Oil, Guns, and Imperialism
With oil prices at a two-decade low, many Kremlin-watchers believe that Russia will be forced to scale back its revanchist foreign policy ambitions. This conclusion is largely based on the experience of the last oil glut in the 1980s, which coincided with a marked retrenchment in Soviet foreign policy aggression. Compounded with these economic challenges to Russia’s geopolitical aspirations, the coronavirus adds an additional threat to the Kremlin’s stability.
This CEPA virtual discussion considered: is there a relationship between oil prices and Russian foreign policy; are the lessons of the 1980s relevant today; and what role will the coronavirus play in factoring into Russia’s foreign policy calculus?
Maria Snegovaya, Fellow, Russia Program, Center for European Policy Analysis
Angela Stent, Director, Center for Eurasian, Russian & East European Studies, Georgetown University
Brian Whitmore, Director, Russia Program, Center for European Policy Analysis