"Radical changes in international affairs have forced us to seriously revise our main documents on strategic planning, including the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, which sets out the principles, tasks and priorities of our diplomacy.
The Foreign Ministry, working together with the Presidential Executive Office, the Security Council Staff, the Government and many ministries and departments, has completed a large-scale and meticulous job to update and adjust the concept to modern geopolitical realities."
Vladimir Putin 31 March 2023
"It is well known that international security comprises much more than issues relating to military and political stability.
It involves the stability of the global economy, overcoming poverty, economic security and developing a dialogue between civilisations.
This universal, indivisible character of security is expressed as the basic principle that “security for one is security for all”...And, just like any war, the Cold War left us with live ammunition, figuratively speaking.
I am referring to ideological stereotypes, double standards and other typical aspects of Cold War bloc thinking.
The unipolar world that had been proposed after the Cold War did not take place either....However, what is a unipolar world? ...at the end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making.
It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within ..
I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world...Unilateral and frequently illegitimate actions have not resolved any problems. Moreover, they have caused new human tragedies and created new centres of tension.
We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law.
And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?
In international relations we increasingly see the desire to resolve a given question according to so-called issues of political expediency, based on the current political climate.
And of course this is extremely dangerous. It results in the fact that no one feels safe.I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security.
And we must proceed by searching for a reasonable balance between the interests of all participants in the international dialogue. Especially since the international landscape is so varied and changes so quickly – changes in light of the dynamic development in a whole number of countries and regions...The combined GDP measured in purchasing power parity of countries such as India and China is already greater than that of the United States. And a similar calculation with the GDP of the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – surpasses the cumulative GDP of the EU. And according to experts this gap will only increase in the future.
There is no reason to doubt that the economic potential of the new centres of global economic growth will inevitably be converted into political influence and will strengthen multipolarity...I am convinced that the only mechanism that can make decisions about using military force as a last resort is the Charter of the United Nations... I would like to recall that in the 1980s the USSR and the United States signed an agreement on destroying a whole range of small - and medium-range missiles but these documents do not have a universal character.
Today many other countries have these missiles, including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of Korea, India, Iran, Pakistan and Israel. Many countries are working on these systems and plan to incorporate them as part of their weapons arsenals. And only the United States and Russia bear the responsibility to not create such weapons systems.
It is obvious that in these conditions we must think about ensuring our own security.
At the same time, it is impossible to sanction the appearance of new, destabilising high-tech weapons.
Needless to say it refers to measures to prevent a new area of confrontation, especially in outer space....The Adapted Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe was signed in 1999. It took into account a new geopolitical reality, namely the elimination of the Warsaw bloc. Seven years have passed and only four states have ratified this document, including the Russian Federation.
NATO countries openly declared that they will not ratify this treaty, including the provisions on flank restrictions (on deploying a certain number of armed forces in the flank zones), until Russia removed its military bases from Georgia and Moldova. Our army is leaving Georgia, even according to an accelerated schedule. We resolved the problems we had with our Georgian colleagues, as everybody knows. There are still 1,500 servicemen in Moldova that are carrying out peacekeeping operations and protecting warehouses with ammunition left over from Soviet times...Simultaneously the so-called flexible frontline American bases with up to five thousand men in each.
It turns out that NATO has put its frontline forces on our borders, and we continue to strictly fulfil the treaty obligations and do not react to these actions at all.
I think it is obvious that NATO expansion does not have any relation with the modernisation of the Alliance itself or with ensuring security in Europe.
On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust. And we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them. But I will allow myself to remind this audience what was said. I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: “the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee”. Where are these guarantees?...
In the energy sector Russia intends to create uniform market principles and transparent conditions for all. It is obvious that energy prices must be determined by the market instead of being the subject of political speculation, economic pressure or blackmail...Economic security is the sector in which all must adhere to uniform principles....
As you know, the process of Russia joining the WTO has reached its final stages. I would point out that during long, difficult talks we heard words about freedom of speech, free trade, and equal possibilities more than once but, for some reason, exclusively in reference to the Russian market.
