The rapidity with which Vladimir Putin moved to support US President George Bush after the September terrorist attacks surprised western observers and his own elite. Virtually overnight, Russian fulminations against the dangers of a US-dominated ‘unipolar’ world gave way to offers of intelligence and logistical assistance. Moscow’s high- proﬁle courtship of China, its preferred partner in containing US power, was suddenly replaced by a new ardour in relations with Washington. A security doctrine explicitly committed to ‘multipolarity’ was forgotten as Putin moved to align Russia with the world’s sole remaining superpower in its hour of need.
Russia: Begging Ends
Two years in power, Russian President Vladimir Putin is having a good crisis. The strongly pro-western course he adopted after the events of September 11 has enhanced his standing in the west and won some significant benefits for his country. Yet it has left him politically exposed should he be unable to demonstrate the longer term advantages of closer cooperation.