Understanding Russia’s security strategy in a context of power
This chapter looks at the role of power in Russia’s foreign policy and security strategy. It explores Russia’s current security strategy against the background of its relative power position. As a successor state to the Soviet Union, Russia was facing in the early 1990s a dramatic loss of power. In the bipolar system of the Cold War, the Soviet Union was a superpower, leader of one of the world’s two dominant military and economic blocs. Economically, the Russian economy is about the same size as the economies of the Benelux countries combined. Energy has often been regarded as a major source of Russian power. Institutional power results from the uneven effects generated by certain institutional arrangements or the capacity to set rules and norms. These arrangements may not be aimed at direct control, but the costs and the benefits will be distributed unevenly over different countries.