And there is still one more important theme that directly affects global security. Today many talk about the struggle against poverty. What is actually happening in this sphere? On the one hand, financial resources are allocated for programmes to help the world’s poorest countries – and at times substantial financial resources. But to be honest — and many here also know this – linked with the development of that same donor country’s companies. And on the other hand, developed countries simultaneously keep their agricultural subsidies and limit some countries’ access to high-tech products.
And let’s say things as they are – one hand distributes charitable help and the other hand not only preserves economic backwardness but also reaps the profits thereof. The increasing social tension in depressed regions inevitably results in the growth of radicalism, extremism, feeds terrorism and local conflicts. And if all this happens in, shall we say, a region such as the Middle East where there is increasingly the sense that the world at large is unfair, then there is the risk of global destabilisation.
It is obvious that the world’s leading countries should see this threat. And that they should therefore build a more democratic, fairer system of global economic relations, a system that would give everyone the chance and the possibility to develop...According to the founding documents, in the humanitarian sphere the OSCE is designed to assist country members in observing international human rights norms at their request. This is an important task. We support this. But this does not mean interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, and especially not imposing a regime that determines how these states should live and develop.
It is obvious that such interference does not promote the development of democratic states at all. On the contrary, it makes them dependent and, as a consequence, politically and economically unstable.
We expect that the OSCE be guided by its primary tasks and build relations with sovereign states based on respect, trust and transparency....I very often – hear appeals by our partners, including our European partners, to the effect that Russia should play an increasingly active role in world affairs.
In connection with this I would allow myself to make one small remark. It is hardly necessary to incite us to do so.
Russia is a country with a history that spans more than a thousand years and has practically always used the privilege to carry out an independent foreign policy.
We are not going to change this tradition today. At the same time, we are well aware of how the world has changed and we have a realistic sense of our own opportunities and potential. And of course we would like to interact with responsible and independent partners with whom we could work together in constructing a fair and democratic world order that would ensure security and prosperity not only for a select few, but for all....
What are we indebted to in the past decades if there was a stand-off between two superpowers and two systems but nevertheless a big war did not take place? We are indebted to the balance of powers between these two superpowers. There was an equilibrium and a fear of mutual destruction. And in those days one party was afraid to make an extra step without consulting the other. And this was certainly a fragile peace and a frightening one. But as we see today, it was reliable enough. Today, it seems that the peace is not so reliable.
Yes, the United States is ostensibly not developing an offensive weapon. In any case, the public does not know about this. Even though they are certainly developing them. But we aren’t even going to ask about this now. We know that these developments are proceeding. But we pretend that we don’t know, so we say that they aren’t developing new weapons.
But what do we know? That the United States is actively developing and already strengthening an anti-missile defence system. Today this system is ineffective but we do not know exactly whether it will one day be effective. But in theory it is being created for that purpose. So hypothetically we recognise that when this moment arrives, the possible threat from our nuclear forces will be completely neutralised. Russia’s present nuclear capabilities, that is.
The balance of powers will be absolutely destroyed and one of the parties will benefit from the feeling of complete security. This means that its hands will be free not only in local but eventually also in global conflicts.
We are discussing this with you now. I would not want anyone to suspect any aggressive intentions on our part. But the system of international relations is just like mathematics. There are no personal dimensions.
And of course we should react to this. How? Either the same as you and therefore by building a multi-billion dollar anti-missile system or, in view of our present economic and financial possibilities, by developing an asymmetrical answer. So that everybody can understand that the anti-missile defence system is useless against Russia because we have certain weapons that easily overcome it. And we are proceeding in this direction. It is cheaper for us. And this is in no way directed against the United States themselves.
I completely agree if you say that the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) is not directed against us, just as our new weapons are not directed against you.... I will allow myself to remind both myself and my colleagues that according to the UN Charter peace-keeping operations require the sanction of both the UN and the UN Security Council. This is in the case of peace-keeping operations. But in the UN Charter there is also an article about self-defence. And no sanctions are required in this case.
What bothers us? I can say and I think that it is clear for all, that when these non-governmental organisations are financed by foreign governments, we see them as an instrument that foreign states use to carry out their Russian policies. That is the first thing.
