From: Inside Story

Is Russia a force for good in the world?

The West accuses Russia of playing dangerous game in world politics, but Moscow says it is only defending its interests.

Perhaps not since the Cold War have Western leaders, thinkers and commentators spoken out so strongly against Russian foreign policy.

Russia, described as a destabilising force in the affairs of its neighbour Ukraine, has been accused of arming and supporting separatists in the east.

Over the past few years, Russia has blocked action at the UN Security Council on the Syrian conflict. And Moscow’s critics say it is providing a crucial lifeline to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Russia, then, is seen to be playing a dangerous game in world politics.

That image could not be further away from the Russia described by President Vladimir Putin. He says the West has long shown a complete disregard for Russian interests.

And some analysts say that by isolating Russia, Western nations are losing what could be a valuable partner in helping to solve the conflict in Ukraine or disputes with Iran.

So is the West being unfair in its dealings with Russia? And is the Russian president outmanoeuvring Western leaders on the world stage?

Presenter: Hazem Sika


Domitilla Sagramoso, Russia and Caucasus analyst from the department of war at King’s College, London.

Lukey Coffey, Margaret Thatcher Fellow at the Davis Institute for national security and foreign policy at the Heritage Foundation, US.

Remi Piet, Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Qatar University and author of Shifting priorities in Russia’s Foreign and Security Policy.