Discerning Russia’s Strategy: Diplomatic, Military and Economic (DME) Activity
The foreign policy of Russia has grown more forceful and assertive in the past few years than early; it was in two decades after independence. Either it was the 2008 Georgian war or Crimean confiscation in 2014, Country’s interference in Eastern Ukraine or the deployment of Russian forces in the Civil war of Syria, the Russian Federation has surprised many with its foreign policy. Russia’s main focus is to reform a foreign policy, that help it play a greater role in the modern world. A world where the country would be allowed to act freely without any barricades and a world where Russia’s participation will be mandatory. Besides other global interests disclosed in its foreign policy, Russia is also trying to reshape its ties with China, USA and European Union. The feasibility of Russia’s confident tactic depends on many factors.
Support for Regional Security. Moscow’s foreign policy still revolve around restoring the greater power position of the Kremlin. After the cold war when Russia lost its passageways to Europe, Russia focused on maintaining a closed friendly relation with the west. Increasing influence of the west and their military expansion, made Russia to reformulate its policy towards East. To become the great Eurasian country, the Russian Federation tried to establish and improve the bilateral security relationships within the region. Since Russia is one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and it has its own interests in the region, the country is playing an important role in regional security. the Russian Federation provides military aids, to almost every other country in the region, in terms of joint military training and supplying military equipment’s.
Support for Economic Development. Russia plays an active role in the regional economy. Being a country spanning in the two continents Russia bridges the economic gap in between Asia and Europe. Russia’s former foreign policy was about trade-ties with the western world. But the recent sanctions from the US and the European Union brought Russia nearer to its Asian neighbours. President Vladimir Putin’s dream for developing an “Energy Super Ring” with China, Japan, Mongolia and South Korea and the socioeconomic development of Far Eastern Russia, facilitated an aspiring economic development in the region.
Having the fifth largest military reserved personnel, Russia’s armed forces are currently involved in multiple military operations. Russian forces are trying new defence schemes and military tactics while operating in Syria and Ukraine. These involvements, outside the Russian border, were made possible due to the recent improvements made in the military policy, after several recurrent years of regress and progress, in 2018. However, results of these amendments in military policy are visible on the battlefield, there are still some matters, like military funding, future military developments and deployments, and state of the military industrial complex, that need to be sorted out. The main cause of Russia’s participation in regional security activities appears to be the increased extremism, the threat from insurgent groups and the disturbance of regional economy due to the current regional political instability.
Economic state is the only aspect of the modern-day Russia that has gone through a rapid and sudden change. At the start of Putin’s regime, Russia was bankrupted. It owed more amount in debt than it had. Later, the country sprouted through a macroeconomic revolt that made it the largest creditor, in the world, of United States debt. The current increase in GDP of Russia is six times more than the previous one. In 2009, The Ministry of Economic Trade and Development of the Russian Federation published an economical plan defining Russia’s economic policies up to the year 2020. An effective application of this plan will made Russia, the fifth largest economy in the world, after US, China, Japan and India, and the largest in Europe. Russia was never affluent and cohesive in the international economy than it is now.
Explaining DME Activity: External Environment
This section provides an overview of why the Russian Federation, in context to its diplomatic, military and economic urgencies, has stuck to its current policy. By studying possible threats and key opportunities that may spring through an external environment, this part will provide an insight into the DME Activity of Russia.
New Security Challenges. Russia’s headship has recognised multiple security threats and challenges, that may affect Russia and its neighbours correspondingly, needed to be responded immediately. The most important of them is the increasing influence of “Islamic State” around the border of the country. Russia is therefore vigorously involved in operations outside its border. Besides the external security threats, internal insurgents and separation organizations are also some major security challenges to the Russian Federation. Conflicts, like with Georgia, recommends the military presence along the border of Russia. Illegal trafficking and missile defence system in the eastern part of Europe also possess as new security challenges to the Moscow.
Territorial Disputes. Russia is tangled with its, more than five, neighbouring countries over territorial disputes. Georgia, Crimea, South Kuril Islands, South Ossetia, Heixiazi are some of the major territorial issues that are causing some serious political and economic problems with its neighbours.
Syrian Civil War. Current Syrian civil war has affected multiple middle eastern as well as other stakeholders. Russia also has its stake in Syria’s conflict. Backing the Bashar al-Assad led forces alliance, resulted, Russia, in some bitter relationship with other Gulf countries.
Harassed by political isolation and tough sanctions the Russian economy is doing great. The accelerated growth of GDP in the second quarter is due to the surging oil prices. World Cup hosting and sustained tourist-related industries also provided the boost to the economy. By sustaining solid productivity Russia is able to maintain its volatile economy for the last two years. At present country is on a strong balance sheet in developing markets. Since Russia’s revenue is totally based on petroleum exports, a hike in the price of oil in near future will bring the economy at a high of 1.8%.
In spite of having a good scientific and technological background, Russia does not have a technology-based economy. The major cause of this devastating phenomena is the thoughts of Russian as a society. Instead of being innovators (one who make commercially successful project) they are good inventors. Even with an excellent history of scientific discoveries and inventions, there are no leading Russian companies in the field of technology.
New Laws. In 2016, the Russian government was forced to take a look back at its laws regarding investment due to the extension of economic sanctions and restriction to access Western markets. Russia’s current legislation about foreign investments has raised questions about the potential of foreign entrants. For example, the Media Law, that enforces foreign media to sell their 80 percent of total assets to local companies in order to work in the country. Similarly, the Personal Data Policy Law, that binds the investor to use Russian controlled databases for their data handling. All these new reforms in the legislation are blocking the new investors to enter into the Russian market.
Taxes and Subsidies. On the other hand, to provide an environment in order to fully nourish the country’s foreign investment, a reduction in taxes and the allocation of subsidies are done. The new legislation that reduced the flat income tax rate to 13 percent in 2001 and then, in 2004, the elimination of 5 percent sales tax resulted in a positive effect on foreign investment.
Russia is home to some intense environment in the world. Having north and east lying Arctic and Pacific oceans and Siberian peninsula, the country’s major surface area is subjected to the harsh cold environment. Not only this but a great part of the Russian land has elevation, below sea level. Major oil and gas resources, country’s major source of revenue, lies in those remote areas. Lack of transportation and human resource, unwilling to relocate, are other risk factors that hinder in the exploration of these resources. Climate change also has a major impact on Russia’s mineral industry. Together these environmental issues produce a significant economic and social impact on Russia.
 Trenin 2016
 Vakulchuk 2017
 “Russian Military and Security Policy” 2018
 “Economic Change in Russia” 2018
 Kissi 2018
 “Russia Economy – GDP, Inflation, CPI and Interest Rate” 2018
 “Russia’s Great at Invention, But Stinks at Innovation” 2015
 Johnson 2016