Rival Power Russia in Southeast Europe Dimitar Bechev

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
22 Aug 2017
ISBN:
9780300219135
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
320 pages: 210 x 140mm
Illustrations:
6 maps + 11 figs

A nuanced and comprehensive study of the political dynamics between Russia and key countries in Southeast Europe

Is Russia threatening to disrupt more than two decades’ of E.U. and U.S. efforts to promote stability in post-communist Southeast Europe? Politicians and commentators in the West say, “yes.” With rising global anxiety over Russia’s political policies and objectives, Dimitar Bechev provides the only in-depth look at this volatile region.
 
Deftly unpacking the nature and extent of Russian influence in the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey, Bechev argues that both sides are driven by pragmatism and opportunism rather than historical loyalties. Russia is seeking to assert its role in Europe’s security architecture, establish alternative routes for its gas exports—including the contested Southern Gas Corridor—and score points against the West. Yet, leaders in these areas are allowing Russia to reinsert itself to serve their own goals. This urgently needed guide analyzes the responses of regional NATO members, particularly regarding the annexation of Crimea and the Putin-Erdogan rift over Syria.

Dimitar Bechev is a research fellow at the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

“A sophisticated and cool-headed corrective to the crude image of Russian foreign policy favored by much of the Western press.”—Foreign Affairs


"Masterly and meticulous. . . Bechev's nuanced and detailed account unpacks some misleading stereotypes."—Edward Lucas, CEPA