Russia Profile Experts Panel: Russia’s New Foreign Policy Doctrine
Russia Profile
Vladimir Frolov

Last week the Russian Newsweek magazine
published a leaked Foreign Ministry document, snappily titled the
”Program for Effective Utilization of Foreign Political Factors on a
Systematic Basis for Purposes of Long-Term Development of the Russian
Federation.” The document, prepared in February 2010 and sent to
President Dmitry Medvedev for approval, is nothing less than a
conceptual blueprint for a new foreign policy doctrine that seeks to
improve Russia’s relations with the West, particularly with the EU and
the United States, in order to secure technology transfers, attract
Western investors and create favorable conditions for Russia’s
technological modernization. What is the true meaning of this document?

The introduction to the document, written by Foreign Minister Sergey
Lavrov, states that the ”strengthening of relations of interdependence
with leading world powers on the basis of mutual penetration of
economies and cultures” is in the interests of Russia. The draft
proposes development of relations first and foremost with the European
Union and the United States.

The reasons for the turnaround seem obvious – the resources for Russia’s
modernization are in the West. As Dmitry Trenin of the Moscow Carnegie
Center wrote in the Moscow Times, “Russia is losing ground in the global
pecking order by falling behind in terms of its industrial,
technological and scientific capabilities. All the proceeds from
Gazprom’s sales notwithstanding, Russia is sorely lacking what it takes
to be a major global economic and political force in the 21st century.
Relative energy abundance and nuclear arsenals are simply not enough.
The Kremlin was forced to come to terms with the fact that Russia cannot
modernize on its own and that it needs Western investment and strong
business partnerships with the West.”

The European Union tops the priority list because of its members’
advanced economies, technological proficiency and physical proximity to
Russia, while relations with China and the former Soviet states are
deemphasized. The United States is singled out as a source of key
technology transfers, despite a currently modest trade volume with

Both the Kremlin and the Foreign Ministry confirmed the authenticity of
the document while denying that it signals a conceptual breakthrough in
Russian foreign policy. What is the true meaning of this document? Does
it signal a decisive break with the confrontational policies of the
past, or is merely a short-term tactical maneuver? What really prompted
the shift? Will the new strategy get implemented? Will it be closely
linked with similarly reformist domestic policies in Russia? Is the
policy shift driven by president Medvedev or Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin, or both? Where will Russia’s relations with the BRIC nations
figure in the new doctrine?

Vlad Ivanenko, Ph.D. in economics,
Ottawa (Canada):

In my opinion, the Western media misinterprets the program leaked from
the Russian Foreign Ministry in certain respects. Firstly, the program
does not set the objective of attracting foreign investments. Thanks to
high global crude oil prices, Russia gets sufficient export revenue to
pay for projects that involve the transfer of foreign expertise and that
it wants to control. Secondly, access to modern technologies is not an
end, as some might think, but a means by which the government intends to
improve the Russians’ quality of life. This distinction is important
because it sets priorities. For example, military technologies are not
accorded the supreme importance they were the Soviet Union. Finally, I
tend to disagree with the proposition, tabled among others by Marie Jйgo
of Le Monde, that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s praise of the EU
implies Russia’s Eurocentric ambitions. In reality, the program states
only that the left-leaning EU governance structure has proven its worth.
One could see that this assertion indicates that Russia plans to base
its Eurasian integration efforts using EU experience, but this is all.
The role that the program assigns to a Greater Europe in its
relationship with Russia is nothing more than a pragmatic “modernization

Lavrov makes the point that “the Western European model of economic
development … has shown its stability” without specifying what model he
has in mind. If he refers to the body of EU’s values broadly defined as
acquis communautaire, I would recommend treating it with a grain of
salt. As a distinct cultural entity, Russia has its own “acquis” (social
norms) that the Kremlin is obliged to treat with respect. In this case,
the European standards provide only a useful benchmark to verify the
logical consistency of Russia’s emerging structures of governance.

Another point relates to an apparent disagreement between the preamble
and the appendix of the document. The preamble claims that finding
mutually beneficial forms of integration is the key to the success of
Russian foreign policy in the former Soviet republics. On the contrary,
the appendix emphasizes the exploitation of post-crisis difficulties to
nurture the neighbors’ dependency on Russia. Such a one-sided approach
falls under the definition of neo-colonialism. As such, it will lead to
the growth of anti-Russian sentiment in the former Soviet republics.

