In Russia’s foreign policy, the notion of the national interest and the yearning for a particular global regime of the world order, including Russia’s own status within it, are closely intertwined. Modern Russia has always had to work its way up the international rungs, seeking recognition by the high and mighty and admission to exclusive ‘clubs’ – as a great power in early 18th century Europe; as a member of the short-lived G8. Bolshevik Russia, with its universal mission of bringing the world to some sort of a socialist paradise, was a historic aberration.

Dmitri Trenin
Trenin was director of the Carnegie Moscow Center from 2008 to early 2022.
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Traditionally, from the 19th century Concert of Europe to the 21st century “multipolarity,” Russia has been coming out in favor of a pluralistic international regime of several major players, with itself necessarily part of that concert. Today, Moscow militates against the global order dominated by a single power – the United States of America. 

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This article was originally published in the Observer Research Foundation's Raisina Files 2018