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The Kitchen Sink Approach to Engaging Russia

In this piece from Michael Allen’s Democracy Digest, it’s hard to think what or who he left out … a real parade of names and ideas from the Kremlin critic community.

The ruling elite’s “schizophrenic behavior” reflects a contradictory duality in its regression to a traditional political paradigm based on restoring superpower status and fabricating external enemies while aspiring to be integrated into Western business and culture.

Engagement with Russia should be multidimensional, integrating the values-based and pragmatic approach advocated in the 2006 Council on Foreign Relations report prepared by Steve Sestanovich and Francis Fukuyama‘s realistic Wilsonianism, while also cautiously reflecting Robert Kagan’s imperative to resist the new authoritarian offensive and David Kramer’s understandable skepticism about the Kremlin’s willingness to engage.

Russia is struggling to retain its great power status and, lacking any meaningful political model or ideology to export, corruption is the means by which the Kremlin projects soft power, said Krastev, head of the Sofia-based Center for Liberal Strategies.