Rival Power: Russia's Influence in Southeast Europe

Front Cover
Yale University Press, Aug 22, 2017 - History - 320 pages
A nuanced and comprehensive study of the political dynamics between Russia and key countries in Southeast Europe

Is Russia threatening to disrupt more than two decades’ of E.U. and U.S. efforts to promote stability in post-communist Southeast Europe? Politicians and commentators in the West say, “yes.” With rising global anxiety over Russia’s political policies and objectives, Dimitar Bechev provides the only in-depth look at this volatile region.
Deftly unpacking the nature and extent of Russian influence in the Balkans, Greece, and Turkey, Bechev argues that both sides are driven by pragmatism and opportunism rather than historical loyalties. Russia is seeking to assert its role in Europe’s security architecture, establish alternative routes for its gas exports—including the contested Southern Gas Corridor—and score points against the West. Yet, leaders in these areas are allowing Russia to reinsert itself to serve their own goals. This urgently needed guide analyzes the responses of regional NATO members, particularly regarding the annexation of Crimea and the Putin-Erdogan rift over Syria.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


List of Maps and Figures
An Empire Returns
Russia and the Breakup
Russia and
Bulgaria and Romania
Greece and Cyprus
The RussianTurkish Marriage of Convenience
From a Military Standoff to Hybrid Warfare
Playing the Energy Card
The Allure of Russias Might
Russias Influence Whats It All About?
Select Bibliography

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2017)

Dimitar Bechev is a research fellow at the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

Bibliographic information