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Putin to maintain cautious foreign policy: Russian expert

03-05-2012 14:47 BJT Special Report:Russia Presidential Election 2012 |

MOSCOW, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Russian foreign policy would not change dramatically after Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin, a local expert said.

Fyodor Lukyanov, a specialist from the presidium of the council on foreign and defense policy and also the editor-in-chief of the expertise journal Russia in Global Affairs, told Xinhua that Putin, who just won the presidential election on Sunday, would keep Russia's cautious foreign policy despite strong anti-West words made by him personally.

"Russia believes the international situation is dangerous and unpredictable, so Moscow needs to be accurate, with no ambitions," the expert said in an exclusive interview.

Referring to the Russia-U.S. relations, Lukyanov said he believed that Putin would not expect any substantial progress due to the lack of mutual trust between Washington and Moscow.

"Putin started with desire to build new links (with the U.S.), change relations, render them stable and equal. But those attempts failed because, as he thinks, the U.S. does not want any equal partnership," the expert said.

"So, Putin's personal experience during his 12 years in power will affect the policy, and the relations with the U.S. could become even more uneasy. Russia and the U.S. have no topics which can make them closer to each other," Lukyanov added.

He noted that the missile defense talks between the U.S. and Russia had turned to be a deadlock with a big potential for discontent.

The U.S. has kept building the system regardless of Russian objections. Putin had said Russia might give asymmetrical response to beef up its nuclear potential.

"Russia will attempt to scare the U.S., to demonstrate Moscow is serious about it and then to make it technologically challenging," Lukyanov said.

As for relations with Europe, Lukyanov thought that Putin expected closer cooperation in energy and business, but it depended not on Moscow but on what happened in Europe.

In this case, Russia might consider to adjust itself to the new power structure in the world, shifting its interests sphere from Europe to Asia, Lukyanov said.

"Putin will make the Russia-China relations, and relations with Asia as a whole, a priority during his third term in Kremlin," the expert said.

"Russia and China are destined to be in good relations. They need each other. Russia cannot afford bad relations with China which is its main neighbor and the economic engine at the huge Eurasia region and in the world as a whole," he added.

Lukyanov noted that in Putin's campaign article on foreign policy, the Russian leader had hailed China's role in global economy and called for closer cooperation ties, especially for the development of Russia's Far East and Siberian regions.

On the so-called "China threat" theory, Lukyanov quoted Putin's words on the rapid development of Chinese economy: "We are not deaf and blind. We see and hear everything and take it into account. We know our Chinese partners respect us while the Americans do not."

"This is Putin's psychology. He values China's approach, and Chinese respect and pay back similarly," Lukyanov concluded.

Editor:Zhang Jianfeng |Source: Xinhua

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