In my opinion, the Foreign Ministry conceived this program as a strategy
paper to show its field staff which priorities to pursue in their daily
operations. The public resonance of this document, written apparently
without consultation with other federal ministries (and possibly even
without input from many departments within the Foreign Ministry), owes
to its innovative and relatively consistent view of Russia’s long-term

Igor Torbakov, Ph.D., Senior
Researcher, Finnish Institute of International Affairs,
Kruunuvuorenkatu, Helsinki:

To make sense of Russia’s latest foreign policy blueprint, one has to
have a firmer grasp of what Russia’s foreign policy actually is.
Policies in Russia are crafted by a relatively narrow group of people.
The divergence of interests and perspectives within the Kremlin ruling
circle feeds the foreign policy debate on more specific issues, which go
beyond what appears to be a broad general consensus. At the heart of
that consensus is the assertion of Russia’s status as an independent
great power and recognition of the desirability of securing favorable
external conditions for further growth.

The study of what analysts and commentators constantly refer to as
“Russian interests” is particularly challenging given the fact that the
line between what is generally understood as “national interests” and
the “group interests” is completely blurred in Russia. This opacity is
generated by the very character of the present-day Russian elite. The
Kremlin ruling group represents a specific blend of political and
economic power. But this symbiosis of administrative clout and business
potential creates a situation in which the state has virtually no
autonomy from the economic interests of the individuals who run it. As
the major Russian business groups have long been engaged in aggressive
expansion in post-Soviet Eurasia and beyond, the task of distinguishing
between foreign-policy moves driven by ostensibly legitimate “vital
national interests,” and those driven by the naked pursuit of profit
becomes especially daunting.

Yet ultimately, the primary goal of Russian foreign policy efforts is to
create conditions for preserving and perpetuating the current political
and economic regime, while seeking to attain its legitimization by the
international community. Specifically, this means that the Kremlin’s
two-pronged objective is to secure the persistence of a system of
authoritarian rule and bureaucratic capitalism; and to have this system
recognized as valid in its own right – being equal, or even superior, to
the Western liberal model, which, the new document gleefully notes, has
been badly battered by the global crisis.

It is precisely the nature of Russia’s socio-political system that makes
Moscow’s policies toward the West on the one hand and toward its
neighbors within the CIS on the other quite inconsistent and
contradictory. Since the specific characteristics of Russia’s present
regime make integration with Western and European institutions all but
impossible, the Kremlin leadership proclaims Russia’s strategic
independence and desire to play the role of a separate center of power
in the emerging “multipolar” world.

In practical terms this means that Moscow is eager to engage in
selective cooperation with the West while seeking to retain domestic
political ways which are profoundly alien to the Western norms and
values. The intent to cast Russia as an independent pole also inevitably
compels the Kremlin to focus on the country’s immediate strategic
neighborhood within the CIS – what has famously been called the sphere
of Russia’s “privileged interests” – where Russia seeks leadership,
influence and closer integration.

All the above objectives were rather candidly spelled out in the Foreign
Ministry’s “new” strategic document. But are these truly novel ideas,

Andrei Tsygankov, Adjunct Professor of
International Relations, San Francisco State University, San Francisco:

Russia’s new foreign policy document can hardly be described as
revolutionary. Viewing it as a sign of Russia’s pro-Western turn is not
incorrect, but is insufficient. The full picture must not omit from
consideration the larger international context in which Russia plans to
forge new “modernizing alliances” with Europe and the United States. The
new rapprochement with the West is taking place when the world is
becoming decentralized and post-Western. The global economic crisis
heralded a new era in which Russia can no longer think about its foreign
policy priorities as predominantly Western. The post-Western world has
in store not only expertise and capital from advanced countries, but new
opportunities for improving Russia’s welfare and security in Asia, the
Middle East and Latin America. The world has changed and even President
Barack Obama has recently referred to himself as the “first Pacific
president” of the United States.

President Obama has presided over two important processes – improvement
of relations with Russia and decline of the United States’ role as the
world’s hegemon. The Kremlin pays attention to both. It continues its
efforts to normalize relations with the United States after the
disastrous years of Obama’s predecessor. Russia also exploits new
opportunities from the “reset” by strengthening its influence in
Ukraine, Central Asia and elsewhere. But Russia is equally attentive to
the larger international developments in the post-Western world. The
White House’s “reset” still lacks substance and may not endure, but the
rise of China, Brazil and India is here to stay.

