Moscow’s foreign policy recalibration has been caused by realistic adjustment to the world that’s in front of Russia and the Washington establishment’s leading role in instigating anti-Russia policies across the world, Professor Joe Siracusa, US political expert and Dean of Global Futures, Curtin University, told Sputnik.
- Read the full text of Russia’s new foreign policy concept.
- Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a meeting with permanent members of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Moscow, March 31, 2023
On March 31, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree adopting the nation’s updated foreign policy concept which determines Russia as a unique country-civilization which pursues an independent and multi-vector foreign policy driven by its national interests and the awareness of its special responsibility for maintaining peace and security at the global and regional levels.
The updated doctrine emphasizes that Russia intends to defend its right to existence and freedom of development in response to unfriendly actions of the West, while not considering itself to be an enemy of the West and having no hostile intentions with regard to it.
“Russian foreign policy realignment takes into account the Russian intelligence community and foreign policy community’s assessment of Russia’s enemies near and far,” said Professor Joe Siracusa. “It’s a realistic recalibration or adjustment to the world that’s in front of Russia, a very useful exercise because it incorporates the analysis, threat assessment and the intelligence (…) A couple of weeks ago, the Americans released their Annual Threat Assessment. They identified China as public enemy number one, and Russia as public enemy number two.”
Commenting on the newly released concept, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov underscored that the document directly calls the US the main instigator of anti-Russian politics in the world. The document stated that the US and its satellites had proclaimed the aim of weakening Russia in every possible way, including undermining its constructive civilizational role, power, economic and technological capabilities, limiting its sovereignty in foreign and domestic policy, and violating its territorial integrity.
“Lavrov is absolutely correct, he doesn’t have to make a case for this one,” Siracusa highlighted. “He sees the Americans providing the greatest resistance to Russian national interests today. What is America going to do about it? Not more than it’s already doing. It’s already engaged in sanctions with Russia, engaged in a proxy war in Ukraine with Russia. America doesn’t particularly want to cooperate on various agreements. I wish Moscow and Washington would agree at least to look at renewing nuclear arms control, which is very important. But that’s going to have to wait for another day. (…) When I say ‘the West’, I’m talking about the European Union, NATO and Washington, DC – in other words the leadership, not the majority of the American people. The majority of the American people are not anti-Russian or anti-Chinese. The anti-Russian policy is coming from Washington, DC, from the foreign policy establishment.”
In accordance with the updated doctrine, Russia is going to focus strongly on eliminating the rudiments of the US dominance in global affairs and create conditions to enable any state to renounce neo-colonial or hegemonic ambitions of Washington and its allies.
The document stresses that Russia is striving towards a system of international relations that would guarantee reliable security, preservation of its cultural and civilizational identity, and equal opportunities for the development of all states.
“They want to change the rules of the road, the norms established by the United States after 1945, when the United States had a preponderance of power, and particularly after 1991 until about 2001, the United States was a unilateral power. Russia would like to come back into the G7, which was the G8 in those days, and get back to the economic table. It’s very important for Russia to play a major role in large issues like migration, arms control and particularly climate change. So Russia has an important role to play and America should be looking for common ground. (…) We’re moving to a world of great powers or a multipolarity which requires multilateral solutions. In other words, instead of just the Soviet empire and America face to face, they now have to deal with a rising China, a rising India, while the US is in relative decline. (…) If someone like President Trump were elected in 2024, there would be an automatic reset in Russian-American relations, so we can move to a more comfortable arrangement.”
The New Foreign Policy Concept Marks Global South Renaissance & End of West-Centered Order
The updated foreign policy doctrine revises Russia’s international role and sets a priority of facilitating the establishment of a multipolar and equitable system of international relations that would guarantee security and equal opportunities for the development for all states.
“Russia decided to adopt a new foreign policy concept because the external environment has fundamentally and drastically changed,” Dmitry Suslov, deputy director of the Center for European and International Studies at Russia’s Higher School of Economics and deputy director of research at the Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, told Sputnik.
“The world is rapidly heading towards multipolarity, whereas the United States is fighting back, trying to prevent the consolidation of the multipolar order. And as a part of its efforts to preserve its hegemony, the United States has launched a comprehensive hybrid war against Russia. This is emphasized directly in the foreign policy concept with the purpose of strategic defeat of Russia and weakening of Russia in all aspects. Moreover, the United States coerced the majority of its allies and satellites, the Anglo-Saxon countries and also many European countries, into this hybrid war against Russia,” Suslov continued.
The document directly calls the US the main instigator of anti-Russian policies in the world and draws attention to Washington’s consistent attempts to weaken Russia in every possible way.
“This was not the choice of the Russian Federation,” the doctrine reads. “Russia does not consider itself to be an enemy of the West; is not isolating itself from the West and has no hostile intentions with regard to it.”
Russia hopes that in future the West will take into account the complex realities of a multipolar world and resume pragmatic cooperation, as per the updated foreign policy concept.
At the same time the doctrine suggests using the military to fend off or prevent an armed attack on Russia and its allies. “Thus, we unequivocally declare that we will defend the right of the Russian people to [their] existence and free development,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated, while commenting on the newly released document.
“The new foreign policy concept, I think, is very relevant to the existing geopolitical realities,” noted Suslov. “It provides a very accurate analysis and observation of the current state of the world with the two major prominent tendencies, the world heading towards multipolarity, consolidation and creation of multipolar, political and economic orders (…) Based on this analysis, the Russian foreign policy has to be also bifurcated with, I would say, one priority being deepening cooperation and partnership with non-Western countries and strengthening economic and political partnership with China, India, Middle Eastern countries, African countries, Latin American countries is highlighted as priorities of Russian foreign policy; and on the other hand, struggling against the West.”
The new doctrine is also striving to eliminate the vestiges of domination by the US and other unfriendly states in global affairs and create conditions to enable any state to renounce neo-colonial or hegemonic ambitions.
“I think that behind this is, as we see, the completely new financial order and new security order in the world,” Professor Stevan Gajic, a research associate at the Institute of European Studies in Belgrade, told Sputnik. “Things that were unimaginable are happening. The dollar is evaporating as a world currency, as the only currency for buying oil and and gas. The Middle East is completely changing. Also, the countries of ASEAN, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, are talking about getting rid of dollar, euro, pounds and Japanese yen for international transactions and actually start transacting in local currencies. These changes are immense. They are huge. And of course what is stated is already happening. The United States’ power is being challenged all over the world.”
Thus, Russia’s new foreign policy concept marks the revolutionary changes in global affairs, according to Sputnik’s interlocutors. After centuries of colonialism and great power struggle, the Great Eurasia and the Global South are emerging as sovereign and independent players, as per the Serbian professor. Furthermore, Russia’s new foreign policy doctrine seals the nation’s intention to “contribute to the further evolution of Africa as an original and influential center of world development” and to ensure “sovereign equality of states, respect for their right to choose models of development, and social, political and economic order.”
“Countries like India, China, Russia, Iran, and Iraq have constantly been in some kind of a power struggle. What the countries of the great Eurasian continent realized is that they should cooperate and get rid of the mediator that was constantly actually provoking them and causing trouble,” Stevan Gajic noted referring to the UK’s “Great Game” in Eurasia followed by the US/NATO invasions. “That is exactly what is happening. And this is why I believe that these changes are significant and that the new foreign policy is needed so that Russia and Russian diplomats have the, let’s say, blueprint for conducting their business in the future.”