عنوان مقاله [English]
One of the most important goals of Russian foreign policy during Putin’s presidency has been his attempt to revive and return to the superpower status of the Soviet Union era. Therefore Putin as the president of Russia has resorted to actions in foreign policy that have shown an attempt to increase the country’s power and his willingness to represent Russia as hegemony in international relations. So, in this paper in order to understand Russian behavior in the field of foreign policy during Putin’s presidency from 2012 to 2018 which is based on the theoretical framework of Mersheimer regarding the behaviors of great powers, we will examine and implement Putin’s foreign policy on the basis of Mersheimer’s indicators. The most important of these indicators are the strategy of war, alliance and coalition buildings, blackmailing, bloodletting, buck-passing and attempt to expand its hegemony in the region. Playing the role of External balance in other regions or attempts at regional hegemony, as well as increasing internal power, are other aspects of Russia’s attempt to restore its previous role in the region.
According to Mersheimer, the anarchic structure of the international system creates a permanent security competition among great powers, so they are forced to adopt offensive behavior in order to maintain their survival. Since access to power is a prerequisite for their survival and security, governments consider using military tools to maximize their powers as a natural and justifiable phenomenon. That’s why in international relations no power supports the current status quo but existing hegemony is determined to protect its upper level in comparison to its competitors. In this regard, if dissatisfied powers of the existing situation in international system come to this conclusion that the balance of power can be realized at a reasonable cost in this way, they will use force. Merschimmer believes that all states are influenced by this logic and Russia is no exception to this rule.
At first, this study shows that Russia follows a local hegemonic supremacy by controlling and solving local critical issues such as Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh crises. By utilizing the strategy of war and annexation of Crimea, pursuing blackmail strategy and supporting East-Ukrainian separatists against Ukrainian government, as well as using bloodletting strategy with regard to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, it has sought to consolidate its position in the region. In the next step, Russia tries to develop its influence in other zones to change the current status quo and dictate its policy. The obvious example of this can be seen in Russia’s foreign policy behavior toward the West Asian region particularly in relation to the Syrian crisis. Russia’s active presence in Syria has shown that the country along with its attention to the outside world has defined its long-term political, economic, security and geopolitical interests in the Middle East. Other steps in which the country has adopted are confronting Western bloc in the region to secure its interests and rebuild its weakened position. In this way, initially Russia sought to preserve and safeguard the survival of Bashar al-Assad regime by taking advantage of unity and coalition strategy and buck-Passing the shortcomings to its allies.
The next step was increasing its presence in Syria and as a result of this, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, it entered into the Syrian conflict directly. This was a clever imitation of pre-emptive war doctrine of the United States in (2001). Russia has been able to use the strategy of warfare calculation not only to reduce the United States options by direct military presence in Syria but also makes it harder to create a no-fly zone and prevent further advancement of terrorist groups in the country. It has also developed the Tartus and Latakia military sites in order to increase its military presence in this important region.
The findings of this research have also highlighted the issue that Russia is a dissatisfied player, so it tries to revive its previous position in international system. The United States has sought to achieve equal footings with Russia in the region by increasing its military presence (as an internal balance). In this way, Russia uses all its capacities including military and economic means to show its strengths. In the context of boosting economic power, Kremlin has been trying to save Russia from the economic crisis that has plagued the country by adopting economic reforms and anti-sanction measures against Europe and the United States. Since a significant part of the Russian economy relies on energy resources, the country has been trying to take advantage of its hegemony in the field of oil and natural gas (hydrocarbon resources) and control energy corridors as a mean to advance its political and economic interests. Among other things, in order to increase its economic strength, efforts have been made to exploit the capacities of economic organizations, such as global trade and economic integration within the Eurasian Union.
According to the national security strategy documents in Russia it is essential for this country to strengthen its military capability. In this way, the country has been strengthening and boosting its ground forces, air Force and its navy. In terms of nuclear power, it is worth noting that the country not only has nuclear capability but also a superior capacity as a means of deterrence and credibility for its foreign policy.
This paper is a descriptive-analytic study based on adaptation of the theory of the case and the methods of collecting information are based on virtual resources and citation data.