Russia wants at all cost to become a great power again. The task is not an easy one, but it is ready to put all of its energy into the effort. At the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin has understood that his country’s immense resources are one of the rare trump cards he still has available to exert heavy influence on the international stage. It just remains to keep it in play, mobilise the necessary funds and see to it that the post Cold War new world order does not undermine Russia’s national interests. A University of Liège professor and a journalist, Nina Bachkatov has been studying the political developments of this vast country for 30 years. At a time of major international energy contracts, and when the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum is beginning to rival that of DAVOS, her latest book – L’énergie diplomate (1) – gives us the keys to the major challenges the Russian empire is faced with.
‘Russia,’ she explains, ‘has used and continues to use, its energy policy as a new form of exercising power, a pragmatic tool, an opportunistic tool, which enables it to emerge little by little from its position as a country in transition, which very rapidly appeared to it as a straightjacket imposed by the West in order to control its development.’
(1) L’énergie diplomate. Enjeux et effets de la diplomatie énergétique de la Fédération de Russie, Nina Bachkatov, Bruylant, 2012