The domestic and foreign policy nexus
This chapter expresses that the interlink between domestic and foreign policy is crucial to the understanding of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Foreign and security policy serves as a key source for the domestic legitimisation of the regime. According to a key economic advisor of the government, the aim of the Ministry of Economy is to make Russia less dependent on foreign investment and on the price of oil and gas, because this dependence limits economic sovereignty. Russia’s foreign and security policy is strongly interest oriented, tactically and strategically, and it can react quickly to crises and challenges with short decision-making processes and without being encumbered by a critical public. Fighting terrorism and protecting the state against the West are simultaneously the top priority of the regime and are instrumentalised to distract the public’s attention from failures of domestic policy.