whom Yeltsin had appointed in December 1992, began to play a more prominent role in meeting with foreign officials, particularly CIS leaders. The prime minister focused primarily on economic and governmental relations, however, and made few foreign policy pronouncements.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was a central battleground of foreign policy formation from October 1990 until January 1996, when Andrey Kozyrev led it. In the two years before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Kozyrev had played an important role in challenging the supremacy of Soviet foreign policy. At the end of 1991, Kozyrev's ministry formally absorbed the functions and many of the personnel of the defunct Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At that point, budgetary constraints forced the closure of three dozen former Soviet embassies and consulates and the release of more than 2,000 personnel.

After some uncertainty about the role of the ministry, Yeltsin decreed in 1992 that it should ensure a unified policy line in Russian relations with foreign states and coordinate the foreign policy activities of other government agencies. At the end of 1992, increasing criticism of policy led Yeltsin to subordinate the role of the ministry to the supervision of the IFPC.

Beginning in 1992, Kozyrev and his ministry became the targets of increasingly forceful attacks from Russia's nationalist factions, who found any hint of pro-Western policy a pretext to call for Kozyrev's ouster. On several occasions, Yeltsin also criticized his foreign minister in public. Remarkably, Kozyrev retained his position until January 1996, when Yeltsin replaced him during a wave of nationalist appointments.

In December 1992, Kozyrev delivered what came to be called his shock diplomacy speech at a meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE--see Glossary). In the speech, he outlined what he termed corrections to Russian foreign policy in a list of priorities that ultranationalists advocated. The corrections included a shift in policy away from the West and toward Asia; admonitions against NATO involvement in the Baltic states or other areas of the near abroad; a call for lifting UN economic sanctions against Serbia; and a demand that the near abroad rejoin Russia in a new federation or confederation. Western foreign ministries expressed shock, and Kozyrev retracted the speech by describing it as a rhetorical warning of what might happen if ultranationalists came to dictate Russian foreign policy. Although some Russian and Western observers said the speech was irresponsible, others saw it as an attempt to discredit ultranationalist views (and prevent the creation of the IFPC, then under consideration) by dramatizing the potential impact of extremist views.

In March 1995, Yeltsin criticized Kozyrev for his actions on several policy fronts and assumed control of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the authority to appoint all deputy foreign ministers. At the same time, Yeltsin enhanced the ministry's powers by making it responsible for coordinating and controlling all governmental foreign policy actions. Perhaps to head off mounting electoral criticism of foreign policy during 1995, as well as to enhance coordination efforts, Yeltsin also established a governmental commission on foreign policy. Ostensibly, the commission was to evaluate the ministry's conduct of foreign policy and to determine policy coordination needs between the presidential apparatus and government agencies having foreign policy responsibilities. Then, after intensified NATO bombardment of Bosnian Serb military targets in September 1995, Yeltsin reiterated his dissatisfaction with the ministry and the need for personnel and policy changes.

In December 1995, Yeltsin created yet another advisory group, the Council on Foreign Policy, to present him with proposals for coordinating the foreign policy activities of various government bodies and to inform him of their activities. Members of the council were to be the ministers of foreign affairs, defense, foreign trade, and finance; the heads of the foreign intelligence, security, and border guard services; and Yeltsin's foreign policy adviser. Scheduled to meet monthly, the council had projected functions virtually indistinguishable from those of the Security Council.

In January 1996, Yeltsin announced Kozyrev's resignation, which had long been expected in view of the harsh criticism of Russian foreign policy. Western analysts explained that the powerful reactionary forces in the State Duma had been poised to name their own candidate to head the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so Yeltsin forestalled their move by dismissing Kozyrev and naming the more moderate Yevgeniy Primakov, an Arabist who had been KGB chief of espionage in 1991. Analysts viewed Primakov as a pragmatist with no strong views toward the West and predicted he would serve only until the winner of the upcoming presidential election replaced him. They expected Primakov to follow Yeltsin's lead in foreign policy by making no new gestures of friendship toward the West during the presidential election year. Although Primakov began his tenure by reassuring the United States that Russia would remain true to its international commitments, he also declared that Russia was and remains a great power and that his primary goal was to reintegrate the former Soviet republics, especially the Baltic states and Ukraine. These statements blunted the nationalist factions' complaints that Yeltsin was a puppet of Western interests.

The Ministry of Defense

In the Soviet era, the Ministry of Defense and its General Staff officers played a central role in the formation of national security policy because of their monopoly of defense information. After 1991 many senior officers in the armed forces continued to view military coercion as the main instrument for preventing the other side from gaining in foreign policy disputes (see Military Doctrine, ch. 9). In the early 1990s, most of the military establishment appeared to back both an assertive stance in the near abroad, where the Soviet military had exercised substantial influence through its military districts and played a role in local politics, and a less conciliatory relationship with the West. Some reformist elements of the military, mainly junior officers, rejected these views, and local military leaders sometimes seemed to act independently of their ministry in such areas of the near abroad as Moldova and Abkhazia, Georgia's breakaway autonomous republic. More often, the military leadership was united on actions having foreign policy repercussions, such as their advocacy of violating CFE Treaty limitations on military equipment deployed in the Caucasus region.
Site Admin
Posts: 28296
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Russia: A Country Study, edited by Glenn E. Curtis

Postby admin » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:21 am

Regional Policies

The geographical extent of Russia's foreign policy interests is considerably less than that of the Soviet Union, which sought support and bases of operation wherever they might be available in the world. Nevertheless, most of the Soviet Union's primary zones of interest--Central and Western Europe, the Far East, the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, and the United States--are priorities for Russia in the 1990s. To that list has been added the near abroad, which has become a zone of insecurity and the subject of constant debate.

The Near Abroad

Many Russians use the term "near abroad" (blizhneye zarubezhiye ) to refer to the fourteen other former Soviet republics that had declared their independence by the time the Soviet Union broke up at the end of 1991. Leaders and elites in those republics objected that the term implied limitations on the sovereignty or status of the new states. Since independence, Russian policy makers have tried both to restore old bilateral connections and to create new relationships wherever possible. Throughout the first half of the 1990s, inconsistency and reverses characterized these diplomatic efforts because no firm principles underlay them. However, Russia maintained strong influence with all but the Baltic states, so the nationalists' hope of reclaiming part of the lost empire stayed alive.

Particularly perplexing for Western observers were apparent contradictions between Yeltsin government policies and the Russian military forces' actions in certain of the newly independent states (NIS) of the former Soviet Union. An example was Russian military support of Abkhazian rebels against the Georgian government in 1993 at the same time that the Yeltsin government was promoting a cease-fire in the region. Some Western observers explained those contradictions as partly a result of differing bureaucratic interests and turfs, with the military seeking to continue its traditional influence and presence in the near abroad against the meddling of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If Russia's overall policy goal were to emasculate Georgia and force it farther into the Russian sphere of influence, ran the argument, then military and diplomatic actions would have been more compatible.

However, beginning in 1993 a greater degree of concordance appeared between the actions of the military and the government. Yeltsin and Kozyrev stressed that Russia ensured regional stability and acted in accordance with international standards in offering Russian diplomatic and military "peacekeeping" services to help end conflicts in the NIS. They also emphasized, however, that Russia had vital interests in using diplomatic or military means to protect the rights of the more than 25 million ethnic Russians residing in the near abroad. Accordingly, Russia pressured the NIS to enact legal protections such as dual citizenship for ethnic Russians. At the same time, Russia provided some aid to ease the internal economic distress that stimulated the emigration of ethnic Russians from the new states.

The new states signed friendship treaties and other agreements with Russia pledging them to protect ethnic Russian residents from harm and to respect their human and cultural rights. Because the borders among the states were open (except for Russia's borders with the Transcaucasus states, which were wholly or partly closed in 1994-96 during the Chechnya conflict), Russia's leaders asserted that Russia had important interests in ensuring the security of NIS borders with other states, such as Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan. In some cases, Russian troops served as so-called peacekeepers in conflict areas at the request of host governments such as Tajikistan and Georgia. In April 1994, at the request of the Ministry of Defense, Yeltsin decreed that Russia would seek military bases throughout most of the NIS.

