Three decades of Russian policy in the post-Soviet space: Old patterns and new trends

kutsutilaisuus · The Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Arkadiankatu 23 B, 5th floor, Helsinki · 22.11.2021 14:30 - 16:00


December 2021 marks thirty years since the signing of the Belavezha Accords that dissolved the Soviet Union. After a short period of retreat, Russian foreign policy has been driven by two interconnected goals, with the pursuit of its great-power status going hand in hand with the wish to retain hegemony in the post-Soviet space. Following Ukraine’s Euromaidan Revolution of 2014, Russian foreign policy has become even more assertive, which has generated both successes and failures to Moscow and its neighbours. Russia remains a pivotal actor in the former Soviet Union, especially in Central Asia, but its influence as well as its attraction as a societal role model and a security provider are not necessarily on the rise.

The seminar organized by FIIA will examine how Russian policy in the post-Soviet space looks at the moment, what kind of responses Russia’s growing assertiveness has triggered in its neighbourhood and what role Western and non-Western players play in this context?

The seminar will serve as a launch of two new FIIA’s Briefing Papers dealing with these issues:

FIIA Briefing Paper 321. Three decades of Russian policy in the European part of the post-Soviet space: Swimming against the current
FIIA Briefing Paper 322. Russian policy towards Central Asia 30 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union: Sphere of influence shrinking?


Ryhor Nizhnikau

Senior Research Fellow, FIIA

Ryhor Nizhnikau is a Senior Research Fellow in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia programme at FIIA. He works on Russia’s and EU’s policies towards Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus and domestic developments in these countries. He received his PhD from Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, University of Tartu.

Kristiina Silvan

Research Fellow, FIIA

Kristiina Silvan is a Research Fellow in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia research programme at FIIA. Her research focuses on the political developments in the Central Asian region. In addition to her work at FIIA, she is finalizing her PhD dissertation at the University of Helsinki. The topic of her dissertation is state-affiliated youth activism in post-Soviet Russia and Belarus.


Fredrik Löjdquist

Director, Stockholm Centre for Eastern European Studies (SCEEUS)

Fredrik Löjdquist is Director of the Stockholm Centre for Eastern European Studies (SCEEUS), an independent institute constituted and financed by the Swedish Government, with its organisational domicile at UI. Löjdquist is a former Swedish diplomat, with previous missions such as special envoy and ambassador for the Swedish Presidency of the EU in Georgia 2009, ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) 2012–2017, and most recently, Sweden's first ambassador and special envoy for hybrid threats based in Stockholm 2018–2021. Löjdquist has a master's degree in political theory from London School of Economics.


Arkady Moshes

Programme Director, FIIA

Arkady Moshes is the Programme Director of the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia research programme at FIIA. From 2008 to 2015 he was an Associate Fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House. He received his PhD from the Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. His main areas of expertise include Russia-EU relations and the internal and foreign policy of Ukraine and Belarus.