Russian foreign policy has been the subject of intense criticism in the West.

Critics say the country is, at best, destabilising the affairs of its neighbour Ukraine, or worse, engaging in all-out war.

The Kremlin has also taken flak for its support of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and for its close relationship with Tehran.

But that's not the whole picture. The Russian government argues that the US and its partners are trying to isolate and weaken Russia.

They see NATO expansion in Europe as a threat, and supporters of President Vladimir Putin say he has restored Russia's rightful place as a major player in global politics.

Are Western countries simply upset because the balance of power is being challenged? Or can Russia rightly be accused of being opportunistic?

Presenter: Kamahl Santamaria


Emmanuel Karagiannis, Senior Lecturer of defense studies at King's College London and a specialist on Russian foreign policy.

Sergey Markov, Member of the Civic Chamber of Russian Federation and Director of the Institute of Political Studies.

Sir Andrew Wood, Former UK ambassador to Russia and current Associate Fellow at the Russia and Eurasia programme at Chatham House.

Source: Al Jazeera