Some analysts in the NIS and the West warned that Russia was showing a desire either to reconstitute its traditional empire or at least to include the NIS within an exclusive sphere of influence. They speculated that its arrangement with the near abroad might take the form of a collective security pact, similar to the former Warsaw Pact (see Glossary), that would counter NATO. Western analysts concluded that Russia's political and military elites adopted a more assertive foreign policy after the election of large numbers of ultranationalists and communists to the parliament in December 1993. They observed this trend toward assertiveness again during campaigns for the legislative elections of December 1995 and in the rhetoric of the 1996 presidential election campaign.

However, the Yeltsin government took considerable diplomatic actions to end NIS conflicts, and it stated that the financial burdens and human loss involved in burgeoning regional peacekeeping efforts precluded continuing such operations. Opinion polls showed that although some Russians supported a greater role in the near abroad, particularly in safeguarding ethnic Russians, the majority did not want Russia to assume new economic and defense burdens, particularly in Central Asia. Even in the State Duma, many members expressed doubt about the wisdom of even the peacekeeping efforts already under way in Tajikistan and Georgia.

Russian peacekeeping efforts in the NIS began with ad hoc agreements. For example, in August 1993 Russia formally invoked a Collective Security Agreement, signed by members of the CIS and ratified by the Russian parliament, to justify those efforts in Tajikistan. Avowing in the UN and the CSCE that its diplomatic and military efforts in the NIS supported regional stability, Russia requested international approval and financial support for its efforts. Kozyrev called for the deployment of UN and CSCE observers and the involvement of the international diplomatic community in solving the conflict in Georgia. In March 1994, Kozyrev asked the UN to recognize the CIS as an observer international organization and asked the European Union (EU--see Glossary) and the CSCE to recognize the CIS as a regional organization. Acknowledgment from these organizations would implicitly endorse the regional peacekeeping actions of the CIS.

At the December 1993 CIS meeting of heads of state, held after the Russian elections, Yeltsin's calls for strengthening military and economic cooperation within the CIS met with greater approval than they had previously. Since then the CIS states have been far from unanimous in supporting closer CIS integration, however: Armenia, Tajikistan, and Belarus have been most amenable; Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan have maneuvered to maintain independence while seeking support in some areas; and Ukraine, Moldova, and Turkmenistan have been most opposed (see The Commonwealth of Independent States, ch. 9).

In September 1995, Yeltsin again maneuvered toward a more conservative CIS policy by repeating the Russian nationalists' concerns with border security and the treatment of ethnic Russians. In a program stressing regional integration, including a "defensive alliance," Yeltsin stipulated that the CIS should consist of countries "friendly toward Russia" and that Russia should be "a leading power" in the CIS, while reiterating the call for UN and OSCE participation in CIS peacekeeping actions. Among CIS regional problems of concern to Russia were relations between China and Kazakstan, the effect of ethnic separatism in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on neighboring nations of Central Asia, ethnic problems in Russian regions bordering Transcaucasia and Mongolia, and emigration of ethnic Russians from Central Asia.


In the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, ethnic minority Russians had proclaimed the autonomous Dnestr Moldavian Republic, or Transnistria, in September 1990. By late 1992, forces of the Russian 14th Army had enabled these Russians to consolidate control over most of the Dnestr region. Russia's actions chilled its relations with the now-independent Moldova, whose legislature had not ratified the 1991 CIS agreement. The pressure of a Russian trade blockade contributed to the victory of anticommunist candidates in Moldova's February 1994 legislative elections. In April 1994, the new legislature ratified Moldova's membership in the CIS, bringing the last of the non-Baltic Soviet republics into the organization. In October 1994, Russia and Moldova agreed on the withdrawal of the 14th Army, pending settlement of the political status of Transnistria. The agreement was jeopardized immediately, however, when Russia unexpectedly declared that the State Duma had to ratify the agreement, an outcome that had not occurred as of mid-1996.


In Georgia, Russian mercenaries, allegedly bolstered by Russian military support, fought alongside separatist forces from Georgia's Abkhazian Autonomous Republic, who finally defeated Georgian forces in September 1993. In October Georgia was forced to end its strong opposition to membership in the CIS by becoming a full member and signing a series of security cooperation agreements. That step prompted Russia to send military peacekeepers to support government forces, which saved Georgia's president Eduard Shevardnadze from large-scale insurrection and further fragmentation of the country. The terms of the so-called rescue included a Georgian-Russian friendship treaty calling for the establishment of Russian military bases in Georgia. In June 1994, Abkhazia and Georgia agreed to the interpositioning of Russian peacekeepers between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia to enforce a cease-fire. In September 1995, a Russian-Georgian treaty established twenty-year Russian leases of three bases. The Russian forces continued to share cease-fire enforcement in Georgia's breakaway South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast, where they had been since 1992, because no treaty had ended that conflict. The UN military observer group deployed in Abkhazia reported cooperative relations with the Russian peacekeepers.

Central Asia

In Tajikistan, oppositionist forces ousted the procommunist government in September 1992. Strong circumstantial evidence indicates that Russian forces assisted in the routing of the Tajikistani coalition government three months later. In 1993 several agreements formalized Russian military assistance. That year the new Tajikistani government deployed about 24,000 CIS peacekeeping troops from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, and Kyrgyzstan (the majority of them Russian) along Tajikistani borders and at strategic sites. In late 1993, Tajikistan agreed to Russia's conditions on joining the ruble zone (see Glossary), including giving Russia control over monetary and fiscal policy, in return for subsidies. Tajikistan and Russia signed a cease-fire agreement in September 1994, but Tajikistani settlement talks, held under UN supervision with close Russian participation, remained inconclusive as of mid-1996. A small team of temporary UN military observers deployed in Tajikistan after the cease-fire agreement reported cooperative relations with CIS troops.

In Kazakstan in the mid-1990s, ethnic tensions increased between the Kazaks and the large minority population of Slavs (Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians) located primarily in northern areas of Kazakstan. The two groups represented an approximately equal share of the population, and Kazak president Nursultan Nazarbayev did a skillful job of balancing ethnic needs. He addressed many ethnic Russians' concerns while pushing language and other policies that were in the interests of the Kazak population. He resisted Russia's pressure to grant ethnic Russians dual citizenship; the legislature elected in 1995 contained a majority of ethnic Kazaks. In 1993 Kazakstan and Uzbekistan introduced their own national currencies rather than accept Russia's onerous conditions for membership in the ruble zone. Kazakstan also defied Russian pressure on its vital fuel industry by seeking new pipeline routes that Russia could not control. Nevertheless, for all five Central Asian republics, cooperation with Russia remains an essential element of economic and military policy.

In 1995 Yeltsin achieved a customs union with Belarus that later included Kazakstan and Kyrgyzstan. In March 1996, a new treaty among the four countries strengthened the terms of their economic integration. That treaty was part of Yeltsin's presidential campaign effort to show that he advocated gradual and voluntary integration among CIS members, in contrast to the threatening gestures of the State Duma and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. However, an April 1996 agreement between Russia and Belarus to set a timetable for closely coordinating their governments and foreign policies brought opposition from Kazakstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, which saw the agreement as a danger to their national sovereignty.

Other Former Soviet Republics

Although a strong body of opinion in Belarus supported the April 1996 bilateral agreement that would bring closer integration with Russia, independence-minded Belarusians in Minsk staged large-scale protests, and the policy encountered substantial opposition in Belarus's parliament and among reform factions in Russia. Nuclear weapons in Belarus, which reportedly were under tight Russian control after 1991, were scheduled for transfer to Russia by the end of 1996.