Vladimir Belaeff, President, Global
Society Institute, Inc., United States:

Over the past decade a perceptional construct was developed by many
Western propagandists portraying Russia as “confrontational” toward the
EU and the United States. A contrast was drawn between the Russia of the
1990s (the so-called “Boris Yeltsin” years) and the Russia of the 21st
century. Russia’s submission to foreign priorities in its own
international policies during the 1990s was presented as a positive and
constructive pattern, and any other kind of behavior declared

In fact, Russia from 2000 onward has been simply more assertive of its
own national interests. The submissive behavior of the 1990s was
abandoned (this was inevitable) and was replaced not by a
counter-offensive, but by an assertion of sovereignty. This
assertiveness can be qualified as “confrontational” only if one admits
that the nature of other countries’ policies toward Russia is aggressive
and expansionist. If Western policies toward Russia are expansionist,
then Russia’s assertion of its national interests will be by definition
confrontational – to the proponents of expansion at Russia’s expense. If
on the other hand the claim of peaceful and non-expansionist Western
attitudes toward Russia is valid, then Russia’s simple assertion of its
national interests cannot be qualified as confrontational.

The above logic is necessary to establish whether the referenced
doctrine is truly a “change” by Russia from “confrontation” to
collaboration with the EU and the United States.

Russia has not been “confrontational” toward the EU and the United
States over the past decade; it has simply defended its national
interests. Therefore, the referenced doctrine is not a “shift” away from
“confrontation.” It may however be a rebuke to internal Russian
proponents of a shift away from legitimate assertion of sovereignty
toward confrontation – as a response to the chaos brewing in the
dysfunctional global economy, in a crisis caused by severe failures of
American financial governance.

Assertions that Russia is economically stagnant and in dire need of
modernization which can only be delivered through Western assistance are
factually incorrect and self-serving. Russia has successfully weathered
a global economic storm of unprecedented magnitude and is now in
recovery and growth mode, while such “model” economies like America are
still struggling with high unemployment and anemic GDP indicators. It is
a gross oversimplification to propose that Russia’s economic dynamics
are limited to Gazprom and Rosneft. And modernization is a process which
in reality began with Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika in 1986, and
which so far has yielded social and political improvements that Russians
had not enjoyed since before the First World War. The Russians
themselves may not be aware of this, but their modernization venture has
already produced outstanding improvements – and Western involvement,
although conspicuous, was not really mission-critical for the
achievements to-date.

Therefore, an interpretation of the referenced doctrine as a Russian
plan to engage the West in order to obtain some supposed assistance in
modernization seems rather far-fetched. Russia’s growing integration
with the EU is a natural outcome for societies that share the same
geographic space and have 1,500 years of common culture. American
economic engagement in Russia is far weaker – but that is due to
profound, paradigmatic flaws in the perception of the Russian-American
relationship that dominate Washington, despite pretences of

The alleged Foreign Ministry document is not a “shift away from
confrontation” but a welcome re-assertion of continuity in Russian
policy of constructive relations with the West, without compromise of
fundamental national interests.

Ethan S. Burger, Adjunct Professor,
Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC:

Most countries pursue multiple, and often contradictory, foreign
policies. Sometimes this occurs by design. Sometimes it results from a
division of responsibilities between various state institutions whose
personnel have differing views of the national interest. This situation
is made more complex because even when people share common goals, they
may disagree about the methods to achieve them. Russia is no exception.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov seems to recognize that a break
with the way things were done in the past is necessary. Now, perhaps the
new foreign policy document is a trial balloon, to see who among the
elite is ready for something new. Dmitry Trenin’s observation that
Russia’s importance on the world stage is declining because it is
falling behind in terms of its industrial, technological and scientific
capabilities relative to other developed countries is right on point.
Russia’s energy resources and nuclear capability will both decline in
importance in an era of great economic change. And the current
situation, where as Trenin aptly puts it “the Kremlin [has been] forced
to come to terms with the fact that Russia cannot modernize on its own
and that it needs Western investment and strong business partnerships
with the West,”  is a lot like the late 19th century.

