The collapse of the United Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) led to the formation of a new democratic state. The Russian federation has had three different presidents since its formation and the ratification of its constitution in 1993. The Russian president’s role in the creation of foreign and domestic policies lies within the Russian constitution (Federation, 2013). However, not all presidents have addressed issues in the same manner. The first Russian president, Boris Yeltsin, was unsuccessful at fixing the broken Russian economy and uniting its government to establish a strong foreign policy.
Yeltsin’s failure to lead the biggest country on the planet led to his resignation in 1999. His resignation allowed the Russian prime minister of the time to take power of the Russian Federation. His name is Vladimir Putin. This article will discuss some of Vladimir Putin’s approaches on international security issues that concern the international community (Stoner-WeissReviewed, 2008). Many domestic and foreign issues have tested Putin’s control of Russia and its people.
Vladmir Putin Essay Example
Yet, he has been able to boost the Russian economy and improve the Russian way of life in the last decade. He has shown a realist perspective on his foreign and domestic policy. Also, Putin has created a new style of government, an authoritarian government that hides behind a democratic infrastructure. Vladimir Putin has taken control over the media and used it to his advantage to ensure his position of power (Shevtsova, 2008; Stoner-WeissReviewed, 2008). He has remained popular with the Russian people and is currently serving his third non-consecutive presidential term.
In addition this article will describe Vladimir Putin’s approach to terrorism in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on US soil by Islamic Radicals affiliated with Al Qaeda. Putin used the United States “war on terror” to his own advantage in order to use full force on Chechen rebels within Russian Federation borders (Cornell, 2003). This issue raised international concerns about human right violations by the Russian government. Another issue that is of priority to Vladimir Putin is the Iranian nuclear program and the international communities concern about Iran pursuing nuclear weapons.
Russia has a historic alliance with Iran, and the West’s pressure on the issue may cause changes in the relations between Russia and Iran (Freedman R. 0. , 2001; Freedman R. O. , 2006). The President of the Russian Federation The Russian president is the head of the Russian state and is in charge of creating or approving domestic and foreign policies. The policies must focus on the protection of the Russian homeland and citizens from potential threats which can originate from within or outside the Russian borders. It is also the President’s responsibility to ensure protection of Russian interests abroad.
The Russian president must choose allies wisely and develop strategic alliances in areas of interest to maintain security (Federation, 2013). The president has the power to sign treaties with other nations to strengthen alliances and improve Russian influence abroad. As the supreme commander in chief of the Russian military the president has complete control of the military and can utilize it to ensure protection of the Russian state and Russian interest. Russia has had several revolutions and changes in governments.
The current role of the Russian president in domestic and international affairs has been enforced since the ratification of the Russian Federation’s constitution in 1993 (Federation, 2013). Russia has had a total of three democratically elected presidents since the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The first elected Russian president was Boris Yeltsin. He served from 1991 to 1999.
Yeltsin was the first president after the collapse of the USSR and was left with a number of issues regarding foreign policy and the former soviet republics that border Russia. In addition he had to deal with economic turmoil due to the fall of the USSR. Yeltsin pushed for a private market in order to restore Russia’s economy. However, Yeltsin was unsuccessful at dealing with domestic and foreign affairs which led to his resignation in 1999 (Shevtsova, 2008; Freedman R. 0. , 2001). Boris Yeltsin’s resignation allowed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to step to power and to take control of the struggling Russian Federation. Vladimir Putin became the president of the Russian federation after the resignation of Yeltsin. Putin was successful at boosting the Russian economy and making Russia one of the top ten economies in the world.
His push for energy security and state control of natural resources such as oil and natural gas made Russia a superpower in energy creation in the area. Putin’s success led to his popularity sky rocketing throughout Russia therefore, winning the presidential elections in 2001 and again in 2004. Vladimir Putin was president of Russia from 2000 to 2008. Since he couldn’t run for office for three consecutive terms due to restrictions in the Russian constitution he selected Dmitri Medvedev as his successor. Medvedev won the 2008 presidential elections by a landslide and became the president of Russia.
He appointed Vladimir Putin as the Prime Minister of Russia (Stoner-WeissReviewed, 2008; Shevtsova, 2008). Medvedev’s political agenda was almost identical to what former President Putin had pursued. Putin still had strong control in policy dealing with foreign affairs and domestic disputes. Medvedev pushed Putin’s agenda and the country had little change in politics during his presidency. Dmitri Medvedev was president from 2008 to 2012. Vladimir Putin won the presidential elections in 2012 and once again became the president of the Russian Federation.