The last Russian troops left Estonia and Latvia in 1994, leaving significant populations of Russians behind. Russian officials criticized citizenship and other laws allegedly discriminating against those groups in the Baltic republics, and some Russian enclaves in the Baltic states made separatist threats. Border disputes with Estonia and Lativa remained unresolved and heated in mid-1996.

Azerbaijan, which anticipated substantial economic rewards from Western development of its Caspian Sea oil, resisted Russian offers to station peacekeeping troops in its war-torn Nagorno-Karabakh region. Azerbaijan's president Heydar Aliyev was a former member of the Soviet Politburo and came to office in a Russian-supported coup in 1993. But Aliyev has proven more independent than Russian policy makers expected. He has accused Russia (with some justification) of supporting Armenia against Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In 1994 Russia demanded and received a 10 percent interest in a Western-dominated oil consortium that is to develop rich offshore Caspian Sea deposits for Azerbaijan. Russia called for construction of a new export pipeline that would terminate at the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk and allow Russia to collect transit fees and control the flow. In 1995-96 Russia objected to a territorial delineation of Caspian Sea resources to pressure Azerbaijan for concessions on oil revenue sharing and political and security matters. Azerbaijan decided on dual routes for oil shipments, one of which would bypass Russian territory by crossing Georgia to reach the Black Sea.

Many Western experts believe that Russia's relationship with Ukraine was the truest test of its willingness to accept the independence of the former Soviet republics. After regaining its independence at the end of 1991, Ukraine argued with Russia over the division of the Black Sea Fleet and the disposition of the Crimean Peninsula, which Nikita Khrushchev had "awarded" to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954 to mark the 300th anniversary of the union of Ukraine and Russia. After the end of the Soviet Union, the ethnic Russians who had come to dominate the Crimean Peninsula lobbied for autonomy from Ukraine or reunification with Russia. Ukrainian-Russian relations improved after the election of Ukraine's president Leonid Kuchma in July 1994. Russia did not support Crimean separatism, and both countries moved toward a peaceful settlement on dividing the Black Sea Fleet (see Naval Forces, ch. 9). The United States-Russian-Ukrainian Trilateral Nuclear Statement signed in early 1994 resolved many disputes over compensation for the transfer of nuclear weapons from Ukraine to Russia, and Ukraine transferred its last nuclear weapon to Russia in June 1996.
Site Admin
Posts: 28296
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Russia: A Country Study, edited by Glenn E. Curtis

Postby admin » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:28 am

The United States

Relations with the United States have been a central concern of Soviet and Russian foreign policy since World War II. The United States gained unique stature in the Soviet Union when it emerged from World War II as the ultimate guarantor of European security against attack from the east and the top military power in the NATO alliance. A crucial factor of Soviet-United States relations was the mutual nuclear threat that arose in the 1950s as the Soviet Union developed first a nuclear capability and then a nuclear strategy. The nuclear threat and the underlying potential of "mutually assured destruction" created a chilling presence for the rest of the world. A high point in Soviet-United States relations was the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) that resulted from the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) of 1972. This agreement was an early achievement of the détente, or easing of tensions, that prevailed between the superpowers through most of the 1970s until the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The early 1980s were a time of tense relations and confrontations. The Soviet occupation of Afghanistan brought trade and cultural embargoes from the United States and highly visible gestures such as the United States boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. In Europe the superpowers publicly traded threats and took actions such as the deployment of advanced nuclear weapons while they exchanged compromise positions at the negotiating table. Several events of 1983--the downing of a South Korean civilian airliner by the Soviet air force, the United States invasion of the Caribbean island of Grenada to evict a Marxist regime, and the exit of the Soviet delegation from arms control talks--kept bilateral tensions high.

By the mid-1980s, the Soviet Union had resumed talks on intermediate-range nuclear forces and strategic arms reduction. During that period, Soviet leadership underwent a major shift from Leonid I. Brezhnev, who died in November 1982, to Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who became general secretary in March 1985. The accession of Gorbachev ultimately ended a period of strident Soviet propaganda against United States president Ronald W. Reagan, whom Russia blamed for prolonging Cold War tensions because of his staunchly anticommunist positions.

In 1985 Reagan and Gorbachev began a series of annual summit meetings that yielded cultural exchange agreements, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty--see Glossary) in 1987, and less tangible benefits. The sight of the "cold warrior" Reagan consorting with his Russian opposite number combined with the instant popularity that Gorbachev gained in the United States to again warm relations. In the mid- and late 1980s, the Soviet Union also stepped up media access and contacts. Soviet spokesmen began appearing regularly on United States television, and United States journalists received unprecedented access to everyday life in the Soviet Union.

In the early 1990s, relations with the United States lost none of their significance for Russia. Russia viewed summitry with the United States as the mark of its continued status as a great power and nuclear superpower. Presidents Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush declared a United States-Soviet strategic partnership at the summit of July 1991, decisively marking the end of the Cold War. President Bush declared that United States-Soviet cooperation during the Persian Gulf crisis of 1990-91 had laid the groundwork for a partnership in resolving bilateral and world problems. For Russia, the closer relations of the early 1990s included a broad range of activities, including tourism and educational exchanges, the study of United States institutions and processes to adapt them for a new "Union of Sovereign States" (one proposed title for a new, nonideological Soviet Union), and the beginning of United States aid to Russia.

During this period, the Soviet Union and subsequently Russia supported the United States on several international issues. In the UN Security Council, the Soviet Union and Russia supported sanctions and operations against Iraq before, during, and after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990; called on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) to abide by safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); supported sending UN observers to conflict-ridden Georgia and Tajikistan; and supported UN economic sanctions against Serbia. The Soviet Union cosponsored Middle East peace talks that opened in October 1991.

In its cooperation with the United States on strategic arms control, Russia declared that it was the successor to the Soviet Union in assuming the obligations of START, which had been signed in July 1991. The Supreme Soviet ratified this treaty in November 1992. Presidents Bush and Yeltsin signed the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) in January 1993. The United States ratified that treaty in January 1996, but the much more problematic ratification by the new, nationalist-dominated State Duma was left until after the midyear presidential election. In September 1993, Russia acceded to the Missile Technology Control Regime, reaffirming an earlier decision not to transfer sensitive missile technology to India.

However, Soviet and Russian parliaments often opposed policies that they deemed helpful to the United States. The Supreme Soviet, which was less supportive than the Gorbachev government had been of international actions against Iraq, condemned United States air strikes in 1993. The Supreme Soviet approved START I in November 1992 with some conditions and after some delay, but then successive parliaments conducted hearings and debates on START II, without ratifying the treaty, from 1993 through mid-1996 (see Nuclear Arms Issues, ch. 9).

Beginning in 1993, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued statements critical of United States actions and policies. Some United States observers interpreted them as part of a more assertive Russian foreign policy that insisted on protecting nebulous Russian vital interests. Other observers saw such statements primarily as rhetoric designed to mollify hard-line critics of Russian foreign policy in the parliament and elsewhere. Events corroborating the former interpretation included Russia's opposition to NATO membership for Central European and Baltic states, Russian military moves in Georgia that raised questions of its intentions in the near abroad, and Russia's insistence on selling nuclear reactor technology to Iran, as well as doubts about Russia's adherence to chemical and biological weapons bans, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE Treaty), and other arms control pacts. Another blow to United States-Russian relations came in 1994 with the United States arrest of Aldrich Ames, a longtime Soviet and Russian spy.

These events led some in the United States to question Russia's commitment to bilateral cooperation and the soundness of continued United States aid for Russia. Nevertheless, many elements of bilateral cooperation, including most United States aid programs, continued in 1995. From its high point in September 1993, when the United States Congress approved US$2.5 billion in aid to Russia and the NIS, the amount had declined to less than US$600 million for 1996. Only about one-third of the 1996 NIS appropriation was earmarked for Russia. In 1995 Congress placed several conditions on providing aid to Russia, such as requiring that Russia reduce assistance to Cuba. The United States also censured Russian behavior such as nuclear energy agreements with Iran (see Latin America; The Middle East, this ch.).

