Projecting soft power in the Western Balkans

Selim Ibraimi -(CSSD)

The Other Challenges of Undemocratic Russia

Russia’s regional and global geopolitical influence is based primarily on the export of good energy resources, putting high technology on its military forces, and sometime contra verse.

But as result of Russia’s own national interests, country, in recent years has gone in cycles of extremes of authoritarian mobilization and through chaotic civil society and economic prosperity. In global scale,  other world geopolitical players the US and UK, for almost a half century, have described the Russian self-perception, as a state that refuses to be treated by international actors as a defeated nation and also as a second or third rate in international political system.

In addition to all these facts,russian policy makers rejects the fact which the Western world the democratic governments, prevailed over the ex- USSR red ideology and this big victory, gives the US and other Western states the right and power to continue with unilateral military measures such as NATO and EU enlargement in former Soviet Republics and the Balkans.

However, in consequence, in many cases, the foreign policy of Russia has demanded  an equal treatment as strong partner in international affairs.In recent years Russia is looking for new expansion of the energy power in regional and global scale, with a possibility of projecting geopolitical power especially in Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia and the Balkans.

From this point we can say that the post communist democratic development has been very painfuland very slow in some countries of Eastern and Southern Europe, but more so than in Russia itself (Politkovskaya, 2004).

When the red socialist economy collapsed in the 1990’s, many analysts and Western leaders considered,that the new political and social reforms on a way, would help Russia and new formed government to get better during the process of the transition and political democratizations. But as a case in post – Cold war era, this didn’t happen as many EU States and friends of Russia wanted to be.

The new political leadership in the Kremlin with the old policies of Lenin and Stalin thought that the Russian nation can be reborn again in new century and possibly changes, the course of history (Dimitri, 2009).

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NOTE: The intro of this geopolitical monograph is written in 2010, 4 years before Russia to invade Crimea and play with tools of soft diplomacy and propaganda in Western Balkans.

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