Russia Today: Domestic Affairs and Their Impact on Putin’s Foreign Policies
On November 17th, 2015, the German Marshall Fund of the United States’ (GMF) Brussels office hosted Michael Birnbaum, Moscow Bureau Chief, The Washington Post, for a discussion on Russia’s domestic affairs and their impact on Putin’s foreign policies. The panel was moderated by Corinna Horst, Deputy Director of GMF Brussels Office.
Michael shared his views on Russia’s domestic affairs, especially the impact of international sanctions and the state of the economy. He further provided insights into a more diversified media landscape than generally expected as well as a more nuanced picture of the Russian general public and their views of Putin. The following discussion centred around the question whether Putin pursues a grand strategy or operates on a set of guiding principles and the dynamics behind Russian engagement in Ukraine and Syria.
Questions from the audience focused on a multitude of issues including Russia’s relations with China and Turkey, the impact of the unravelling refugees’ crisis in Europe on Russia as well as the recent Paris attacks on Russia’s stand vis-à-vis ISIS and whether these offer areas for collaboration between Russia and the transatlantic community.