The second. In every country there are certain rules for financing, shall we say, election campaigns. Financing from foreign governments, including within governmental campaigns, proceeds through non-governmental organisations. And who is happy about this? Is this normal democracy? It is secret financing. Hidden from society. Where is the democracy here? Can you tell me? No! You can’t tell me and you never will be able to. Because there is no democracy here, there is simply one state exerting influence on another.
But we are interested in developing civil society in Russia, so that it scolds and criticises the authorities, helps them determine their own mistakes, and correct their policies in Russian citizens’ interests. We are certainly interested in this and we will support civil society and non-governmental organisations.
As to fears and so on, are you aware that today Russians have fewer fears than citizens in many other countries? Because in the last few years we made cardinal changes to improve the economic well-being of our citizens. We still have a great many problems. And we still have a great many unresolved problems. Including problems linked with poverty. And I can tell you that fears basically come from this source."
Vladimir Putin, 2007
["The main point is that, as an independent state, Russia pursues a multi-vector foreign policy driven by its national priorities and the awareness of its special responsibility for maintaining peace and security at the global and regional levels.
More than a thousand years of independent statehood, rich cultural heritage and the ability to ensure harmonious coexistence of different peoples, ethnic, religious and linguistic groups on one common territory, which has been developed over many centuries, determine Russia's special position as a unique country-civilization."
Vladimir Putin 5 April 2023]
[Russia's war effort - immensely costly in Russian blood, was the deciding factor in expelling the Nazi German invaders from Russian territory and enabling Russia to raise its flag over the Reichstag in Berlin. Russia was active in Africa helping emerging African States throw off their colonial 'masters'. Today, Russia casts western capital-investing competitors working in foreign countries as 'colonialist' or 'neo-colonialist', probably because it plays well to sentiment in Africa and other countries that were historically colonised by the west. Whether Russia's investment in former colonies offer any better terms than the West, or China, or the United Arab Emirates or anyone else, is a matter of debate.
Russia clearly states that it is the only one who can bring about a multipolar world. Why? Because it has powerful potential - one of the world's largest resource base of minerals, abundant energy, an educated workforce, the diplomatic good will, a technically competent, sober, and forward-looking leadership group, and the most advanced and competent defensively postured continental military force in the world. Most importantly, it uses its power potential in the service of achieving a fair and equitable trading system and in the interests of world peace.
"I am ...for now the leader of this big country. As such, it is fitting to show restraint and avoid displays of excessive aggressiveness. I do not think that this is my style in any case."
Vladimir Putin 27 October 2016
"Our country will continue performing a historically unique mission aimed at maintaining global balance of power and building a multipolar international system, as well as ensuring conditions for the peaceful progressive development of humanity on the basis of a unifying and constructive agenda."
Vladimir Putin 5 April 2023
"Today, the question is whether the world order will be truly fair, democratic and multipolar, or whether a small group of states will retain their ability to impose their will on other countries and resolve their own problems at the expense of others. To live at the expense of others is the principle that colonisers live by.
Sergey Lavrov 6 June 2023]
[ Russia usually refers to 'friendly' or 'unfriendly' states. Here they using the term 'constructive' because it is talking about the nature of their policies, rather than the totality of a foreign states official attitude as it present itself to Russia.]
[" If the United States continues following its current path of confrontation with Russia, increasing the stakes for an armed conflict, the future of the Start Treaty could be predetermined.
But if a worst-case scenario develops, that is, if Washington brings the situation to a military conflict between the world’s biggest nuclear powers, humanity will have to worry about the destiny of the entire world instead of trying to save the START treaty.
This confirms once again the fact that today the most acute threat is related not so much to the dynamics of incentives for a massive first strike, which agreements like the Start Treaty were largely designed to curb, as to the danger of nuclear escalation stemming from a direct military confrontation between nuclear powers. To my deep regret, these risks are steadily growing.
This is exactly why we keep emphasising the risks in the US and NATO’s actions. They seem to have plunged into an illusion of impunity as they play around with chimeras like “escalation control” and “escalation dominance.” We continue sending the West sobering signals on the need to prevent a disaster, but they remain deaf to our appeals. Moreover, they maliciously distort them for propaganda purposes.
