LONDON (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday approved a new foreign policy doctrine based on the concept of the “Russian world,” an idea used by conservative ideologues to justify intervention abroad to prop up Russian speakers.
The 31-page “Humanitarian Policy,” published more than six months after the war in Ukraine, says Russia must “protect, protect and advance the traditions and ideals of the Russian world.”
While presented as a kind of soft power strategy, it is enshrined in official policy ideas about Russian politics and religion that some hardliners have used to justify Moscow’s occupation of parts of Ukraine and support for dissident pro-Russian entities in the east of the country.
“The Russian Federation provides support to its citizens living abroad in fulfilling their rights, to ensure the protection of their interests and the preservation of their Russian cultural identity,” the policy states.
She said Russia’s relations with its citizens abroad have allowed it to “reinforce its image on the international stage as a democratic country striving to create a multipolar world”.
Putin has for years been highlighting what he sees as the tragic fate of some 25 million ethnic Russians who found themselves living outside Russia in newly independent nations when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, an event he has described as a geopolitical disaster.
Russia continued to view the former Soviet space, from the Baltic states to Central Asia, as its legitimate sphere of influence – an idea that many of those countries as well as the West fiercely resisted.
The new policy states that Russia should increase cooperation with Slavic countries, China and India, and strengthen its relations with the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.
She said that Moscow should deepen its relations with Abkhazia and Ossetia, two Georgian regions that were recognized as independent by Moscow after its war against Georgia in 2008, as well as the two separatist entities in eastern Ukraine, the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk. People’s Republic.
(Reuters reporting; Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Alistair Bell)
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