Alexander Kramarenko, writing in the Moscow Times, offers a vigorous defense of President Putin’s foreign polic initiatives. He believes Putin’s foreign policy is centered in pragmatism, multi-vctor diplomacy, and the nonconfrontational pursuit of national intrests. Russia seeks security for itself and nations on its borders. He notes, “we regret that the experience of the past 15 years have not helped some of our partners understand that a new new world is not a mere extension of the Western world minus the former Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc.” He cites the case of Kosovo independence which is being pushed by Western nations. “Why then do the Palestinians, for example, have to wait for a state of their own?” Kramarenko believes the West has double standards and this is what Putin is attempting to confront.
On the one hand, points out Kramarenko, the European Union asserts its control of nations within its own organization, but, on the other hand, it is the Bush policy to establish missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. Which is it–EU or US? He argues that many problems being attributed to Russia are te fault of others and Putin is mainly focusing on what benefits his nation interests.
Kramarenko raises several key issues which offer a valid Russian explanation for their foreign policy behavior. They probably are right to oppose missile bases in Eastern Europe since the presence of such weapons is obviously a threat to the national interests of Russia.