chapter  16
Putin's Foreign Policy: Transforming 'the East'
ByRichard Sakwa
Pages 21

The debate over Russian foreign policy in the 1990s tended to focus on a single stark polarity: Atlanticism versus Eurasianism. This in turn was a debate over the attitude towards and meaning of 'West' and 'East'. The West was susceptible to a number of geographical and ideological interpretations: geographically, there was a tension between the American and the European versions; while the ideological ambiguity of the West was reflected above all in the tension between perceptions of the West as a military (primarily NATO) identity or as a zone of capitalist prosperity.