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Russian & Eurasian Studies

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RES 241 Russia and the West

Russia covers one eighth of the world's land surface (the USSR used to cover approximately one sixth) and covers 9 time zones (it used to be 11 time zones until March 2010). Its borders touch the Arctic Ocean in the North, the Pacific and Baltic Seas in the West and East, and China and the Central Asian states to the South and East. These borders bring it into contact with more countries in the world than any other state. However, since Peter the Great, Russia's biggest strategic problem and cultural quandry has been the West, by which I mean Europe and North America. What is Russia's relationship with Western countries? Should it fear them or embrace them? Is Russia part of Europe or does its culture reflect a mix of Asian and European influences. What do Russians mean when they talk about Russia as a "Eurasian" state? These are the questions that have nagged Russian intellectuals and confront Russian policymakers. Where does Russia belong and what does that imply for Russia's future?

 

 

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Copyright © 2011 Mount Holyoke College. This page created by Julia Berazneva and maintained by Stephen F. Jones. Last modified on September 8, 2011.