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Abstract


An Analysis of the Post 2000 ‘Wider Black Sea’ Policy of Russia Through a Defensive Realist Perspective
Russia as an independent state after the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, had been busy with its own multidimensional domestic problems and restructuring of the state for about ten years. In the new period that started with Putin's presidency in 2000, its foreign policy has begun to draw attention. The Russian military intervention in Georgia in 2008, the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the subsequent developments have increased the academic discussions on Russia's foreign policy. While the dominant point of view in the debates, especially in the West, argues that Russia is a revisionist state seeking to return to its great power status, trying to maximize its power and becoming a regional hegemon in the Wider Black Sea, another approach argues that Russia essentially tends to seek sufficient power due to the perceived security threats to its very survival from the West, especially from the USA and NATO, and that it tries to maintain the status quo in its immediate surroundings. In terms of international relations theories explaining the foreign policy behaviors of states, the first group overlaps with the assumptions of offensive realism and the second group with defensive realism. In this article, Russian foreign policy towards the Wider Black Sea is analyzed using a defensive realist framework.

Keywords
Russia, Wider Black Sea, Defensive Realism, Offensive Realism, Foreign Policy


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