Patriotism. A project by Misha Friedman and IMR

Putin’s Foreign Policy Framework Outlines a New Course
Donald N. Jensen
03 March 2013

The new Russian foreign policy concept signed by Vladimir Putin lists the Kremlin’s traditional grievances against the West and promises to rely on “soft power” in international affairs. According to Donald N. Jensen, Resident Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, for all its “soft power,” Russia will be unable to improve its image in the world until it begins to change internally.

 

 

President Vladimir Putin presented Russia’s new foreign policy framework to the Russian Federation Security Council on February 15. The document, according to Putin, “reflects major developments such as the global financial and economic crisis[,] . . . the changing balance of power in the world and in world affairs, the growing turbulence in the Middle East and North Africa, and the increasing significance of the cultural and civilizational dimensions in global competition today.” Within this framework, the West is no longer able to “dominate in the world economy and politics.” Moreover, the world is experiencing a period of transition during which a new “polycentric international system is forming, which opens the possibility for new economic and financial systems, new alignments in collective security and shifts in political development.” Such a period allows the creation of “flexible forms of participation in many-sided structures with the goal of effectively attempting to resolve the errors of the West.” Russia, said Putin, “will continue to pursue an active and constructive line in international affairs. . . . Its weight and influence in the world will increase.”

Russian media sources have reported that this policy document had been sitting on Putin’s desk since late November, and that he may have delayed signing it until he toughened up the report’s provisions, especially in response to U.S. passage of the Magnitsky Act.

This new policy framework asserts that Russia will seek to advance its interests through “soft power.” Moscow hopes to create an “objective image” of the country and to improve “information support” of its foreign policy. Toward this goal, the report proposes using new technologies, as well as the potential of the multimillion-strong Russian diaspora. The Foreign Ministry unit dealing with the diaspora, the Rossotrudnichestvo, was for the first time identified as an organization charged with developing and carrying out Russian foreign policy. In addition to expanding contacts with the diaspora, the Kremlin’s efforts will also aim to increase the number of Russian scientific and cultural centers abroad that work directly with foreign youth and promote the Russian language.

The Foreign Ministry unit dealing with the diaspora was for the first time identified as an organization charged with developing and carrying out Russian foreign policy.

This framework outlines an alternative vision of international relations, as well as a model of uniquely Russian political development. What is mostly gone is talk of Russian “modernization through diplomacy,” a catchphrase of the Medvedev presidency that implied closer across-the-board integration with the West. In the new formulation, Russia must instead play a “unique” balancing role in international affairs and the development of “world civilization.” More specifically, the document shifts the focus of Moscow’s attention eastward, stating that integration of the post-Soviet space is the highest priority, with special attention devoted to the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Customs Union, the future Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and the deepening of ties with Ukraine. The maintenance of ties with NATO and the European Union remains a priority—although special emphasis is given to more limited objectives, such as the importance of visa-free travel—as do ties with Russia’s EU gas customers—Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.

 

In 1999, Yevgeny Primakov (left) was Vladimir Putin's chief competitor in the struggle for power. Today, the former prime minister is a reliably Putin ally.

 

Relations with the United States are given the third top priority but are also cast in a one-sided light that benefits Russia. Moscow will continue to seek, says the report, legal restraints on missile defense systems and will work to prevent Washington from interfering in the affairs of other countries.

In fact, portions of the report seem largely designed to codify Russia’s recent foreign policy grievances against the West. Outcomes to be avoided, the report urges, are the weakening of the United Nations through the “arbitrary interpretation of its resolutions,” the regulation of crises “by using unilateral sanctions and force,” the “implementation of policies aimed at overthrowing lawful governments”—certainly references to the Libya and Syria crises—and the “tendency toward the re-ideologization of international relations” (a reference to U.S. democracy promotion). Less new is its call for a multipolar world, a reflection of Moscow’s long-standing resentment of U.S. global preeminence. On February 20, for example, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told students at the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow that the United States has a long record of breaching the norms of international law. Putin’s anti-American rhetoric in recent weeks, meanwhile, continues to be fierce.

Street protests, a disaffected middle-class, Putin’s declining poll ratings, capital flight, and elite tensions have raised doubts about the durability of Putin’s system.