This week, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed into law amendments
to the country’s federal law on the Legal Status of Foreign Workers in
the Russian Federation. The amended law reflects a recognition that
Russia needs to take steps to attract highly qualified foreign workers. 
Such foreign workers will enjoy lower income taxes and will benefit
from a more streamlined procedure for obtaining the necessary visas and
other documents to work in Russia. One wonders how highly qualified
Russian workers will react to such treatment of foreigners, some of them
might even decide to move abroad.

Russia has already experienced a severe brain drain of scientists,
engineers and others who departed the country for better professional
opportunities and/or a better quality of life. While these individuals
may return in the future, many of them are watching how things develop
in Russia. The country’s domestic political situation, the absence of
the rule of law and protection of private property rights, and an
aggressive foreign policy suggests that the desired foreign investment
for the long-term development of the country will not be forthcoming
without fundamental change in governmental practices. If this does not
occur, their homeland will become a mere memory. They and their families
will assimilate into their new surroundings.

Other than natural resources, Russia has very little to offer either to
the industrial or developing world. Its goods are not competitive, its
labor costs are not low, and its technology is largely not state of the
art. Furthermore, to much of the foreign community, the costs of
operating in Russia are high and the perceived political risks as
significant. Non-Russian companies recognize that there are numerous
lower cost and more stable countries in the world. Russia does not offer
as attractive a market as the other so-called BRIC countries, and even
if it did, why produce in Russia if it means technological transfer that
could later produce a future competitor?

This does not mean that Russia’s situation is irreversible. It could be a
valuable steppingstone for foreign partners to other markets elsewhere
in the former Soviet space. But Russia will not be successful in this
strategy if it attempts to develop trade networks in neighboring
countries by turning them into satellite states. Russia needs to harness
business and political relationships in such countries free of any
element of coercion. Russians have a natural advantage in pursuing
business opportunities in the near-abroad in this area, but this will
dissipate with the passage of time.  

While some investors may be tempted by the possibility of short-term
profits, most will not.  Furthermore, given the economic conditions in
the other industrial countries the idea of moving jobs abroad is
unlikely to generate much support in the world’s capitals. Russia needs
to improve its infrastructure, its educational system, etc. for it to
operate effectively. Given its size, the Russian political leadership
must better address how it is governed effectively (and democratically).
Trying to alter its image without changing the reality will not lead to
the modernization of the country. The Soviet Union failed because its
system ossified, it could not innovate or meet the needs of its
citizens. Educated Russians understand this, but whether change will
occur on a timely basis without upheaval will depend on the willingness
to change the way things have been done in the past.

Edward Lozansky, President, American
University in Moscow, Washington, DC:

I’d disagree with the widespread notion that Russia’s new foreign policy
doctrine (or rather proposals for changes in the current foreign policy
in the document under discussion) is oriented toward the West. After
reading carefully that Foreign Ministry document, I’d say that it is
oriented toward West, East, South, North, and any other direction that
has a potential for promoting Russia’s interests.

The prefix “pro-” in the above interpretation of the proposals is
clearly out of place. In realpolitik, any “pro-” subsumes that there is a
balancing “anti-” somewhere, overtly or covertly. Not in this document.
If anything, it is simply pro-Russian and definitely not anti– any
nation or group of nations.

The only rational interpretation of the thinking underlying this
document is that Russia should strive to develop closer political,
economic, social and even perhaps military ties with the Euro-Atlantic
community or, to put it a bit bolder, civilization – but not at the
expense of the other parts of the world.

As someone who has tirelessly promoted Russia’s integration with the
West since the collapse of communism I must state the obvious: this idea
has now lost much of its merit. What seemed to be absolutely logical in
1990 is no longer feasible 20 years later.

In the early 1990s Russia, then in the grip of pro-Western euphoria, was
making overtures to the West, including joining NATO. These were flatly
rejected by the overconfident victors of the Cold War. Some of the
excuses being used – such as Russia’s lack of progress in democratic
development – are highly questionable and even suspect, since NATO
expansion started when Russia was run by President Boris Yeltsin, whose
rule is portrayed in the West as the high point of Russia’s democratic
achievements, before Vladimir Putin came along and spoiled it all.

Russia was thus rejected then for some other reasons, but we need not go
into them here, as this is beside the point these days. Ironically, it
looks like the Western bridegroom, who once turned down the Eastern
bride, is now showing more interest in the matter.