If the United States and its allies ultimately show that they are ready for this, there will be a chance for reaching new viable agreements with them in the areas of strategic stability and arms control.
We have not abandoned the possibility of signing international treaties to regulate our relations with the West in the field of strategic stability in the future, after we attain the goals of the ongoing special military operation.
I would like to repeat that this is only possible based on respect for Russia’s fundamental interests. This is the underlying message of the Foreign Policy Concept.
[Commenting on the possibility of a START Treaty including France and Britain] This possibility does not exist in the current situation. Arms control is inseparable from the general geopolitical and military strategic situation. Any serious steps in this area are always linked with constructive political processes in relations between the contracting parties.
There should be at least mutual realisation of the need for dialogue-based solutions and the political will to encourage the sides to conduct substantive talks based on compromise.
The West is not doing anything like this.
On the contrary, the US and its allies are waging a total hybrid war against Russia in a bid to inflict a strategic military defeat on our country and to try to contain it politically and economically. They hope that they will eventually manage to subordinate a weakened Russia to Western dictate from a position of strength.
However, as history has shown many times, this approach to Russia has no prospects for success."
Director of the Foreign Ministry Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov 25 April 2023
["all available means" encompasses military and technical, political and economic. This is a clear warning of Russian intentions, and Russia has already gone down this path in it's economic response.
Russia's 'creative energy' of course relates to helping bring about bilateral trade, parity trade, a 'trading currency', and new means of clearing commercial payments, including using blockchain contracts. It also refers to harmonising inter-country trade regulations and dispute settlement, new contingency funds for capital liquidity and the like. I have written about this here.
'Geographic vector' includes Russia's turn to the East, the Middle East, and to a lesser extent, South and Central America and maybe Mexico. China, India and other friendly countries together make up the bulk of the world's population.]
["the Western leaders have forgotten that the key principle of the United Nations Charter is sovereign equality of all states regardless of the size of the territory, population, form of government, or political or socioeconomic system. The West is grossly violating this principle of sovereign equality of states, dividing the world into “democracies” and “autocracies,” or “autocratic regimes.”
If we call things by their proper names, the division is into the “select few” that are allowed to do whatever they please and into the “others” that have to follow the “golden billion” and cater to its interests.
The essence of US policy, now that the United States has brought to heel all of Europe, is this: they have the right to do whatever they want and the rest – only what they are allowed."
Sergey Lavrov 6 June 2023 ]
["The new Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, approved by President of Russia Vladimir Putin in March 2023, highlights the SCO’s role in a new international order.
It lists the SCO as one of the centres of an emerging multipolar international order, along with the EAEU, the CSTO, the CIS, ASEAN, regional associations of developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia."
Sergey Lavrov 5 May 2023 ]
[Russia is likely to partner with China as well as US in space programs.]
[Once again, Russia does not 'cut off it's nose to spite it's face'. It is willing to allow foreign businesses to buy Russian exports and to work within Russia, as long as those businesses are engaged in practical work that furthers the well-being of the people of Russia..
"The use of politically motivated unilateral restrictions by the majority of US-led Western countries has become a sign of the times. Sanctions are introduced for everything, both for a reason and without it. A flagrant example is what is being done with Nord Stream 2. [comment: this statement was made before a state sponsored actor blew up the pipeline.]
We respond to such unfriendly steps in a balanced and appropriate manner, being guided by the need to maintain the sustainability of the domestic economy and financial system. At the same time, we offer our own positive agenda for ensuring equitable cooperation and a balance of interests in international economic relations without discrimination."
Sergey Lavrov 23 November 2021 "
[Russia - or rather, the Russian President - was initially ambivalent about the fossil fuel cause of climate change, although he noted that whatever the cause, Russia "cannot go wrong" by reducing anthropogenic emissions. He noted that regardless of what countries say, in reality "...we do not see the transition. What we see is the man's efforts to develop alternative energy sources, but so far there is no critical transition from hydrocarbons to renewable sources – critical from the standpoint of those who produce oil, gas and coal." He also notes that natural gas - which Russia has in abundance - is the least damaging of the fossil fuels, but countries show no letup in the use of coal.
