Russian Policy in the Mediterranean: Historical Continuity and International Context

The article considers the main directions of the Russian Federation’s foreign policy in the Mediterranean region in the period from 2015 to autumn 2021. The authors present a historical analysis of Russia’s military presence in the Mediterranean Sea since its first deployment in the 18th century and separately during the Cold War, since the key strategic goals and operational-tactical tasks facing the 5th Soviet Navy operational squadron in those years, as a whole, remained unchanged. Only their scale was adjusted. Three key aspects that determine the need for Russia’s presence in the Mediterranean are researched. These are the military, political and economic (raw) components that form the determinant of Russian foreign policy in the region. The expansion of the military activity of NATO countries - in particular, the United States, Great Britain and France - in the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East, especially since the beginning of the civil war in the Syrian Arab Republic in 2011, requires an asymmetric response from Russia in the context of protecting its national interests. As far as geopolitics is concerned, Russia’s return of at least partial of those Soviet influence in the region also contributes to strengthening our country’s international positions. Finally, Russia’s presence in a part of the world, which is a natural logistics hub in the context of both world trade and energy supplies, conceptually complements the militarypolitical agenda. The authors use the methods of historical and political analysis and practical systematization in order to formulate the main hypothesis of the study and come to scientific and theoretical conclusions. The main hypothesis is that the expansion of Russia’s military, political and economic presence in the Mediterranean will be intensified as the country’s economic potential grows. The authors suggest the following order as tools for implementing the strategy: Speeding up efforts to ensure the permanent military presence of the Russian Navy in the Mediterranean, deepening bilateral ties with Syria and conducting a pragmatic economic policy towards Turkey, which claims to be an important actor in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East as a whole. © Kurylev K.P., Parkhitko N.P., 2021.

Федеральное государственное автономное образовательное учреждение высшего образования Российский университет дружбы народов (РУДН)
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  • 1 Рeoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University), Moscow, Russian Federation
Economy; Energy resources; History; Mediterranean Sea; Middle East; NATO; Russia; Security; Syria; Turkey
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