Russian Leverage on the CIS and the Baltic States


  • Jakob Hedenskog
  • Robert Larsson

Publish date: 2007-06-28

Report number: FOI-R--2280--SE

Pages: 144

Written in: English


  • Ryssland
  • Baltikum
  • OSS
  • Centralasien
  • Kaukasien
  • Ukraina
  • Vitryssland
  • Moldavien
  • Georgien
  • Estland
  • Lettland
  • säkerhetspolitik
  • utrikespolitik
  • hävstång
  • energi
  • energi
  • ekonomi
  • handel
  • minoriteter
  • militär
  • beroende
  • sårbarhet
  • Russia
  • Baltic States
  • CIS
  • Central Asia
  • Caucasus
  • Ukraine
  • Belarus
  • Moldova
  • Georgia
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • security
  • foreign policy
  • lever
  • energy
  • economy
  • trade
  • minorities
  • military
  • dependence
  • vulnerability


In 2006 and 2007, Russia staged a trade boycott against Georgia and Moldova, engaged in the "statue crisis" in Estonia, which was followed by a cyber attack, and took a sharp policy line in the oil and gas negotiations with Belarus. These actions went against Russia´s ambition to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and annoyed the European Union (EU). These incidents indicate that Russia has a clear ambition of maximising is influence within the former Soviet Union area by using is foreign policy levers. The aim of this report has therefore been to identify Russia´s foreign policy levers, analyse how they have been used and assess how strong they are in the context of the former Soviet Union. This has been done by assessing five clusters of levers, namely political, human-based, energy, economic and military ones, in doing this, a pattern of how Russia uses is levers emerges. The main conclusion of the report is that Russia has used a rather high level of coercion toward those states that are dependent on Russia and states that obstruct Russia´s policy. Russia uses all available levers in order to reach overarching goals even if these result in severe backlashes.