The Yeltsin-Bush Summits

Before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, President Bush met with Boris Yeltsin in 1990, when Yeltsin was chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet, and again in July 1991, immediately after Yeltsin's election as president of Russia. After the demise of the Soviet Union, Yeltsin met with Bush at a full-scale summit meeting in Washington in June 1992. The two leaders then agreed on many of the START II terms, and a joint session of the United States Congress enthusiastically received Yeltsin. According to some observers, that summit and Yeltsin's speech to Congress were the high points of Russia's conciliatory, pro-Western foreign policy orientation. At Bush's final summit with Yeltsin in January 1993, the leaders signed the landmark START II agreement.

The Yeltsin-Clinton Summits

The administration of William J. Clinton, which took office in January 1993, advocated more concerted United States efforts to aid Russian and NIS transitions to democracy and market economies. The justification of that policy was that these transitions served United States security and human rights interests and would provide markets for United States products. The April 1993 Vancouver summit, the first formal meeting between Yeltsin and Clinton, furthered United States-Russian cooperation on many bilateral issues. The resulting Vancouver Declaration pledged the two sides to uphold "a dynamic and effective United States-Russian partnership." The joint communiqué noted Yeltsin's pledge to continue reform efforts such as privatization.

The major summit initiative was finalization of a United States aid package of US$1.6 billion. On bilateral and international security issues, the two sides called for strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and urging North Korea not to carry out its threat to withdraw from the NPT. The sides also agreed to work for implementation of the START treaties.

An important by-product of the Vancouver meeting was the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission, which initially was a vehicle for Vice President Albert Gore and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin to work out the details of bilateral agreements on space, energy, and technology. Between 1993 and early 1996, the two men met six times, each time with an expanded agenda. By 1996 the commission was a forum for establishing joint endeavors on topics ranging from the sale of Siberian timber to delivery of diphtheria vaccine to rural Russia. The United States also used the relationship to send messages to Yeltsin on urgent diplomatic topics such as Bosnia and Chechnya. In 1996 a similar commission brought Chernomyrdin into regular consultation with French foreign minister Alain Juppé.

Whereas the Vancouver summit had highlighted economic aid to Russia, the Moscow summit of January 1994 emphasized issues of arms control and nonproliferation. The summit included a hastily arranged meeting of the leaders of the United States, Russia, and Ukraine that produced Ukraine's commitment to give up all nuclear weapons on its territory and sign the NPT. The meeting's Trilateral Nuclear Statement also committed Russia and the United States to provide Soviet-era "nuclear powers" Belarus, Kazakstan, and Ukraine with security guarantees in exchange for giving up the uranium in the nuclear weapons located on their territory. Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin also pledged that, beginning in May 1994, strategic ballistic missiles no longer would be aimed at any country. This agreement marked the superpowers' first cessation of the nuclear operations that had been based on Cold War presumptions of mutual enmity.

A potential stumbling block to the success of the 1994 summit was Russia's objection to proposals for early admission of some Central European states into NATO (see Western Europe, this ch.; The NATO Issue, ch. 9). Nevertheless, the summit communiqué affirmed that the new European security order must include all nations as equal partners. The role of Russia in its near abroad was also an important point of discussion at the summit. Yeltsin sought to reassure the West that Russia's border policy was aimed only at stability, not neo-imperialist goals. Yeltsin repeated his call for peacekeeping assistance from the UN, CSCE, and other international organizations and complained about the international community's restrained response to Russian appeals for mediation in the conflict regions of Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan.

United States aid played a less prominent role in the Clinton-Yeltsin summit in Washington in September 1994. Instead, both sides emphasized the growth of future bilateral trade and investment. International policy differences were more visible in the Washington meeting than they had been previously, but both sides stressed the nonconfrontational nature of the "working partnership" in resolving differences. The two presidents signed a framework agreement termed the Partnership for Economic Progress (PFEP), which outlined principles and objectives for the development of trade and economic cooperation and for United States business investment in Russia. They also planned a Commercial Partnership Program to help guide Russia toward better bilateral commercial relations. United States business leaders warned Yeltsin, however, that private investment in Russia could not increase appreciably under the still capricious and complex Russian laws, taxes, import duties, and governmental red tape.

A major initiative at the summit was agreement that once Moscow and Washington had ratified START II, the two sides would quickly remove warheads from missiles whose launchers would be eliminated under START II. Other initiatives covered the storage and security of nuclear materials and continued moratoriums on nuclear weapons tests.

The conflict in Bosnia remained an issue of contention. Yeltsin refused to support a UN Security Council resolution lifting the arms embargo against Bosnia's Muslim-led government. The United States also voiced concern about Russian peacekeeping activities in former Soviet republics, although Russia insisted that its actions respected the sovereignty of the new states. Russian recalcitrance on arms sales to Iran, classified by the West as a terrorist state, also was a source of conflict. While agreeing that no new arms contracts would be signed with Iran, Yeltsin insisted that existing commitments would be upheld.

Three issues dominated the Clinton-Yeltsin summit meeting held in Moscow in May 1995--NATO enlargement, Russia's sale of nuclear reactors to Iran, and the Chechnya conflict. In spite of their differences on key issues, Clinton and Yeltsin pledged to continue a cooperative relationship.

The two leaders referred the matter of nuclear sales to Iran to the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission, which subsequently crafted an agreement on two Russian concessions on the transfer issue. On the subject of European security, the two sides underscored the importance of ongoing integration and of joint participation in international bodies, including Russia's membership in NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP). Discussions of NATO enlargement remained inconclusive.

At the May 1995 summit, President Clinton expressed his expectation that Russia would meet all conditions of the CFE Treaty, which was due to come into full force in November 1995. Meeting this deadline would require withdrawing several hundred tanks and other weapons from the North Caucasus region of Russia, including many in Chechnya. At the review conference in May 1996, Clinton offered to support modifications to the CFE Treaty to meet Russia's "legitimate security interests." Clinton reiterated United States concerns about human rights abuses in Chechnya and called for a permanent cease-fire. Yeltsin responded by calling Russia's Chechnya campaign a battle against terrorism rather than a conventional military action.

The summit meeting of October 1995, held in Hyde Park, New York, continued the previous emphasis on the most contentious issues of bilateral relations. These included Russian nuclear sales to Cuba and Iran, objections to expansion of NATO in Central Europe and to United States plans to build a ballistic missile defense system, and Russia's noncompliance with the CFE Treaty. The dominant question of this summit, which yielded no agreements, was the form of Russia's participation in NATO-commanded international peacekeeping forces to be sent into Bosnia. Clinton and Yeltsin referred most of the contentious issues to lower levels for detailed discussion and emerged from the summit emphasizing the continued strength of Russian-United States cooperation.

The Moscow summit of April 1996 took place during presidential campaigns in both countries. It also followed directly the G-7 meeting on nuclear safety and security in Moscow. As in Hyde Park, the two leaders emphasized the positive aspects of their partnership and announced progress in negotiations over the CFE and ABM treaties, but without citing any details. Yeltsin briefed Clinton on his progress toward ratification of the START II agreement, and Clinton criticized Russia's fears of NATO enlargement as completely unfounded. For Yeltsin, the meeting was an opportunity to demonstrate to the electorate that the leader of the United States respected him, but he also felt constrained to demonstrate that he was independent of coercion by Clinton.
Site Admin
Posts: 28296
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Russia: A Country Study, edited by Glenn E. Curtis

Postby admin » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:28 am

Western Europe

The Soviet Union's relations with Western Europe following World War II were colored heavily by Soviet relations with Eastern Europe and by the Warsaw Pact forces arrayed in Europe against NATO forces. The Soviet influence over Eastern Europe, punctuated by the 1956 invasion of Hungary and the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia and by a constant buildup of conventional and nuclear forces, prompted West European NATO member nations to reinforce their defenses and discouraged direct relations between those nations and the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union's policy toward Western Europe had five basic goals: preventing rearmament and nuclearization of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany); preventing the political, economic, or military integration of Western Europe; obtaining West European endorsement of the existing territorial division of the continent; splitting the NATO alliance by encouraging anti-Americanism on various issues; and creating nuclear-free zones by encouraging European peace groups and leftist movements. The more general aim was to make Western Europe as similar as possible to the Soviet Union's highly advanced northwestern neighbor, Finland: a neutral buffer zone whose political reactions could be anticipated under any circumstances, and which would refrain from commitments to Western nations. In the early 1980s, a conflict in Western Europe over NATO and Warsaw Pact nuclear installations accelerated Soviet efforts to neutralize NATO's European contingent. The Soviet Union tried to foster a European détente separate from one with the United States. The effort was defeated because West European governments were determined to uphold and modernize NATO, and Soviet-sponsored peace groups failed to arouse public opinion against NATO participation.