Even such a hawk as former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is
now singing a different tune. Albright and a group of 12 top NATO
diplomats have just come up with their ideas on how the alliance should
reform itself to deal with the current security threats.  According to
their report NATO should “pursue a policy of engagement” with Russia by
“focusing on opportunities for pragmatic collaboration,” such as missile
defense, arms control, and the fight against terrorism, drugs and

At the same time the old “Cold Warriors” are not giving up and, as ever,
the “Pravda on the Potomac” is at their disposal. David Kramer, former
deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs in
the George W. Bush administration, is using the Washington Post to
accuse the Obama administration of betraying Russia’s neighbors, most
importantly Georgia, by resubmitting to Congress the “123” nuclear
cooperation agreement without reaffirming its strong objection to
“Russia’s invasion of Georgia” in August 2008.

One may wonder why Kramer is not accusing the entire NATO leadership of
betrayal for their willingness to resume working with Russia in the wake
of the Bush administration basically freezing all Russia-NATO contacts.

In any event, as far as Russia’s foreign policy doctrine is concerned,
no one disputes that the West is still the unquestionable leader in
science and technological innovations that are badly needed for Russia’s
economic development. However, the enormous rise of China, India, and
other Asian countries as well as the looming security threats from the
South require a more pragmatic foreign policy approach. The gist of this
policy is simple and one might say timeless: Russia need have neither
ardent friends nor bitter enemies but only its own interests to look out
for – just as any self-respecting nation.

It appears that, in a drastic change from the previous U.S.
administration’s policy, the Obama government has recognized that Russia
has certain legitimate interests of its own and is ready for
compromises. This is a good beginning, and Russia should make sure that
its foreign policy helps Obama to pursue this course and does not
provide his enemies with ammunition of whatever sort.

Ira Straus, U.S. Coordinator, Committee
on Russia in NATO, Washington, DC:

Do I detect a tired tone, as if to say, “We’ve seen this movie before,
here are the standard interpretive options…?” New or not, it’s a good
movie, one filled with great hopes, though most of them suffer
disappointment. It runs like this: “Russian Westernizers say they need
economic Westernization, they can only get modernization by
rapprochement with the West. They get only a half-rapprochement, if only
because the West suspects they’re doing it solely out of the very same
tactical self-advancing motives they advertise (for modernizing Russia
as a great power). And they get only half modernization – usually far
less than half, when it comes to the economic benefits they were
advertising; and then there are the adjustment costs of reform. The
modernization they do get seems in retrospect little connected to their
relations with the West. Although in a deeper sense the two are
inseparable; they couldn’t have had the one without the other.”

After all is said and done, it is a necessary movie, one that does some
good and heads off a lot of harm. But rarely satisfies.

It’s ultimately the old paradox of late modernization: Russia needs
modernization, the modern world is the West, but Russia has to modernize
outside of the West, and modernizing outside of the West creates a
political premium on nationalistic motives that can take Russia away
from modernization. The multiple iterations of the Westernizers’ drama –
half-rapprochements, half-successes, whole heartbreaks – produce an
upward spiral motion; Russia becomes on the whole more modern and
Western with each full-circle turn.

When Russian modernizers point to the economic necessity of
rapprochement with the West, it is seemingly safe grounding for their
position. It gives their goal an objective status as a national
necessity that makes it harder for the Slavophils and anti-Western
nationalists to attack them for sucking up to the “enemy.” In return,
they pay the price that the West distrusts them. That distrust is partly
based on ignorance of the Russian leaders’ domestic tactical political
needs, but is not entirely groundless. If the Russian modernizers have
to frame their underlying Westernizing motives in nationalist language
for fear of political mutilation, the same forces that deflect them into
doing this might also succeed in deflecting their follow-on policies in
a non-Western or anti-Western direction. This distrust prevents the
rapprochement from going all the way, and prevents economic integration
from reaching anything near the level needed to bring the dramatic
benefits hoped for. The nationalists counterattack: you sucked up to the
West, the West for the most part ignored you, Russia didn’t get the
benefits you promised, and meanwhile our enemy the West benefited.
Another turn in the cycle. Yet something is gained. And far worse things
are avoided.

