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• The article discusses the history of Russia’s relations with the West, and how they have evolved over time.
• It examines the various factors that have shaped these relations, such as politics and economics.
• It also looks at how these relationships have impacted Russia’s current foreign policy.

History of Russian-Western Relations

For centuries, the relationship between Russia and the West has been one of both cooperation and conflict. As a major European power since the 1700s, Russia has had to navigate its way through shifting international alliances and rivalries in order to maintain its own political stability. From Peter the Great’s efforts to Westernize Russia to Catherine II’s expansion into Eastern Europe, successive Tsars sought to position themselves within broader European geopolitics while still maintaining their country’s independence from external powers.

Cold War Politics

The collapse of Tsarist rule in 1917 brought about a sharp divide between Soviet communism and Western capitalism that further worsened already strained relations between East and West during World War II. With tensions escalating after 1945, this ultimately led to a period of heightened confrontation known as the Cold War (1947–1991). During this time, both sides were locked in an ideological struggle for global influence that often spilled over into proxy wars around the world.

Post-Cold War Era

The end of the Cold War ushered in a new era of cooperation between Moscow and its former adversaries in Europe and North America as both sides sought to capitalize on newfound opportunities for economic integration through trade agreements such as NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade). Although relations have remained largely positive since then, they have been strained by occasional disputes over issues such as energy security or military intervention in areas like Ukraine or Syria.

Economic Realities

Economic ties between Russia and the West are another factor that has shaped their relationship throughout history. Over recent decades, Russian exports to countries like Germany or France have become increasingly important for Moscow’s economic growth – particularly after it joined WTO (World Trade Organization) in 2012 – while imports from these countries are also essential for meeting domestic demand for goods like machinery or pharmaceuticals.

Current Foreign Policy

These complex dynamics continue to influence Russian foreign policy today which seeks to balance improving ties with countries like China with maintaining good relations with traditional partners in Europe & North America – all while attempting not to alienate any one side too much from another. As such, it is clear that understanding this historical context is essential when analyzing Russian foreign policy today as it helps us understand why certain decisions are made & what strategic considerations play into them