The Soviet-era division of Europe into two distinct military alliances continues to influence Russia's policy toward Western Europe. NATO remains an active presence in Western Europe, and Russia sees a persistent threat that NATO will embrace the former Warsaw Pact allies and leave Russia without its European buffer zone. Because of this perceived threat, sharpened in the rhetoric of Russian nationalist factions, Russia has been reluctant to accommodate West European nations on a number of issues, even as it has hastened to bolster relations in other areas such as commerce.

Even before the breakup of the Soviet Union, Yeltsin pursued closer relations with Western Europe on behalf of the Russian Republic. In his first foreign trip after the failure of the August 1991 coup had substantially improved his stature as president of the Russian Republic, Yeltsin visited Germany to seek safeguards for Germans residing in Russia. After 1991 Russia's relations with Western Europe achieved a level of integration and comity that the Soviet Union had aspired to but had never reached. The draft foreign policy concept of January 1993 called for Russian foreign policy to consolidate the emerging partnership with the states of Western Europe, but it also emphasized that Russia's vital interests might cause disagreement on some issues. Russia's major goals included gaining West European aid and markets, recognition of Russia's interests in Central Europe and the CIS, and regional cooperation in combating organized crime and nuclear smuggling. Germany emerged as the largest European aid donor to Russia and its largest trade and investment partner.

In June 1994, Yeltsin and the leaders of the European Union (EU) signed an agreement on partnership and cooperation. Pending the ratification of the agreement by the member states, a provisional economic accord was drawn up in early 1995 extending most-favored-nation status to Russia and reducing many import quotas. Because of Western disapproval over the war in Chechnya, the EU did not sign the agreement until July 1995, following a cease-fire in Chechnya.

The Council of Europe also sidelined a Russian application for membership as a sign of disapproval of events in Chechnya, and in July 1995 the council issued a report detailing Russian (as well as some Chechen) human rights abuses in Chechnya. After the conclusion of the cease-fire, Russian officials requested reconsideration of Russia's application. The council granted Russia full membership in January 1996. European authorities explained that admitting Russia into Europe's foremost body on human rights, democracy, and the rule of law would promote democratic trends in Russia more effectively than the isolation that would result if membership were denied. A substantial body of European opinion continued to oppose admission, however, especially when Russian army attacks on Chechen civilians continued and Russia failed to impose a required moratorium on capital punishment (see Chechnya, ch. 9; The Criminal Justice System, ch. 10).

In February 1996, the Council of Europe and the EU announced an aid package to help Russia meet the legal and human rights requirements of membership in the council. Tensions in Russia's relations with the West continued, however, with its refusal in April 1996 to provide arms sales data. These data are necessary for establishment of a military technology export control regime to replace the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom), which NATO used during the Soviet era to monitor world arms shipments.

The CFE Treaty, which the Soviet Union signed in 1990, aimed at stabilizing and limiting the nonnuclear forces of all European nations. Signed in the context of the NATO-Warsaw Pact division of Europe, the treaty remained a basis for reduction of tensions in Europe after the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union dissolved.

Although the Russian military accepted the CFE Treaty, in the ensuing years it increasingly insisted that the signatories allow modification of force limits on Europe's flanks, which included the still substantial garrison in Kaliningrad Oblast on the Baltic and the troublesome Caucasus region (see The Geopolitical Context, ch. 9). In the early 1990s, Russia shifted much weaponry to the southern flank area to stabilize its North Caucasus republics, particularly breakaway Chechnya, as well as the independent but conflict-plagued Caucasus states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Although NATO proposed some alterations in Russia's flank limits in September 1995, Russia still was not in compliance when the treaty came into full force in November 1995. Russia met the treaty's overall arms reduction targets, however. Russia called for further modifications of the treaty's troop disposition requirements to be put on the agenda of a planned May1996 review conference. After intense negotiations, the conferees finally agreed to allow Russia to retain additional equipment in the southern flank area for three years.
Site Admin
Posts: 28296
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Russia: A Country Study, edited by Glenn E. Curtis

Postby admin » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:31 am


The January 1993 draft foreign policy concept of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for increasing ties with NATO through the North Atlantic Cooperation Council and other means, including military liaison, joint maneuvers, and exchange visits. Russia objected to full NATO membership for Poland and other Central European states, so the United States proposed establishment of NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) in the fall of 1993. The PfP was to be an ancillary of NATO, consisting entirely of the former Warsaw Pact states and former Soviet republics. By the end of 1995, twenty-seven states--the entire complement of those two groups--had joined. Yeltsin supported Russia's membership in the PfP in his "state of the federation" address to the Russian parliament in February 1994, but he opposed the future inclusion in NATO of Central European states as unacceptably excluding Russia from participation in European affairs.

In response to NATO air strikes on Bosnian Serb forces in April 1994, Yeltsin hinted that Russia might delay signing the PfP agreement. Instead, Kozyrev announced shortly thereafter that the Russian ministries of foreign affairs and defense had decided that Russia should have a special status in the PfP "to protect it from hostile acts by NATO." In May 1994, the Russian Security Council called unsuccessfully for NATO to agree to a list of special privileges for Russia. The Russian delegation walked out of the December 1994 signing ceremonies for membership in the PfP before finally joining in June 1995.

At the Budapest meeting of CSCE heads of state in December 1994, Russia called for the CSCE to transform itself into the major security organization in Europe. The CSCE rejected Russia's proposal, but it did agree to change its name to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to reflect its status as a permanent organization. The West viewed Russia's overture as seeking a new forum from which to gain influence over NATO and other Western organizations. Through 1995 Russian spokesmen continued their criticism of NATO, including its air strikes in Bosnia, and called for an alternative European security structure. Nevertheless, Yeltsin vetoed a State Duma resolution canceling Russia's PfP membership.

In late 1995, Russia agreed to join NATO's efforts to enforce the Dayton Peace Accords, formally signed in December as the Peace Agreement on Bosnia-Herzegovina, to end the conflict in Bosnia. In January 1996, some 1,600 Russian troops arrived in northern Bosnia to work closely with United States forces as part of the Bosnian Peace Implementation Force (IFOR). In the first six months of that arrangement, little controversy arose over command roles or goals.
Site Admin
Posts: 28296
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Russia: A Country Study, edited by Glenn E. Curtis

Postby admin » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:32 am

Central Europe

Soviet influence in Eastern Europe began with Soviet occupation of territories during World War II. By 1949 communist regimes had been put into place in all the occupied states: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, and Romania. Under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslavia maintained an independent position as a communist state that Soviet leaders first vilified but ultimately recognized in 1955. Domination of the East European countries belonging to the Warsaw Pact and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (known as Comecon--see Glossary) remained a fundamental priority of Soviet foreign policy through the disintegration of both organizations in 1991. Soviet leaders used the continued existence of socialist regimes in Eastern Europe as part of the ideological justification of socialism at home because it fulfilled the Marxist-Leninist recipe of the rule of the multinational proletariat. Because of that logic, a threat to Eastern Europe became a threat to the Soviet Union itself.

