This book offers a nuanced and detailed examination of Russia’s international activity. In broad terms, the book contributes to two of the most important current debates about contemporary Russian actions: whether Moscow is acting strategically or opportunistically, and whether this should be understood in regional or global terms. The book goes against the majority opinions on both questions, and introduces contributions in a number of under-researched themes. It argues that Moscow is not acting in a simply ad hoc, reactive way, but in a consistently strategic manner, and that this is best understood not by analysing Russia’s return to specific regions, but in a more holistic way with a global horizon, linking activity across different regions. This means that the Russian challenge is likely to continue rather than fade away. The book addresses core themes of Russian activity – military, energy, and economic. But it offers an unusual multi-disciplinary analysis to these themes, incorporating both regional and thematic specialist expertise. Underpinned by detailed analyses of the revolution in Russian geospatial capabilities and the establishment of a strategic planning foundation, the book includes chapters on military and maritime strategies, energy security, and economic diversification and influence. This serves to highlight the connections between military and economic interests that shape and drive Russian strategy.
The book examines the re-emergence of Russia as a sea power. After years of post-Soviet decline, Moscow has invested substantial resources in establishing Russia as a ‘leading seafaring nation’ of the twenty-first century. The book examines the plans, priorities, and problems in this strategy and why this is important for the West. It describes the historical underpinnings of Russia’s sea power, and then examines both contemporary naval strategy and the economic and industrial underpinnings of the “maritime turn” in Russian strategy.