Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 03/2011

Russia's Revival: Ambitions, Limitations, and Opportunities for the United States

John W. Parker

January 2011

Institute for National Strategic Studies


After 20 years of post-Soviet existence Russia has begun to reassess its position in the world. A general stabilization after economic and political uncertainty in the recent past has brought policy makers to want to increase Russia's international stature, though there are still many roadblocks to a Russian return to great power status. As Parker shows, Russia need not change any policy to remain a "mediocre power," its nuclear weapons and permanent voting seat on the United Nations Security Council ensure that, but significant economic and political factors stand in its way. The largest of which may be the growing roles of China and Iran in Russia's backyard. This paper examines the issues that Russia faces in its attempt to return to the stature it enjoyed in the past. Paramount to this aim will be increased cooperation with Europe and the United States. It is up to the U.S. to capitalize on this and to not drive Russia and China closer together.