President Vladimir Putin on Monday approved a new foreign policy doctrine based on the concept of the “Russian world,” a notion that conservative thinkers have used to justify interference abroad in support of Russian-speakers.
The 31-page “Humanitarian Policy”, published more than six months into the war in Ukraine, says that Russia must “preserve, protect and advance the traditions and ideals of the Russian world”.
Presented as a sort of soft power strategy, it is rooted in official policy ideas around Russian politics and religion that some radicals use to justify Moscow’s occupation of parts of Ukraine and Russians in the country’s east. Used to support supporting organizations.
The policy states, “The Russian Federation provides assistance to its compatriots living abroad to ensure the fulfillment of their rights, the protection of their interests and the preservation of their Russian cultural identity.”
It said Russia’s relations with its compatriots abroad allowed it to “consolidate its image on the international stage as a democratic country striving to build a multi-polar world.”
Putin has for years been shedding light on what he sees as the tragic fate of some 25 million ethnic Russians who found themselves living outside Russia in newly independent states following the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, a phenomenon What he called a geopolitical catastrophe.
Russia regarded the former Soviet space, from the Baltic to Central Asia, as its legitimate sphere of influence – a notion fiercely opposed by those countries as well as the West.
The new policy says that Russia should increase cooperation with the Slavic countries, China and India, and further strengthen its ties with the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.
It said Moscow should further deepen its ties with Abkhazia and Ossetia, two Georgian regions recognized as independent by Moscow after the 2008 war against Georgia, as well as two separate territories in eastern Ukraine. institutions, residents of the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk Republic.
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