What Does Russia Want?

“To be treated as a great power,” according to Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff, adjunct fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, who spoke at AFA’s Air & Space Conference Sept. 14. He said that if one looks at the statements of Russian leaders, they emphasize Russia’s role as an independent actor, a great power with responsibility for affairs of its own. He said that Russia quickly diverged from a presumptive path toward Western-style democracy, noting, for instanace, that in 1993, then Russian leader Boris Yeltsin sent the military against Parliament when it would not bend to his policies. When Russia offered help to the US after the 9/11 terrorist attack, Russia felt the US failed to recognize it as a great power in an equal strategic partnership.