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'Oligarchs', Business and Russian Foreign Policy: From El'tsin to Putin

Duncan, P; (2007) 'Oligarchs', Business and Russian Foreign Policy: From El'tsin to Putin. (Economics Working Papers 83). Centre for the Study of Economic and Social Change in Europe, SSEES, UCL: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

The paper investigates the role of private and state-controlled business in the formation and implementation of Russian foreign policy since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The extent to which the 'oligarchs' and business more generally followed their own interests in their external relations or acted as tools of the Russian state is a particular focus. Under President Boris El'tsin, Boris Berezovskii was the only one of the oligarchs to have significant influence on Russian foreign policy. President Vladimir Putin's moves against the oligarchs were motivated partly by the desire to restrict political debate, including on foreign policy, and partly to prevent Mikhail Khodorkovskii from creating a private oil pipeline system which would have subverted Putin's foreign policy, but the main reason was probably the desire to restore state control over key industrial sectors. Under El'tsin, business had followed its own interests, which sometimes conflicted with Russian foreign policy and sometimes reinforced it; but after Putin's attacks on the oligarchs, business seemed more integrated into policy implementation, while still following its own interests where they did not conflict with those of the state, as is suggested by a discussion of Gazprom's foreign policy role.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: 'Oligarchs', Business and Russian Foreign Policy: From El'tsin to Putin
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: The research for this paper is part of a wider project on the relationship between internal change in Russia and Russian foreign policy since the mid-1990s. This will lead to a book, "Russian Foreign Policy from El'tsin to Putin", which will be published by Routledge.
Keywords: CIS, Putin, oligarchs, Russia, energy
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > SSEES
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/12932
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