In the 1950s, the Soviet military used force to restrain mass expressions of resistance to conventional, Soviet-backed regimes in East Germany (1953), Poland (1956), and Hungary (1956). After the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia quelled political liberalization in that country, the irreversibility of communist control in East European countries was formulated in what became known as the Brezhnev Doctrine, which for the next twenty years was the foundation of Soviet policy toward the region. Soviet policy makers determined that occupation forces were the only sure guarantee of continued communist rule in Eastern Europe and that some limited local control over domestic policy was necessary to avoid future resistance. When Polish workers pushed their demands for independent trade unions and the right to strike in 1980-81, the implicit threat of invasion by Soviet forces led Polish police and security forces to quell disturbances and a new, military prime minister, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, to declare martial law.

In the mid-1980s, Gorbachev's internal liberalization was paralleled by his doctrine of "many roads to socialism," which called for cooperation rather than uniformity among East European nations. That call coincided with the implicit revocation in 1988 of the Brezhnev Doctrine as Soviet military doctrine recognized the need to conserve resources (see Soviet Doctrine, ch. 9). Gorbachev's internal reform programs of glasnost (see Glossary) and perestroika (see Glossary) received varying degrees of support and imitation among East European leaders. Regimes in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Poland showed substantial support, but those in Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Romania refused to adopt the type of far-reaching domestic reforms that Gorbachev introduced at home (see The Gorbachev Era, ch. 2). Nevertheless, by the late 1980s the nature of Soviet influence had shifted unmistakably away from coercion toward political and economic instruments of influence. The last stage of Soviet relations with the region, 1989-91, was fundamentally different. By 1990 all the East European member states of the Warsaw Pact and Comecon had rejected their communist regimes and were straining toward the West. Although Soviet policy makers struggled to keep the two multinational organizations alive as instruments of influence, events had rendered them moribund before their formal demise in 1991. Now the world redesignated Eastern Europe as Central Europe, and the great western buffer zone disappeared.

Immediately after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and Comecon and the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, relations with Central Europe were a relatively low priority of Russian foreign policy. This situation began to change during 1992, when many Russian reformists argued that closer ties with the new Central European democracies would bolster Russia's own commitment to democratization. Closer commercial ties also would make Central Europe's relatively inexpensive goods more readily available and afford better opportunities to make valuable connections with Western Europe as the former Warsaw Pact states moved closer to full integration into Europe.

Russia's January 1993 draft foreign policy concept stressed the importance of Central Europe. The concept proclaimed that the region "falls within the historical sphere of our interests" because it abuts "the belt of sovereign states"--Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia--of great interest to Russia. The concept warned against attempts by the West to push Russia out of Central Europe and to make the region into a buffer zone that would isolate Russia from Western Europe. Russia would counter such movements by reestablishing good trade and other relations with the Central European states.

The NATO Issue

The draft concept did not present NATO involvement in Central Europe as inherently threatening to Russian interests. Later in 1993, however, Yeltsin reversed course under the political exigency of his upcoming confrontation with the State Duma. The new position was that former members of the Warsaw Pact could join NATO only if Russia also were included. This opposition then spurred the United States proposal of the Partnership for Peace.

The military doctrine that Yeltsin decreed in November 1993 was not directed clearly at NATO. Calling for a neutral Central Europe, the doctrine warned that Russia would interpret as a threat the expansion of any alliance in Europe to the detriment of Russia's interests or the introduction of foreign troops in states adjacent to the Russian Federation. Throughout 1995 and the first half of 1996, Russian military officials continued to demand that the Central European states remain neutral. During the Moscow visit of Poland's president Alexander Kwasniewski in April 1996, Yeltsin hailed warmer ties, but he noted that the NATO issue remained the single obstacle over which the two sides disagreed.

Russia's Role in the Former Yugoslavia

In Russia's debate over its national interests and in Yeltsin's power struggle with hard-liners, a major issue was the appropriate attitude toward Serbia, a long-time ally whose aggression against several other republics of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, most notably Bosnia and Herzegovina, had made it an international pariah. The key question was how to cooperate with Western efforts to end the crisis in the former Yugoslavia while preserving Russia's traditional support of Serbia.

After the Serbian government expressed support for the August 1991 coup in Moscow, the Yeltsin government of the Russian Republic condemned the Serbian attacks of late 1991 on Croatia, one of the two initial breakaway republics from the Yugoslav federation. Russia supported efforts in the UN to compel Serbia to accept a negotiated settlement of the conflict with Croatia. This relatively low-key involvement shifted to a more active policy in 1993.

The 1993 foreign policy concept's language on the former Yugoslavia was rather neutral; it simply called for Russia to cooperate with the UN, the CSCE, and other parties in peacemaking efforts and to use its influence in the former Yugoslavia to encourage a peaceful settlement. As it began to speak more specifically for Serbian interests later in 1993, Russia hoped at the same time to maintain its image with the West as a useful mediator of a thoroughly frustrating conflict. However, this approach caused some tensions with the United States and its Western allies, who had hoped for straightforward Russian support of UN-sanctioned military actions against Serbian aggression. Russian hard-liners, meanwhile, urged that Russia give priority to defying what they called a "Western drive for hegemony" over the former Yugoslavia and to otherwise protecting Russian and Serbian geopolitical interests.

Hard-liners in Russia and Serbia espoused a so-called pan-Slavic solidarity that emphasizes ethnic, religious, and historical ties. Its adherents shared a frustration at diminished geopolitical dominance (in Serbia's case, the loss of influence over other parts of the former Yugoslavia, and in Russia's case the loss of control over the near abroad). Perceived threats to Serbs and Russians now outside the redrawn borders of their respective states aggravated this frustration. However, the rocky, thirty-five-year relationship between the Soviet Union and Tito's Yugoslavia disproved the natural affinity of the two nations.

Russia launched a more assertive phase of involvement in the former Yugoslavia when it opposed NATO air strikes against Bosnian Serb forces around Sarajevo in 1994 and 1995. Russia argued that there should be no air strikes until peace negotiations had been exhausted. Russia also demanded a larger role as a superpower in decision making on UN, NATO, and other international actions involving the former Yugoslavia.

In August 1995, Yeltsin and the Russian parliament harshly criticized intensified NATO air strikes on Bosnian Serb military targets. When mediation efforts finally led to a cease-fire in Bosnia in October 1995, Russia agreed to provide troops for a NATO-sponsored peacekeeping force. After some rearrangement of lines of command to avoid direct NATO command of Russian forces, Russian troops joined the peacekeepers in January 1996. Although it cooperated with IFOR, Russia asserted its views on other aspects of the Bosnia situation. In February 1996, Russia withdrew unilaterally from UN-imposed economic sanctions on Bosnian Serbs, arguing that the Serbs had met the conditions for withdrawing the sanctions.
Site Admin
Posts: 28296
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Russia: A Country Study, edited by Glenn E. Curtis

Postby admin » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:32 am


Relations between China and the Soviet Union were cool and distrustful from the mid-1950s until the demise of the Soviet Union. Joseph V. Stalin (in office 1927-53) fostered an alliance when communists took over mainland China in 1949. When Khrushchev announced his de-Stalinization policy in 1956, Chinese leader Mao Zedong sharply disapproved, and the alliance was weakened. In 1959 and 1960, the Sino-Soviet rift came to full world attention with Khrushchev's renunciation of an agreement to provide nuclear technology to China, the Soviet withdrawal of all economic advisers, and mutual accusations of ideological impurity. Leonid Brezhnev attempted to improve relations, but serious border clashes and Brezhnev's proposal of an Asian collective security system that would contain China were new sources of hostility. In the 1970s, China began to improve relations with the West to counter Soviet political and military pressure in Asia. After Mao's death in 1976, the Soviet Union again sought to improve relations with China. But polemics were renewed in 1977, and tension between two Southeast Asian client states, Cambodia and Vietnam, further damaged relations. In 1979 China invaded Vietnam to defend Cambodia from the Vietnamese incursion of 1978. The Soviet Union condemned the invasion and increased arms shipments to Vietnam. Competing goals in Southeast Asia remained a key issue for nearly a decade.

