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Persons, Institutions and Discourses in Russian Foreign Policy and Foreign Direct Investments

Sanja Tepavcevic
Central European University
Sanja Tepavcevic
Central European University
Open Panel

Abstract

The Soviet ideological imperialism implied both Soviet foreign politics and economics, including ‘red multinationals’ – Soviet transnational corporations (TNCs), to serve the propaganda of the communist party. Even two decades after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and fifteen years after gaining the status of market economy, Russia is perceived as an extremely politicized society with neo-imperial foreign attitude in the most regions of the world. Therefore, a mismatch between official foreign policy (FP) discourse towards certain countries and the actions of Russian state companies in these countries present empirical paradox: for example, in 2006 and 2009 Gazprom cut gas supplies to Ukraine because of unpaid bills, although in Russian Foreign Policy Concept Ukraine presents the most important state for Russia in its ‘near abroad’. In terms of foreign direct investments (FDI) of Russian companies, Russia presents another paradox: although it remains lower-middle income country, it is one of the largest capital exporters within transitional economies (second after Hong Kong). These two paradoxes create the following questions: To what extent is foreign policy important for Russian OFDI? Why Russian state-owned companies act opposite to the claimed foreign interests of Russia? Aiming to provide a detailed answer to this question, the author conducts a large-scale empirical research of Russian bureaucracy: the relationship between institutions involved in foreign policy and FDI decision-making, key persons participating in these processes, and discourses that they produce.