Could better be done? Could the West be less suspicious; could it keep
its suspicions to more rational proportions, and recognize that there
are grounds for suspicions from Russia’s side too? Yes, it could, and to
some extent has done this; at present it is less suspicious than in the
Gorbachev years, although also less hopeful. Could the West deal with
Russian Westernizers and Slavophiles more skillfully, recognizing that
Russia is not a monolith but a complex entity containing a duality of
potentialities in relation to the West (mediated by a center, following
options on the in-between spectrum, that is less solid than it usually
appears); offering accordingly a more substantial benefit package in
connection with the Westernizering element of Russia’s duality, and
maintaining a more vigorous dual-contingency policy of its own? Yes it
could, and it needs to. Could Russian Westernizers be more skillful in
helping their Western colleagues develop this package in a manner that
would be substantial enough, and that would ”work” for both sides? Yes,
they could.

All this is sorely needed. But perhaps I too sound tired, jaundiced. Why
aren’t I beating the drum that ”we must do this”? Ok, I’ll beat the
drum: we must do this; many of out vital interests depend on it. It’s
really true. But I too have seen the movie before; I too have seen the
same lines of argument before. In the Gorbachev and early Yeltsin years
it carried high drama for everyone. It still does, as far as our vital
interests go, but it’s hard to feel as dramatic about it again. At the
moment I find it hard to kick myself and whip up the spirit that is
needed. Perhaps a younger generation can do that.

Professor Stephen Blank, U.S. Army War
College, Carlyle Barracks, PA:

What I read stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the
government had denied that this was the new policy. So the paper may
have been a proposal or a first or early draft of a later document. I’m
not sure that it represents a conceptual breakthrough because while the
tone of Russian diplomacy has changed with Medvedev’s ”smiling face,” no
positions have been conceded.  

On Iran, Russia still seeks so-called ”smart sanctions” and exceptions
for itself. Regarding the Middle East Peace Process it pushes for the
United States to pressure Israel while its diplomats tell the
Palestinians that the Americans are not serious.  

The massive intelligence campaign organized by Putin against the West,
much of which has to do with obtaining technological intelligence
through classical espionage methods, continues unabated. At the same
time the document also calls for stepping-up Russian investments in
Baltic and CIS economies, another hallmark of the recent past, with the
intention of obtaining decisive political and economic leverage over
these states.

Indeed, it is a time-honored tradition of Russian and Soviet foreign
policy to signal a detente based on common economic interests, the main
goal of which is that Russia obtains foreign technology (which, because
of its economic-political structure, it cannot optimally utilize) in
return for sham or cosmetic concessions. This goes back at least as far
as the period of the New Economic Policy in the 1920s, and was true in
the 1970s as well.

These efforts have always represented attempts to avoid the necessity of
reform by getting the West to provide for Russia what it cannot make or
do on its own, so that Russia can compete more effectively with it.  

So, what exactly is the Russian government offering in return for this
smiling foreign policy? The doctrine, if that is what it is, clearly
calls for intensifying Russia’s efforts to integrate the CIS exclusively
under its purview, as the recent Ukrainian deal indicates. That deal
was a betrayal of Ukrainian sovereignty and a leveraged buyout by
Russia, at considerable cost to Ukraine’s freedom in defense and foreign
policy, not to mention energy policy.

The Russian-inspired coup in Kyrgyzstan represents a similar example of
trying to exclude foreign influence in a sensitive CIS region. The
February Defense Doctrine, even though NATO enlargement is now called a
danger rather than a threat, still breathes hostility to the United
States and NATO.  

In other words, a document does not make foreign policy even if it may
be the harbinger of change. Until that change is reflected in actual
policy, it is too early to believe in a genuine rapprochement with the

In many respects it represents an attempt by Russia to have it both
ways. On the one hand it will tell the West that there are common
interests and we should each invest in each other’s economies so that
Russia gains greater leverage in the open Western systems and access to
new technology, while on the other foreign investors in Russia, like BP
and Hermitage Capital, are essentially bilked.

Furthermore, until there are signs of domestic reform, this policy will
appear as another attempt to find a surrogate or alternative to reform.
Undoubtedly, there will be many in the West, mainly in Europe, who will
fall over themselves proclaiming the “new” Russia, and rush to make
concessions to Moscow that are unwarranted.  

But no concessions can lift Russia out of its doldrums without genuine
domestic reform, which changes the way Russia thinks of its security