Boris Yeltsin's Russia: Between Reform and Realpolitik

By Shuja, Sharif M. | Contemporary Review, March 1999 | Go to article overview

Boris Yeltsin's Russia: Between Reform and Realpolitik


Shuja, Sharif M., Contemporary Review


Since the establishment of the Russian Federation in 1991, Boris Yeltsin's Russia has been struggling to democratise its social and political life and capitalist economy, while coming to terms with its own past. President Boris Yeltsin's Russia has been regarded internationally in some respects as the heir of the Soviet Union. For example, it assumed without question the Soviet permanent seat on the UN Security Council. And, like the Soviet Union before it, the new Russia still aspires to be recognised as a global power alongside the United States of America. In this respect Russia still has a nuclear arsenal of superpower dimensions and its military industries can still produce advanced weapons systems.

If Russia has ceased to be a power of major regional significance, it still exercises residual importance by reason of geography in Northeast Asia. Moreover, it could affect immediate arms balances through sales of advanced weapons systems and affect diplomacy in the region. Some Russians, including the Communist leader Gennadi Zyuganov, may think that it is a question of time before Russia would recover from its domestic turmoil and would regain the status of a global power, not just a regional power as the West maintains. Thus there remains, arguably, a gap in perception between the Russians themselves and Western commentators.

Moscow under Boris Yeltsin's leadership recognises the importance of continuing political and economic relations with South Korea, China and Japan and adheres to the principle of a nuclear-free zone in Korea. Improvement in Russian-South Korean (ROK) relations continued especially after Boris Yeitsin's November 1992 visit to Seoul and the initialling of a new treaty on basic relations. Russia is committed to a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons, as reflected in its 1993 military doctrine. As a result, Russian-South Korean trade has continued to expand steadily, from $1.2 billion in 1992 to $1.57 billion in 1993 and $2.2 billion in 1994. In 1995 trade soared to a record of $3.3 billion, with Russia recording a $447 million surplus.

Russia, like China, is committed to a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons, and is interested in limiting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, as noted earlier. Much of the population of Primorskii is concentrated within a few hundred kilometres of the Russian - North Korean (DPRK) border. Any use of nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula would contaminate significant areas of the Russian Far East. In addition, any serious conflict - nuclear or conventional - could produce a stream of refugees across Russia's borders and it could exacerbate differences between Moscow and Beijing over how to resolve the crisis, and thus could jeopardise Russia's amicable ties with East Asia's dominant power.

Moscow's foreign policy establishment, therefore, is in agreement on the need to prevent North Korea from developing or utilising nuclear weapons. For example, the Yeltsin government had made clear its opposition to North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons. On this nuclear issue, Russia for the most part has co-operated with the United States and South Korea, because the presence of nuclear weapons on the peninsula threatens the Russian Far East.

Although Moscow, in recent years, appears to have wished to make its policies in the East more dynamic, its initiatives generally did not evoke a strong response in the region, mainly because the Russian initiatives and interests were perceived by the region as being directed more towards the USA and the West, rather than towards Asia.

Forced by the bitter realities of its declining international weight, and with growing domestic dissatisfaction over the results of its economic policies, Moscow declared in late 1993 its intention to correct the pro-US and pro-European tilt in its foreign policy and launched a more active diplomacy in Asia. President Boris Yeitsin visited South Korea and Japan, and met in Moscow with the leaders of China and India. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Boris Yeltsin's Russia: Between Reform and Realpolitik
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.