Russia's Security Policy since Putin's Munich Speech at the 2007 Munich Security Conference
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On February 10, 2007, at the Munich Conference on Security Policy, Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered the speech to attack the United States. He blamed it for fanning conflicts across the world through the unilateral hyper use of military force. He said America was trying to impose its standards on other nations, stimulating new arms races and the spread of nuclear weapons, and threatening Russia through new missile shield programmes.
Russia and the US started to criticize each other, which reminds us of Cold War days. Today Russia has again become self-assertive. Will this mutual criticism lead to a crucial conflict between both countries and change into so called "New Cold War"?
First, in this paper I consider why and how Russia criticizes US unilateralism for undermining global security from the view point of Russia's mounting anger and frustration at the West's failure to adequately address its concerns, especially its concerns with U.S. plans to deploy missile defense components on East European countries, namely former Soviet block countries.
Second, this paper points out that the mutual criticism between the US and Russia reminding us of Cold War days will not change into New Cold War, analyzing such factors to prove that New Cold War will not break out as follows: (1) weakness of Russian economy that largely depends on benefiting from high oil and gas prices, (2) Russian people's new lifestyle in mass-consumption society, (3) Russian economy deeply built into world one.
In conclusion, this paper shows that Russia may look rebellious against the US, but first, it is from Russia's mounting anger and frustration at the West's failure to adequately address its concerns, with the West's supports for groups that have toppled Georgian and Ukrainian governments in Moscow's former sphere of influence, the NATO expansion into the Baltic and East European countries, and U.S. plans to deploy missile defense components on Poland and the Czech Republic, and second, it is for keeping their internal political regime, namely Putin regime and after-Putin one. Russia today is built into the world economy and it would withdraw if the confrontation with the US became crucial. Therefore bipolar system like the U.S.-Soviet bipolar one will not revive even if the Russian national power will be stronger. Russia will stay at the position of one of the players in the multipolar system.
Copyright (c) 2007 Institute for Peace Science, Hiroshima University