P. Cherkasov, Institute of General History, Russian Academy of Sciences (IVI), 32a, Leninskii Prosp., 119334, Moscow, Russian Federation (email@example.com)
The article describes the debate on foreign policy of the post-Soviet Russia, which took place at the Academic Council of IMEMO in 1992–1994. What are the national interests of the Russian young democracy? What should be Russian foreign policy in the new geopolitical situation, after the collapse of the USSR? To what extent the transformation of socio-political system in Russia changed the nature of its foreign policy? What should be its principles and priorities after the end of the Cold War? All these and other questions were in the focus of IMEMO experts immediately after the collapse of the communist regime in 1991. From the outset, the discussions were marked by different approaches to the issues. Some experts put forward as a priority the relations with the U.S. and the West in general, some put Europe in the first place, and others - the Commonwealth of Independent States, which brought together some of the former Soviet republics. But all IMEMO experts in general agreed on the negative evaluation of the new Russian foreign policy quality: the default of a senior management for clear understanding of strategic and tactical foreign policy goals, low professional level of those who were called to form and implement foreign policy, the absence of a single center for decision-making, the lack of coordination between various authorities involved in the development of a foreign policy strategy - Presidential Administration, Security Council, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, Parliament, etc. As mentioned in the discussions, the initial stage of idealistic notions and expectations of the West prevalent in Russian society and in the new ruling elite circles after the fall of the Soviet regime was soon replaced by disappointment and even irritation towards the West. Both of these trends were equally dangerous to the interests of the Russian foreign policy, which was in great need of a pragmatic, professional understanding of realities. This policy had to achieve two main objectives - full integration of Russia into the world community of developed democracies, and protection of its own national interests within this community. One should have been inextricably linked with the other. Academic understanding of national interests in the field of foreign, defense and economic policies, the development of specific proposals and recommendations on these issues for the state leadership has become one of priorities for IMEMO analysts.
Foreign policy, the end of the Cold War, national security, Russia, the U.S., Europe, NATO, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Academic Council of IMEMO, N. Kosolapov, N. Simoniya, A. Arbatov, B. Khalosha, M. Maksimova, Y. Oleshchuk, E. Volkova
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