Published: Stratfor, Geopolitical Weekly; May 8, 2012
Level of Difficulty: **** (Due to subject matter; the questions themselves, with the exception of the summaries, are easier)
Location: It is suggested you Google the title along with the word Stratfor or the writer’s name to access the article. If you are a subscriber, go straight to http://www.stratfor.com
1. Why will Putin have to adjust Russia’s approach in Europe?
Read: Putin’s Plans for Russia and Beyond
2. When he first came to power, Putin’s strategy entailed……………………………………… Achieving this was very difficult because………………………………………………………………………………………………..
3. Read the information in paragraph three carefully. What was the ultimate result of the policies described?
4. What does “this tactic” refer to in the phrase “it could not use this tactic everywhere in its periphery”?
5. What foreign policy tool, other than the military, does Putin share with Czarist Russia?
6. What is the essence of Putin’s method of forming partnerships with countries he considers important?
Before moving on, attempt a brief summary of this section
Read: Putin’s Personal Approach
7. Closer relations with Russia suited Germany because ……………………………………………………………..
8. Provide on example of Chancellor Schroeder’s service to Russia on the international front.
9. What conclusion can be drawn from the information concerning Gazprom?
10. Why exactly did France respond to Putin’s overtures?
11. Give one example of a service Chirac provided for Putin’s Russia.
12. What advantages did Russia gain thanks to Putin’s friendship with Berlusconi?
13. Give one example of the advantages Russia gained thanks to Prime Minister Putin’s continued friendship with France, Italy and Germany.
Before moving on, attempt a brief summary of this section.
Read: Changes Across Europe
14. Why is Europe not currently concerned with Russia?
15. What conclusion can be drawn from the information in the second paragraph in this section?
16. Read the story of the US ballistic defense plans. How is the reaction of the current Italian government different from what it would have been in the past?
17. What does “this” refer to in the phrase “this strategy has been cut back”?
18. What is Russia’s main objective according to the text? Why are personal relations not the best way to achieve those objectives?
KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This concise yet superb account of Putin’s strategy should closely follow Russia’s Strategy – also on this blog – to complete the picture. I plan to spend one morning on both texts. The brief summary exercises should be checked orally. It should be noted that these summary exercises are harder than the questions but they should be done as they provide such vital practice of an important cognitive skill.
1. Because an anti-incumbent trend is developing in Europe.
2. Stability and security; Russia is the world’s largest and also internally diverse country and is surrounded by potentially hostile powers.
3. Russia was strong and steady.
4. The first tactic or mobilizing Russia’s military to push out foreign influence.
5. Creating alliances of convenience.
6. Building personal relations.
7. Russia is the world’s largest energy producer and exporter and also a place for potential heavy investment.
8. Schroeder was alone among Western governments in not vociferously supporting Ukraine’s Orange Revolution OR Schroeder led European opposition to US efforts to begin the NATO accession process for Ukraine and Georgia.
9. Schroeder’s ejection from office in 2005 did not end their friendship OR Schroeder’s usefulness to Putin.
10. France has an interest in making sure it is not left out when Russia and Germany meet.
11. Putin and Chirac allied politically against the US led war in Iraq. Chirac lobbied against NATO’s expansion to include the Baltic states of…
12. The relationship between Russian and Italian energy companies.
13. Complicating NATO expansion, pushing Moscow’s agenda with NATO, expanding military relationships and becoming capable of invading Georgia without European or NATO intervention.
14. Because it is focused on keeping itself and some form of European alliance intact.
15. Putin’s tactics of using personal relationships to help strengthen Russia’s position in Europe seem to be outdated.
16. In the past, it would have supported Russia’s position.
17. Germany, France and Italy would invest heavily in Russia’s economy and financial sector.
18. To keep European powers divided while extracting what Moscow wants financially and technologically; because they are fleeting.