Russia Foreign and Security Policy under Yeltsin

In terms of foreign policy, Russia appeared with the claim of a regulatory power in the “near abroad” and also revealed great power political ambitions (based on the earlier world power role of the USSR). In December 1991, the members of the CIS gave Russia the seat of the former Soviet Union in the UN and its Security Council. Russia’s attempt to establish itself as a leader in the CIS met with resistance from Ukraine, which led to a dispute over the Black Sea Fleet and Crimea; it was not until the end of May 1997 that Russia and Ukraine concluded a basic treaty. Since the reintegration process sought by Russia for large parts of the former Union territory within the framework of the CIS fell short of Russian expectations, Russia tried through treaties, to reorganize its relations with these countries, especially in the field of economic and military policy, with individual or groups of successor states of the Soviet Union. On March 29, 1996, Russia and Belarus agreed with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to found a »Community of Integrated States«. On April 2, 1996, Russia and Belarus founded a “Community of Sovereign Republics” with the goal of creating a “common union state”, which is not undisputed in both countries (union treaties were signed on April 2, 1997 and December 8, 1999). 1996 Russia and Belarus with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan found a »Community of Integrated States«. On April 2, 1996, Russia and Belarus founded a “Community of Sovereign Republics” with the goal of creating a “common union state”, which is not undisputed in both countries (union treaties were signed on April 2, 1997 and December 8, 1999). 1996 Russia and Belarus with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan found a »Community of Integrated States«. On April 2, 1996, Russia and Belarus founded a “Community of Sovereign Republics” with the goal of creating a “common union state”, which is not undisputed in both countries (union treaties were signed on April 2, 1997 and December 8, 1999).

Tensions with the three Baltic republics arose because of the hesitant withdrawal of the Russian troops stationed there and because of the naturalization and immigration laws and electoral laws that were passed especially in Estonia and Latvia, which were associated with restrictions for the Russian population living there. The Russian troops stationed in various republics of the CIS were partly involved in military conflicts in these states (e.g. in the Tajik-Afghan border fighting that broke out temporarily in 1993).

In 1993 Russia approached Japan on a state visit to Yeltsin; At a further meeting in November 1997, the intention to conclude a Russo-Japanese peace treaty by the year 2000 was emphasized, even though no agreement could be reached in the conflict over the Kuril Islands, which was a burden on relations between the two states, even in talks in April 1998 (renewed Russian rejection of the return of four islands requested by Japan). In global relations, Russia put that under Gorbachev continued well-founded cooperation with the western states, especially in the areas of disarmament and international crisis management (signing of the Treaty on the Reduction of Strategic Nuclear Weapons, START II, ​​1993; signing of the C-Arms Convention 1997), but increasingly emphasized this his special interests. 1993 took Yeltsin for the first time as a guest, in 1997 for the first time as a politically equal partner at the world economic summit of the leading industrialized countries (G 7). In June 1994 he signed a partnership and cooperation agreement with the EU. With the withdrawal of the last Russian troops from Germany on August 31, 1994, an almost 50-year era of Russian military presence ended. In 1996 Russia became a member of the Council of Europe. In June 1994 it joined NATO’s “Partnership for Peace” program, but was unable to enforce a special status. With the support of the Russian public, the government turned increasingly against the eastward expansion of NATO, but in July 1997 put Russia’s relations with NATO on a contractual basis with a “founding act”. In May of the same year, however, Russia had also adopted a new security doctrine which (after the USSR unilaterally renounced the first use of nuclear weapons in 1982) again provided for the possibility of a first nuclear strike. Against the background of NATO’s eastward expansion in Europe, Russia intensified its relations with the People’s Republic of China (including the 1993 agreement on military cooperation, 1997 signing of a declaration on the demarcation of the Russian-Chinese border, 1999 during a state visit Yeltsin in Beijing further agreements, in July 2008 signing of an agreement defining the definitive course of the border). In the Kosovo conflict, in which Russia initially took the position that it was an internal matter for Serbia, after the start of NATO military action against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in March 1999, it tried to mediate the conflict (Chernomyrdin’s work as special envoy). After Yugoslavia adopted the international peace plan (June 1999) and the differences between Russia and NATO (July 1999) were resolved, Russian units also took part in the international peacekeeping force (KFOR).

Russia Foreign and Security Policy under Yeltsin