A new set of bilateral negotiations began in 1979, but the Chinese ended talks shortly after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in late 1979. Thereafter, China added withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan to its conditions for renewing the two nations' 1950 friendship treaty. Talks on the Sino-Soviet border situation finally resumed in late 1982, but relations remained static until Gorbachev began making conciliatory gestures in 1986 and 1987. In 1988 two major obstacles were removed when the Soviet Union committed itself to removing troops from Afghanistan, and Vietnam did likewise for Cambodia. The Sino-Soviet summit meeting of June 1989 was the first since the Khrushchev regime.

Russia's foreign policy toward China generally has had two goals: to preserve a counterweight against United States influence in the Pacific and to prevent Chinese regional hegemony and a Sino-Japanese alliance that could exclude Russia. This balancing act appeared in Russia's 1993 foreign policy concept in its call for weighing the benefits of increased Russian arms sales to China against the danger of re-creating a Cold War arms race in which the respective proxies would be Taiwan and China. Accordingly, the concept endorsed neighborly and substantive relations with China while ensuring that "third countries," such as the United States or Japan, would not be able to use China as an ally against Russia.

In the early 1990s, relations got a boost from China's interest in renewed weapons imports from Russia and other forms of military cooperation. In 1992 an exchange of visits by high defense officials established defense ties and included the signing of a major arms technology agreement with a reported value of US$1.8 billion. In 1993 another series of defense exchange visits yielded a five-year defense cooperation agreement (see Foreign Arms Sales; China, ch. 9). A strategic partnership, signed in early 1996, significantly strengthened ties.

In December 1992, Yeltsin went to China and signed a nonaggression declaration that theoretically ended what each called the other's search for regional hegemony in Asia. Another treaty included Russian aid in building a nuclear power plant, the first such provision since Sino-Soviet relations cooled in the late 1950s. Chinese party chairman Jiang Zemin visited Moscow in September 1994 and concluded a protocol that resolved some border disputes and generally strengthened bilateral ties. During Yeltsin's visit to China in April 1996, both sides described their relationship as evolving into a "strategic partnership," which included substantially increased arms sales. At the April meeting, new agreements made progress toward delineating and demilitarizing the two countries' 3,645 kilometers of common border. Although border security and illegal Chinese immigration into the Russian Far East were controversial issues for Russian regional officials, Yeltsin demanded regional compliance with the agreements. Russia has respected China's claim that Taiwan is part of its territory, although Russia's trade with Taiwan increased to nearly US$3 billion in 1995 and Russia planned to open trade offices on the island in 1996.

In 1994-96 China emerged as a major market for Russian arms, having bought several dozen Su-27 fighter aircraft and several Kilo-class attack submarines. Russia also had a positive trade balance in the sale of raw materials, metals, and machinery to China. A series of high-level state visits occurred in 1994 and 1995. Both countries pursued closer ties, in each case partly to counterbalance their cooling relations with the United States. In March 1996, Russia announced that it would grant China a loan of US$2 billion to supply Russian nuclear reactors for power generation in northeast China, and further cooperation was proposed in uranium mining and processing, fusion research, and nuclear arms dismantlement.
Site Admin
Posts: 28296
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Russia: A Country Study, edited by Glenn E. Curtis

Postby admin » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:32 am


Historians identify the crushing victory of Japan over Russia in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 as the beginning of those countries' poor relations. After World War I, Japan took Vladivostok and held the key port for four years, initially as a member of the Allied interventionist forces that occupied parts of Russia after the new Bolshevik (see Glossary) government proclaimed neutrality in 1917. At the end of World War II, Stalin broke the neutrality pact that had existed throughout the war in order to occupy vast areas of East Asia formerly held by Japan. His action resulted in the incorporation of the entire Kuril Islands chain and the southern half of Sakhalin Island into the Soviet Union, and it created an issue that blocked the signing of a peace treaty and forging closer relations. In the Gorbachev era, relations thawed somewhat as high officials exchanged visits and the Soviet Union reduced its Far East nuclear forces and troops, but fundamental differences remained unchanged when the Soviet Union dissolved.

Since World War II, twin concerns have dominated Japanese relations with the former Soviet Union: the East-West Cold War and the so-called Northern Territories--the four southernmost Kuril islands--that the Soviet Union occupied under the terms of the Yalta Conference in 1945 and continued to occupy on grounds of national security. The dissolution of the Soviet Union initially raised Japanese expectations of a favorable resolution of the islands dispute and Russian hopes of significant Japanese economic aid and investment in return. But the return of the islands to Japan remained politically inadvisable for Soviet and Russian leaders throughout the first half of the 1990s.

Just before he became de facto president of Russia in 1990, Yeltsin had advanced a bold, five-point plan to deal with the territorial issue. After initially criticizing the plan, the Gorbachev government incorporated several of Yeltsin's recommendations into its foreign policy position. The plan envisioned several steps leading to a full peace treaty, without a firm Russian commitment to return the islands, and in 1992 the Russian Federation continued the discussions that the Gorbachev regime had initiated.

However, Japan refused to increase commercial activity with Russia until the countries resolved the territorial issue (by which Japan meant that Russia would recognize its sovereignty) and signed a peace treaty. Russia offered only to return two islands after a peace treaty was signed. In the meantime, Yeltsin's efforts to improve bilateral relations faced increased domestic criticism from hard-line legislators, regional officials in Russia's Far East, and elements within the military establishment. In 1992 this criticism culminated in Yeltsin's Security Council forcing an embarrassing, last-minute cancellation of a presidential trip to Japan. Russia's January 1993 foreign policy concept approached the problem only obliquely. It made an improved role in Asian geopolitics a top general priority and improved relations with Japan a primary specific goal in that process.

In 1993-96 Russo-Japanese relations showed signs of improvement, although there were also repeated setbacks as both sides proposed and then withdrew conditions. After postponing a second visit, Yeltsin finally made an official visit to Japan in October 1993. The resulting bilateral Tokyo Declaration represented some movement on both sides, but Russia's dumping of nuclear waste in the Sea of Japan and the issue of Japanese fishing rights off the Kuril Islands marred relations in the ensuing years. In 1995 the two sides came close to agreements on both issues--including Japanese aid to build sorely needed nuclear waste processing facilities in Russia's Maritime (Primorskiy) Territory--but the terms of the treatment plant remained mired in controversy, and continued Japanese violations stymied the fishing agreement in 1995 (see Environmental Conditions, ch. 3).

After two years of talks, in January 1996 Russia reached an agreement with Japanese and United States firms to build a liquid nuclear waste treatment ship with financing from Russia, Japan, and the United States. Negotiations over fishing rights remained deadlocked after a fifth round of talks ended in February 1996, and Russian border troops continued to fire on Japanese fishing vessels. The Russians protested a Japanese proposal to extend a 200-mile economic exclusion zone around its coastlines, in line with Japan's imminent ratification of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea prescribing the limits of national coastline authority. Because of the proximity of the two countries, such a zone would include substantial Russian coastal waters. Meanwhile, the Kuril Islands issue remained unresolved in the first half of 1996, although at the Moscow G-7 meeting the two sides agreed to resume talks.
Site Admin
Posts: 28296
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Russia: A Country Study, edited by Glenn E. Curtis

Postby admin » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:33 am

Other Asian States

The four major goals of Soviet policy in Asia were defense of the Soviet Union's eastern borders, including areas disputed with China, Japan, and Mongolia; maintenance of a set of alliances with key nations along the Asian periphery; improved relations with Western-oriented, relatively advanced states in order to obtain assistance in developing Siberia; and as much isolation as possible of China, South Korea, and the United States. In pursuit of these goals, the main instrument was the large Soviet military presence in Asia, which backed foreign policy assertions that the Soviet Union was an Asian power. In the late 1980s, Gorbachev sought to update this approach by improving relations with China, India, and Japan.

