On the latest episode of Departures, Robert Amsterdam speaks with Professor Angela Stent, director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and a professor at Georgetown University about her book, “Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and with the Rest.”
In her book, Stent examines Russia’s long-troubled relationship with the West, while also dissecting Russian relations with the rest of the world, including China, Japan, and the Middle East. She writes that “Putin’s world” is one in which its relationship with The US and the EU is “adversarial,” and its relations with the rest of the world have returned with a vengeance. Importantly, Stent employs a deeply historical perspective to inform her analysis of Putin’s Russia on the world stage.
The discussion touches on Russia’s relationship with key global players such as China – which she views as one of unequals – as well as the extent to which Russia helped Donald Trump in the 2016 election. In Stent’s view, President Donald Trump has served a useful role for Russia especially as a driver of the disaggregation of the West, and therefore “it’s not surprising that in 2016 the Russians favored Trump.”
Stent also notes Russia’s failure in the oil price wars after going head-to-head with Saudi Arabia, and the economic and political catastrophe which is resulting from the coronavirus. She noted that Russia is ill-equipped to handle the outbreak of the virus and that the country underestimated the extent of infections. Most worrying for President Putin, his approval ratings are at their lowest level since before the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
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