He appointed Dmitri Medvedev as his prime minister (Stoner-WeissReviewed, 2008). Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin was born October 7, 1952 in Leningrad after the collapse of the USSR the city regained its former name of St. Petersburg. Putin attended Leningrad State University and graduated with a PhD from the Law department. After graduation he joined a security agency called the KGB (Taffa, 2012). He was part of the KGB until 1991 and later obtained a political position in his hometown of St. Petersburg. It was not until 1996 that he moved to Moscow and obtained a political position there (Shevtsova, 2008).
In 1999 he was appointed prime minister by President Boris Yeltsin and later became the president of the Russian Federation due to Yeltsin’s resignation (Taffa, 2012). Putin’s approach to domestic and foreign issues and his ability to handle situations promptly raised his popularity among the Russian people. He was able to use his popularity and power to take over private energy companies as well as the media. Controlling the media has allowed him to remain in control by facilitating the election of those who pursue similar goals.
He has been able to keep his influence through Dmitri Medvedev by making him his successor in the 2008 elections (Stoner-WeissReviewed, 2008; Shevtsova, 2008). Putin has a strong influence in Russian policy and has maintained power since he first came to office in 2000. He has been able to establish an almost single party system which he able to hide as a democracy. He has increased Russian economic power with the export of overpriced oil and natural gas exports to his neighbors. As the economy grew and the Russian living improved Putin became more popular and was able to strip citizens from their freedoms in order to keep control of Russia.
Vladimir Putin has focused Russian government on security, stability and power (Shevtsova, 2008; Galeotti, 2012). Putin has an authoritarian approach in decision making and policy making. This authoritarian approach sways his policy decisions in the direction of realism (Cornell, 2003). He has created a government with zero tolerance to anyone or any state that directly interferes with Russian state interest. He has worked on regaining the control of the former soviet republics along its borders. He has also proved that he is not afraid to use force in order to maintain control within boundaries of the federation.
His reaction in the conflict in Chechnya was one of the first actions that showed his realist approach to anyone who opposed Russian state interest. Putin has also shown his strive for dominance in the region by trying to keep strong military presence and intimidation in former soviet republics (Cornell, 2003; Galeotti, 2012). He has also tried to form alliances with nations who oppose Western influence in order to fight off the west from Russian borders and areas of economic interest. He has opposed the United States and the West’s influence in those areas and will try to strengthen Russian influence abroad.
However, he has been struggling with keeping a strong alliance with Iran and Syria due to international pressure (Trenin, 2006). Despite the fact of US influence and UN actions Russia has been able to keep the United States from intervening in the Iranian nuclear program. Putin has also tried to strengthen ties with Turkey in order to maintain influence in the area and to keep the West from completely taking over the Middle East. Putin’s realistic approaches in international issues have made him a key actor in international security (John O’Loughlin, 2004).
Putin and the War on Terror The terror attacks on the world trade centers and the pentagon on September 11, 2001 reformed security policy around the globe. The attack on United States’ civilians on American soil created a new international security issue. The problem of terrorist insurgencies and their terrorist tactics targeting civilians had clearly become an issue to any sovereign state. A new international enemy had been discovered and many states agreed to cooperate in the “war on terror” initiated by United States’ President George W.
Bush. However, Russia had been dealing with terrorism from Chechnya rebels ever since the mid1990’s and once again in the early 2000’s during Putin’s presidency. President Vladimir Putin aided the United States’ war on terror in Afghanistan by allowing American planes to fly over Russian airspace to deliver supplies to the troops in Afghanistan (John O’Loughlin, 2004; Kramer, 2005). President Putin responded to the Chechen rebels by using heavy military action. He sent in the military and began a counterinsurgency campaign.
Some of Putin’s political rivals called for negotiation with the Chechen rebels but he made it clear by implying that he would exterminate the terrorist bandits (Cornell, 2003; Kramer, 2005). This proposition was supported by most of the Russian people and Putin engaged the Chechen rebels with full force. The rebels who terrorize Russia are Islamic extremist that fight for independence from the Russian Federation. Vladimir Putin’s response has been harsh and steady. However, the Russian military has suffered many casualties due to the rebel’s guerrilla and terrorist tactics which have been successful in attacking and killing Russian soldiers.
Also Chechen rebels have targeted Russian civilians deep within the Russian territory. Suicide bombings of the Moscow subway showed the aggression of the Chechen rebels towards the Russian “infidels” (Kramer, 2005). There have been other incidents that Putin wasn’t able to resolve. For example the Dubroka theatre hostage situation and the Beslan school siege by Chechen Rebels, both incidents ended in a huge loss for the Russians and many innocent citizens were killed by the rebels (Kramer, 2005). Vladimir Putin did not agree to any diplomatic solution to the crisis instead he pushed for harsher retaliation by Russian forces.