In addition to representing a response to American assertiveness—although the United States is certainly not Moscow’s enemy—the document is also a response to Russia’s uncertain domestic situation. Frequent street protests, a disaffected middle-class, Putin’s declining poll ratings and narrowing popular base, capital flight, and elite tensions have raised doubts about the durability of the system over which Putin rules. Military expert Vladislav Shurygin, chief editor of the publication Soldiers of Russia, recently urged soldiers to protect the Sochi Winter Olympic facilities carefully, because the “slightest attack” on the site could provoke a political crisis. In order to consolidate its hold on power, the Kremlin has resorted to a program of nationalism, traditionalism, and selective repression. Unable to stoke ethnic nationalism for fear of further igniting the volatile North Caucasus, the Kremlin has taken aim at the West and Western values.

Former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov recently attempted to outline a theoretical foundation of the Kremlin’s attempt to create an alternative path for Russia in an article in the government-owned newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta. In this article, Primakov attacks Russian “neoliberals” who seek the large-scale application of Western theories of economic development in the Russian context and reject the idea that market forces, rather than state planning, ensure social justice. He also provides a rationale for Putin’s hard line at home. “The identification of political freedom with the limitation of state power is categorically incompatible with the need to democratize our society,” he writes. Western attempts to meddle in Russia’s internal affairs, says Primakov, could harm Russia.

Igor Yurgens, president of Russia’s Institute of Contemporary Development, recently warned that the Kremlin’s simultaneous opening of two fronts—against Russia’s internal opposition and against the Euro-Atlantic alliance—risks overstretching its political and economic resources and represents a further deterioration of Russia’s domestic political and economic situation. In this regard, the new foreign policy framework, and Primakov’s rationale, may be useful for forging stronger ties with ruling elites at home and abroad or even for prolonging Putin’s system. But soft power is not simply empty or unappealing content seductively presented with rock music or by social media. Above all, the success of soft power will depend on the depiction of genuine openness, freedom of choice, the protection of human rights, and the establishment of a multiparty system. Until Russia offers something attractive to other countries, its soft power will at best be limited to a set of technical measures—not entirely useless, but ultimately ineffective.

Share
 

Comments  

 
# Branden 2014-07-09 08:24
Hi there, constantly i used to check blog posts here early in the
morning, for the reason that i like to learn more and
more.

Feel free to surf to my blog post - New Balance Online: http://www.copiadorashuesca.com/comprar-new-balance-online.asp
Reply
 
 
# Irwin 2014-07-10 12:20
Article writing is also a excitement, if you know
after that you can write otherwise it is complicated to write.


My web blog :: Slot games free: http://vrespiti.gr/vrespiti.gr_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Norma 2014-07-10 12:21
Hi there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew
where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment
form? I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having trouble finding
one? Thanks a lot!

Here is my web-site: Cryptologic: http://netbook.com.ua/netbook.com.ua_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Virginia 2014-07-10 12:42
I know this website provides quality dependent articles or reviews and extra material, is there any
other website which presents these kinds of stuff in quality?


My webpage; Cryptologic: http://netbook.com.ua/netbook.com.ua_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Edgardo 2014-07-10 12:43
I will immediately take hold of your rss as I can't find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.
Do you've any? Please allow me realize so that I may subscribe.
Thanks.

Here is my website playtech slots: http://pleven.bg/pleven.bg_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Bella 2014-07-10 12:44
WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for online casino game

My webpage ::  http://slots-games.org/  http://slots-games.org/  http://slots-games.org/  http://slots-games.org/: http://klimaka.gr/klimaka.gr_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Bernadette 2014-07-10 12:49
It is perfect time to make some plans for the longer term and it's time to be happy.

I've learn this post and if I may I wish to suggest you some fascinating things or tips.
Perhaps you can write subsequent articles referring to this article.

I desire to learn more things approximately it!

My blog post slots for fun: http://nakhonnayok.go.th/nakhonnayok.go.th_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Gilbert 2014-07-10 12:51
You actually make it appear really easy with your presentation however I in finding
this topic to be really one thing that I believe I might by no means understand.
It sort of feels too complicated and very vast for me.
I'm taking a look forward on your next publish, I will attempt to get the grasp of it!



