The rising generation of Russian foreign policy experts and commentators, especially outside Moscow, is increasingly sceptical about the key premises of Russian diplomacy and see more failures than achievements in Russia’s relations with its closest partners, including the EU and neighbouring states. This is the conclusion that stems from a series of interviews and focus groups carried out with young Russian professionals about Russia’s current foreign policies. The study reveals a strong cognitive dissonance between the official diplomatic discourse of the Kremlin and the perceptions of young experts who work in a variety of fields dealing with international cooperation either at a lower level of the state hierarchy or in different professional domains. This paper summarises the key findings of this project and discusses their practical implications.
Larisa Deriglazova is Professor of International Studies, Tomsk State University, Russia; Andrey Makarychev is Visiting Professor at the Institute for East European Studies, Free University of Berlin; and Oleg Reut is Associate Professor of International Relations, Petrozavodsk State University, Russia.