He also stated that he will destroy any terrorist bases around the world. Some humanitarian concerns have been brought to attention to the UN about Vladimir Putin’s policy towards the Chechnya people and his counterinsurgency campaigns in the region (Kramer, 2005). Western Intelligence had shown ties between the Chechen rebels and Al Qaeda. Making it a serious issue for Vladimir Putin since the rebels where obtaining aid from outside Russian control. One of Moscow’s concerns is the Chechnya rebels fleeing into Georgian territory and operating within Georgian borders (Kramer, 2005; Cornell, 2003).
The relationship between Russia and Georgia has been shaky after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Armed conflict took place between the two in 2008 during Dmitri Medvedev’s presidency. It all began with the invasion of South Ossetia by the Georgian military. The South Ossetia region belongs to Georgia but they claim citizenship to Russia since the majority of people residing in the area are Russian (Shevtsova, 2008; Stoner-WeissReviewed, 2008). When the invasion of South Ossetia took place Prime Minister of the time Vladimir Putin was in Beijing. He flew back to Moscow to discuss the issue with President Medvedev.
The Russians responded with military force on Georgian forces and were able to push the Georgian troops out of South Ossetia. Russia then began shelling the Georgian mainland which drew negative attention from the international community. Even though the military action took place under Dmitri Medvedev’s presidency it was obvious that Prime Minister Putin still had strong influence in Russia’s decisions and actions against Georgian forces. Medvedev addressed retaliation on Georgia as a humanitarian crisis in which the Russian government was obligated to intervene to protect Russian citizens residing in South Ossetia (Galeotti, 2012).
Putin and Iran Relations The Iranians and Russians have a long history of partnership and alliance. Russia’s alliance with Iran has mostly been for economic gain through the sale of Russian military weapons to Iran and also a strategic alliance to keep Russian presence in the Middle East. Lately the main issue has been the Iranian nuclear program. It has been condemned by the United States and others in the international community (Freedman R. 0. , 2001; NIZAMEDDIN, 2008). Some believe that Iran is planning to use nuclear reactors for dual purpose in order to manufacture nuclear weapons.
Russia has always benefited from selling Iran weapons and military vehicles. However, Russia also benefits economically from the sale of nuclear reactors abroad. The Bushehr Nuclear reactor was being built by the Russians in Iran. However, the Iranian leaders and Russian leader Vladimir Putin stated that it was being built for peaceful energy creation purposes only. Putin’s policy towards Iran and its nuclear program were frowned upon by the UN and Western Powers (Freedman R. O. , 2006). However, Putin does not want Iran to have a nuclear weapon.
A nuclear armed Iran could be dangerous in the area especially if Russo-Iran relations turn hostile. Russia has agreed to deal with Iran’s nuclear program and watch over and persuade Iran to cooperate with International Atomic Energy Agency policies (IAEA). Russia Also signed a treaty agreeing to dispose of Iranian nuclear waste so that it cannot be turned to weapon material (CUMMINGS, 2001; NIZAMEDDIN, 2008). However, the Iranian regime has not cooperated forcing Putin to deal with international pressure regarding their aid in the Iranian nuclear program.
Putin must keep strong ties with his strongest ally in the Middle East but at the same time he must deal with pressure from the UN and NATO. Conclusion Vladimir Putin’s responses to international issues have clearly showed his political agenda doesn’t match up with Washington’s and that he does not want the West’s influence near Russian borders. NATO’s influence in former soviet republics has pushed Putin to strengthen alliances with states that oppose western influence in the area in order to weaken US and the West’s control (Trenin, 2006).
He has boosted the Russian economy and is leading Russia to regain its former super power status. Vladimir Putin has opposed the United States on many issues regarding the Middle East, especially regarding the Iranian nuclear program and the West’s sanctions on Iran. The Middle East has once again become a conflict for US-Russian relations. Both seek the resources that lie in the Middle Eastern states and Russia is in no position to back down (Shevtsova, 2008). Russia has shown its aggression and military strength on his neighbor ,Georgia, in 2008.
The invasion of the South Ossetia region by Georgian troops sparked the mobilization of Russian forces into Georgia. Expelling Georgian troops out of the South Ossetia region showed to be a priority in President Dmitry Medvedev‘s agenda. The justification for the Russian intervention was humanitarian issues in the South Ossetia region of Georgia regarding Russian citizens who resided in the disputed area. Russia’s actions towards the Georgians were frowned upon by the international community. However, Putin has made it clear that he is seeking power and control with or without approval from the west