Feel free to surf to my site ... Microgaming games: http://safakgazete.com/safakgazete.com_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Luann 2014-07-10 12:54
Ahaa, its fastidious discussion about this post here at this
webpage, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.


my homepage ... Free slots for fun: http://cyber-gear.com/cyber-gear.com_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Dexter 2014-07-10 13:25
When some one searches for his required thing, therefore he/she wishes to
be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.



Review my homepage :: Slot games free: http://vrespiti.gr/vrespiti.gr_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Mable 2014-07-10 13:36
I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog.
I really hope to check out the same high-grade
content by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my
own, personal website now ;)

My web blog ... slots games with bonus rounds: http://pleven.bg/pleven.bg_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Elida 2014-07-10 13:38
Nice answers in return of this question with firm arguments and explaining everything
regarding that.

Visit my web page ::  http://slots-games.org/  http://slots-games.org/  http://slots-games.org/  http://slots-games.org/: http://safakgazete.com/safakgazete.com_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Merle 2014-07-10 13:46
Very descriptive article, I enjoyed that a lot.
Will there be a part 2?

My web-site: playtech slots: http://pleven.bg/pleven.bg_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Darby 2014-07-21 11:55
I couldn't refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

Here is my page - online slots strategy: http://pesdanmark.dk/pesdanmark.dk_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Milla 2014-07-21 11:55
Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids.

I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell
to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to
tell someone!

Here is my blog - online slots
strategy: http://pesdanmark.dk/pesdanmark.dk_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Heriberto 2014-07-21 12:44
I visited multiple web pages but the audio feature for audio songs
present at this website is actually marvelous.


my site: Free
slots for fun: http://cyber-gear.com/cyber-gear.com_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Justina 2014-07-22 07:09
Hi there would you mind letting me know which webhost you're utilizing?
I've loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
Can you recommend a good web hosting provider
at a reasonable price? Cheers, I appreciate it!

Check out my web site :: Free slots for fun: http://cyber-gear.com/cyber-gear.com_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Letha 2014-07-22 09:53
I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet people, its really really fastidious
piece of writing on building up new weblog.

my blog post; Online slot games: http://pleven.bg/pleven.bg_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Sherry 2014-07-23 09:03
When I initially commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I
get four e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people
from that service? Appreciate it!

my website ...  http://slots-games.org/  http://slots-games.org/  http://slots-games.org/  http://slots-games.org/: http://pesdanmark.dk/pesdanmark.dk_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Earl 2014-07-23 10:05
If some one wants to be updated with latest technologies then he must
be pay a quick visit this website and be up to date every
day.

my page wild symbols: http://gecesohbetleri.com/gecesohbetleri.com_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Adelaide 2014-07-23 10:06
There's definately a lot to learn about this topic.

I love all the points you made.

Also visit my web-site online
slots strategy: http://safakgazete.com/safakgazete.com_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Tracee 2014-07-23 14:07
Thanks for finally talking about >Putin’s Foreign Policy
Framework Outlines a New Course
Reply
 
 
# Carissa 2014-07-23 14:18
Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to have in mind of.
I say to you, I definitely get annoyed even as folks think about concerns that they plainly do not
recognise about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as
defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal.
Will probably be again to get more. Thank you

Feel free to surf to my web-site Multiplier symbols: http://schulweg.com/schulweg.com_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Celesta 2014-07-24 06:48
If some one wants expert view on the topic of running a blog after that i suggest him/her to pay a quick visit this web site, Keep up the nice work.


Also visit my site :: play slots online: http://mbcerta.com/mbcerta.com_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Wilford 2014-07-24 08:29
I've read a few excellent stuff here. Certainly price bookmarking for revisiting.
I wonder how so much attempt you put to create any such fantastic
informative web site.

Feel free to surf to my weblog - Scatter symbols Scatter symbols: http://kindredlinkshell.com/kindredlinkshell.com_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Carmon 2014-07-24 08:43
This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of
your great post. Also, I've shared your site
in my social networks!

My weblog :: online free slots games online free slots games online free slots games: http://vse-dlja-zhenwin.com/vse-dlja-zhenwin.com_1.html
Reply
 
 
# Kathy 2014-07-24 13:52
I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all
of your post's to be just what I'm looking for.
Would you offer guest writers to write content available for you?

I wouldn't mind producing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write
about here. Again, awesome web log!

Check out my blog post :: slots for fun: http://prostokvashino.in.ua/prostokvashino.in.ua_1.html
Reply
 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh