Insight: Russia Resurgent?

Talk Monday 20th October, 2008

View in iTunes

Recent events in the Caucasus have highlighted the growing self-confidence of a newly resurgent Russia, that appears to be seeking to revive much of the old Soviet influence at home and abroad.

In recent months, Russia – backed by increasing oil and gas revenues – has paid off debts to international banks and organisations; announced that it is seeking to modernise its military and resumed its long-range projection of military force; intervened militarily in support of separatist movements in the Caucasus; and made clear its objections to Nato expansion and the US missile defense plans.

Should the West accept that Russia will continue to dominate in its sphere of influence or does it pose a renewed threat to Nato and its allies? And does the West have double-standards when it comes to dealing with Russia?

Join us as we debate all these issues and more with Edward Lucas – author of The New Cold War and Alexei Pankin, a respected Russian journalist.

Edward Lucas is the Central and Eastern Europe correspondent for The Economist and has been covering the region for more than 20 years. He’s witnessed the final years of the Cold War, the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet empire as well as Boris Yeltsin’s downfall and Vladimir Putin’s rise to power. From 1992 to 1994, he was the managing editor of The Baltic Independent, a weekly English-language newspaper published in Tallinn. He is the author of The New Cold War.

Alexei Pankin
is a Russian political and media analyst. Currently he is Editor-in-Chief of the IFRA-GIPP Magazine, an ePaper monthly for publishing business professionals, and columnist for a number of news outlets including Novosti – a Russian News and Information agency, and The Moscow Times. Between 1992 and 1996 he organised national elections media coverage, monitoring missions in post-Communist countries ranging from Estonia to former Yugoslavia, and from Russia to South Caucasus. He was founding editor of the Op-Ed page at the leading Russian national daily Izvestia.

Bridget Kendall has been the BBC’s Defence and Diplomatic Correspondent since 1998. She has made several documentaries for BBC television including profiles of Vladimir Putin, Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev, as well as a documentary on the rise of Russian nationalism. During 2006, she travelled to Russia to chair and present three hour-long debates on Russia’s future, as well as conduct a two-and-a-quarter hour interactive interview with President Putin, live from inside the Kremlin, which was broadcast worldwide – her second interview with the Russian leader.