Balance of Power between the U.S. and Russia

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-8-63-69
V. Batyuk (,
Institute for U.S. and Canadian Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences (ISCRAN), 2/3, Khlebnyi Per., Moscow, 121069, Russian Federation;
National Research University Higher School of Economics, 17/1, Malaya Ordynka Str., Moscow, 119017, Russian Federation

Abstract. The American political and academic elite holds inconsistent views on the balance of power between the United States and Russian Federation. On the one hand, Russia is seen as a former great power that is in irreversible socioeconomic decline, which sooner or later should lead to a reduction of Russia’s presence in the international arena. On the other hand, American circles are increasingly concerned about the strengthening of Russia’s positions in the world in recent years, and even about Russian interference in the internal affairs of the leading Western countries. It is difficult to reconcile the thesis of a country in decline with that one of the ubiquitous Russian threat. Apparently, this inconsistency is explained not only by the imperfection of the methodology of assessment of the Russian (and not only Russian) capabilities, adopted in the United States, but also by perceptions of the U.S.’ and Russia’s place in the modern international relations system, deeply rooted in the minds of the American elite. One can state a huge gap between the United States and the Russian Federation in terms of their military and political ambitions scale. The U. S. claims to be the “only superpower” – the only country in the world capable of projecting its conventional military power globally. Modern Russia, unlike the Soviet Union, is not a global superpower. The Russian Federation positions itself as a great power that seeks to protect and ensure its interests in the international arena – but does not seek, unlike the USSR (and the modern United States), to remake the world in its own image. Naturally, the policy of protecting the national interests of even such a large country as Russia does not require the same extensive expenditures as the policy of inspiring the world proletarian (or, alternatively, liberal) revolution. The view of Russia as a “bully and troublemaker” (and not as a “normal” country that has the right to defend its national and state interests) will continue, as the author believes, to cause a distorted perception of real capabilities and intentions of the country.

Keywords: balance of power, decline of a great power, assessment of economic potential, place in the world


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For citation:
Batyuk V. Balance of Power between the U.S. and Russia. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 8, pp. 63-69.

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