According to the 1993 draft foreign policy concept, Russia aimed to correct the imbalance in the former Soviet Union's East-West relations by paying greater attention to ties with Asian states. This view reflected the debate in Russian foreign policy between the westward-looking so-called Atlanticists and the so-called Eurasianists who would focus on relations with the near abroad and the wealthiest Asian states.

Reflecting the Eurasian alternative, the January 1993 concept called for a flexible policy of mutually beneficial relations with all the states of Asia, thus fostering good relations by reducing Russian military forces and cooperating with the United States and other regional powers to bolster security and regional stability. Such cooperation would include joint prevention of undesirable and unstable behavior, including organized crime and drug dealing. By following such a policy, Russia would come to be seen as an "honest prospective partner" in the region.

Some conservatives argued that the breakup of the Soviet Union pushed Russia geopolitically toward Asia because the great bulk of Russia's territory and resources are in its eastern regions and because the most European territories of the Soviet Union--Belarus, the Baltic states, and Ukraine--now were gone. Russian territory directly abuts three Asian powers: China, Japan, and North Korea. The security of the large populations of Russians remaining in Central Asia, which has an extensive border with China, were a continuing concern; thus, events such as changes in Chinese-Kazakstani relations have focused added Russian attention on Asia. Russia's relations with Mongolia, an adjoining state that moved decisively out of the Soviet sphere of influence in 1991, have been affected by separatism in areas of Russia bordering Mongolia.

Russia's presence and influence in Asia generally declined in the early 1990s. Elements of that movement were shifts of ethnic Russian populations away from areas near the Russo-Chinese border, growing anti-Russian sentiment in Vietnam, loss of Russian influence over an increasingly unpredictable North Korea, and a rapidly expanding, uncontrolled Chinese economic and even demographic influence in Russia's Far East. Russia soon took a series of measures to stem the erosion of its influence, including efforts to maintain and rebuild military ties with Vietnam and increased arms sales to China and Malaysia. In 1993 and 1995, Russia protested the failure of the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) to offer it membership, and it characterized the decision as a national insult.

Analysts interpreted the replacement of Kozyrev with Middle East specialist Primakov in early 1996 as marking a further tilt of Russian foreign policy toward the Eurasian emphasis. Early in his term, Primakov noted that his priorities would include reinforcing ties with the former Soviet republics and with such countries as China, Japan, and the Middle Eastern states. At the same time, Russia announced a new trade policy that called for increased commercial links with China, Pakistan, India, and South Korea, among other Asian nations. Yeltsin reaffirmed the new emphasis in his 1996 state of the federation speech. Economic interests played a large part in this change. In 1995 exports to Asian countries had increased to US$20 billion, more than one-quarter of Russia's total trade that year. Many Russian analysts observed that economically sound and technologically developed Asian states could provide markets, technology, and investments at advantageous terms.

Soviet policy in Southeast Asia, aimed at limiting the influence of China and eliminating the influence of the United States, was not especially successful in the 1970s. In 1978 support for Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia eliminated the pro-Chinese government of Cambodia, but it also pushed the member states of the pro-Western Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to cooperate more closely among themselves and with the United States. In the late 1980s, Russia established bilateral ties with ASEAN states as part of Gorbachev's revised Third World policies, which included improved relations with Asian nations of all economic descriptions.

In the early 1990s, Russia's efforts to improve relations with Vietnam met significant obstacles. In October 1993, the two sides discussed extending Russian use of the port at Cam Ranh Bay beyond its expiration date in the year 2005. Vietnam called for rental payments for use of the base, but the two countries reached no agreement. During Kozyrev's July 1995 visit to Vietnam, the two sides discussed enhancing bilateral and regional cooperation, which had reached a low level. Stumbling blocks to improved relations included Vietnam's repayment of its large debt to Russia, Russia's desire to repatriate many of the 50,000 to 80,000 Vietnamese guest workers stranded in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the status of Cam Ranh Bay. Vietnam also requested that Russia aid its army in modernizing itself as a counterweight to China, which remains a regional threat.

In the Soviet period, India was among the Third World states that responded the most positively to Soviet overtures, and the closeness of Indian-Soviet relations was a source of tension between China and the Soviet Union. In turn, the Soviet Union saw India as an important means of containing Chinese expansionism. Despite occasional declines, relations with India remained close through the end of the Gorbachev era, and India profited from abundant military and other foreign aid.

On a visit to India in January 1993, Yeltsin stressed that continued good relations were pivotal to Russia's balanced foreign relations, including its pro-Eastern policy. Although Russian trade with India had plummeted in the early 1990s, commercial relations recovered somewhat in 1994-95 following the establishment of an Indian-Russian Joint Commission. Much of the trade was linked to Indian repayment of past debts.

In March 1996, Primakov became the first Russian foreign minister to visit India. At that time, he termed India a priority partner, and he signed an agreement reestablishing the Soviet-era hot line communications link between New Delhi and Moscow. Primakov stressed that both Russia and India were seeking closer relations with China and that those new ties would not threaten the closer Russian-Indian ties.

Relations with communist North Korea and capitalist South Korea, defined clearly by the dichotomy of the Cold War, changed noticeably in the early 1990s. The January 1993 foreign policy concept endorsed the goal of a peaceful Korean unification to reduce regional instability on Russia's borders. Although the concept called for full ties with South Korea, which it described as sharing Russia's "basic values of world civilization," the concept also urged the maintenance of some levers of containment over North Korea to prevent that country from developing nuclear arms.

The Soviet Union's treaty ties with North Korea included the friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance treaty of 1961. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Kozyrev indicated that many of the Soviet friendship treaties would be reevaluated, but at that time Russia did not renounce the pact with North Korea. In August 1995, Russia forwarded a new draft "friendly relations" treaty to North Korea that excluded a crucial provision calling for mutual military assistance in the case of attack. In April 1996, a Russian government delegation traveled to P'yongyang to discuss that proposal and to convince North Korea to halt bellicose moves along its border with South Korea.

North Korea's inconsistent positions on the issue of nuclear technology have been a major concern for Russia. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticized North Korea's March 1993 announcement that it would withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), and Russia subsequently supported the international community in urging North Korea to adhere to the NPT as a nonnuclear weapons power and to accept international inspections of its nuclear facilities. To ease the tension caused by the potential of nuclear weapons in the two Koreas, Russia called an international conference to declare the Korean Peninsula a nuclear-free zone. In October 1994, Russia endorsed a United States-North Korean agreement on halting North Korean nuclear proliferation while urging that Russian reactors be supplied to North Korea under the agreement. Moscow criticized the decision to supply South Korean reactors instead, and the new disagreement became another sore point in United States-Russian relations.

Other issues of conflict between Russia and North Korea were allegations of human rights violations against North Korean guest workers in Siberian forests and North Korea's unpaid debt to Russia of more than US$3 billion. In 1995 Russian conservatives urged renewal of arms sales and other ties with North Korea as a means of encouraging it to repay the debt.

On his 1992 visit to South Korea, Yeltsin signed the Treaty on Principles of Relations, which called for relations to be based on "common ideals of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, and the principles of a market economy." This treaty placed Russia in the unique position of having treaty ties with both North and South Korea, each based on fundamentally different principles. Russia and South Korea reportedly also discussed joint projects in natural gas exploitation and industrial development. In 1995 the two countries signed an agreement that alleviated a sore point in relations by authorizing Russia to partially repay its debt to South Korea in goods. Russian arms transfers have included T-80 tanks and BMP-3 armored fighting vehicles. South Korea is assisting in the development of an industrial park in the Russian city of Nakhodka, a port on the Sea of Japan that Russia has declared a free economic zone.
Site Admin
Posts: 28296
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Return to Reports

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest