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International Relations of Russia


Admission requirements

An essential prerequisite for this course is the ability to read and understand Russian. This means having completed the languages courses from the first two years of the Russian studies at Leiden, or an equivalent of knowledge.


This course analyses the complexity of international relations and foreign policy in modern Russia. It is thematic and theoretical, where appropriate tracing themes and developments since the Soviet era. At the same time, the course requires a high degree of awareness of contemporary events in Russia and the world. It begins by studying Russia as it has emerged from the rubble of the USSR as a regional power and a putative global actor. It focuses in particular on relations with the EU, NATO, the United States and China. The course moves on to study Russia’s relations with other republics in post-Soviet Eurasia – the so-called ‘near abroad’ from Ukraine to Uzbekistan. Also discussed is the emergence of regional integration projects and security challenges in Russia and Eurasia.

Course objectives

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • demonstrate an in-depth understanding of Russian foreign policy and international relations in the period from 1991 to the present day;

  • interpret the broader meanings of these developments with reference to appropriate concepts and theoretical paradigms in the field of international relations;

  • develop their skills to independently and critically appraise current developments in the international relations of Russia



Mode of instruction


Course load

Total: 280 hrs (10 EC)
Lectures: 26 hours
Examination: 2 hours
Reading, writing: 252 hours

Assessment method

3 x written assignments (50% combined), final written exam (50%)
Resit: written exam (assignments can be compensated). You pass the course if your weighted avarage is 5.50.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • providing study materials

Reading list

Academic literature and analysis in English and Russian will be available on Blackboard


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Aanmelden Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
Dr. M.J. Frear.

Coordinator of Studies: mw. drs. T. Bouma

Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


Not apllicable