After the debacle of the Soviet Union in 1991 and its dissolution, the loss of its sphere of influence in Central an Eastern Europe, the economic and political woes of the 1990’s as well as lowed failures in its foreign and security policies (the 1999 NATO intervention in Kosovo and the First Chechen War), Russia has begun quite forcefully to assert itself again as a great power in the international system. It has become evident that Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin is no longer the sick man of Europe, but on the contrary we are now dealing with a different Russia, one that has managed to put an end to its internal instability, has become quite prosperous and has an active foreign policy that befits a great power.
The announced deployment of parts of the American missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic soured relations with Russia’s, many annalists arguing that bilateral relations between the former rivals have reached their lowest point since the end of the Cold War. Besides the spat over the deployment ABM shield in Central Europe there are many other issues that have lead to the increase in tensions between Russia and the United States: American deployment of forward bases in Romania and Bulgaria, US involvement in the former Soviet space (Ukraine, Georgia, the Caucasus and Central Asia) as well as public criticism regarding Russia’s internal politics and finally the gross imbalance of power between the United States and the rest of the members of the international system. All in all Russia has many reasons to feel threatened by the United States and from its point of view the recent strategic developments in Europe are worrying.
This article will deal with the current status of relations between Romania and Russia. I will argue that although there are issues when cooperation can occur between the two states, the opportunities for conflict far outweigh them.
One thing that must be cleared from the beginning is that the relation between the two countries is and was asymmetrical. This relationship is and has been asymmetrical because it involves a great power or a medium power (depending on the timeline) and a small power. Today Russia can be catalogued as an aspiring great power while Romania remains a small power (with a good prospect of becoming a regional power).
In this article I will argue that EU’s relations with the Russian Federation are at a crossroads, with the latter gaining leverage while the former has trouble finding an adequate response to this challenge.
The differences between two actors stem from two quite different perceptions of world politics and diplomacy. Russia sees international politics from a realist perspective emphasising power politics and strategic cooperation while the EU is advancing a post-Westphalian agenda of international politics based on shared norms and values. These different approaches and understandings of the international system have lead to an impasse in EU-Russian relation.
Yesterday May 2, 2007, the Romanian Parliament adopted with a comfortable majority a resolution allowing for the stationing of US troops in the country. U.S. forces will use “Mihail Kogalniceanu” air base as well as several Romanian training ranges such as: Babadag, Smardan and Cincu. These troop redeployments are a part of the new basing strategy by the Pentagon which will put U.S. forces near to the theatres of operations of Afghanistan and Iraq, and will allow for far more flexible deployments for American troops around the world. The importance of these bases for U.S operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan is revealed by the forward operating bases status given to them by the Pentagon.
A new divisive issue between Russia and NATO has come to the fore: the deployment and development of ballistic missile defenses in Europe by the United States in Central Europe.
The debate regarding missile defense is not new. It dates back to the Cold War when the United States used the Strategic Defense Initiative, colloquially known as Star Wars to bankrupt the Soviet Union. Today however ballistic defenses have returned as an issue of international politics when the United States decided to retreat from ABM treaty signed in 1972 and develop this type of strategic defense in order to protect itself from countries like Iran and North Korea – the infamous “rogue states” from the “axis of evil”.
Historically the Romanian Navy was not large but it played an instrumental part in the creation of the modern Romanian state. By maintaining a presence on the shores of the Black Sea as well as patrolling and policing the Danube River, a strategic and economically important European waterway, it maintained the sovereignty and independence of the state. More…
Apparently Romania is faced with a stark choice in terms of its foreign and security policies since it has joined the EU: should it continue with a foreign policy that emphasizes a strong atlanticist commitment or should it take a 180 degree turn towards a foreign policy oriented towards the EU?
I will argue that making such a choice now is senseless and that the Romanian government should develop a foreign policy that will emphasize both its strong NATO commitment (especially cultivating a strong relationship with the United States) as well as trying to better coordinate its foreign policy with EU member countries under the framework of the ESDP.