Russia's non-military foreign policy instruments in its 'near abroad' in the Polish expert discourse

The article deals with Russia`s non-military foreign policy instruments in its ‘near abroad’, with a focus on the soft power policies, as seen by the Polish experts. Their view is of particular interest given Poland`s active part in the EU policies towards eastern neighbours, its historically embedded perception of a danger from the east and a trend of the Russian-Polish rapprochement in the recent years.

The author argues that Russia was seen as a significant hard power inclined to dominate its neighbours through different foreign policy tools, including soft power instruments. At the same time one might see more room for cooperation between Poland and Russia, especially visible from late 2011 to autumn of 2013.

Author: Victoria Vasilenko is Assistant Professor of Contemporary History and International Area Studies at Belgorod National Research University, Russia. Her research interests include contemporary Russian-Polish relations, and the Polish question in World War II. Her most recent publication is: “The Polish-Czechoslovak Confederation Project in British Policy, 1939-1943: A Federalist Alternative to Postwar Settlement in East Central Europe?” in Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d’histoire 49, autumn/automne, 2014, pp. 203-223. Victoria Vasilenko was visiting researcher at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI) during spring 2014.

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