By 2022 he was fully aware of the human fossil-fuel driven nature of climate change, and committed to reducing emissions. It will be 'too little, too late', but this is the story in almost every country of the world.
"It is a huge challenge to the world, to the whole of humanity, including to us, to Russia, where permafrost occupies 65 percent of our national territory. Such changes can do irreparable damage to biological diversity, have an extremely adverse effect on the economy and infrastructure and pose a direct threat to people.
You may be aware that this is very important to us. It affects pipeline systems, residential districts built on permafrost, and so on. If as much as 25 percent of the near-surface layers of permafrost, which is about three or four metres, melt by 2100, we will feel the effect very strongly.
Moreover, the problem could snowball into a crisis very quickly. A kind of chain reaction is possible, because permafrost melting will stimulate methane emissions, which can produce a greenhouse effect that will be 28 times larger than in the case of carbon dioxide. In other words, the temperature will continue rising on the planet, permafrost will continue melting, and methane emissions will further increase. The situation will spiral. Do we want the Earth to become like Venus, a hot, dry and lifeless planet? I would like to remind you that the Earth has an average surface temperature of 14°C while on Venus it’s 462°C.
Now I would like to say a few words about oil and everything connected with it, the demand for oil and so on. We are working on alternative energy sources ourselves. We are one of the richest countries in hydrocarbons, oil and gas, but this does not mean at all that we should not think about the future. We are thinking about it and about solar energy and hydrogen energy. We are working on this. Moreover, we are working on this with a view to improving the current situation.
You know for sure that we have adopted a decision in line with which in 2022 we must make our 300 largest contaminators, that is, 300 major companies that are the biggest emitters of these gases, switch to the most accessible, latest technology that would minimise emissions into the atmosphere and into the environment in general of any pollutants, and reduce these emissions by 20 percent by 2024. But we understand that by dealing with these 300 companies and 12 cities where most of them are located, we will not drastically improve the situation.
Our strategy in this respect is aimed at halving all anthropogenic emissions by 2030. We must move towards this goal. We have set it for ourselves and will pursue it consistently. We will work on it.
That said, I do not think it will be realistic, provided every country wants to be competitive, to abandon hydrocarbons in the near future. I believe the near future embraces several decades: 30, 40 and 50 years from now. This is simply unrealistic."
Vladimir Putin 22 October 2022 ]
41. For the purpose of preserving the favourable environment, improving of its quality, and intelligently adapt Russia to the climate changes in the interests of modern and future generations, the Russian Federation intends to give priority to:
[Russia has large hydro power and nuclear power potential, but takes the view that like it or not, the objective facts at the moment point to the continued consumption of fossils fuels to maintain current conditions of life. Russia has large complements of fossil fuels and clearly intends to meet global demand with them. At the same time, Russia is going to 'do more' to increase the percent of renewable energy in its domestic energy mix.
"According to expert data, global energy consumption will increase in the coming decades, and the ratio between hydrocarbons and renewable sources, such as nuclear power and hydropower, will remain about the same.
Today (whether it is good or bad, but this is the case) this relationship between different sources remains unchanged. The total volume is up.
Let us not forget that Russia is a vast country with hydropower capabilities, and we are expanding and will continue to expand nuclear energy. Nuclear power accounts for only 16 percent of energy generation. In France, it is already more than 90 percent, and we have only 16. We have to get to at least 25. Our neighbours, Finland, are going to build as well. And so on. So, we have not missed anything."
Vladimir Putin 9 April 2019]
"We face many problems related to climate change in general. We know that the US did not sign the Paris Agreement, and the US Administration has its own reasons and logic. I am not among those who feel the current Administration should be attacked for this, we just need to engage in dialogue.
And in that case I think we will be able to try to find a common solution. Because it is hard to expect effective work from the international community without US participation in the process, or China’s or India’s participation, for example.
The US is a big emitter. It is obvious, and we must acknowledge it. This is why a solution must be found, the US should be brought on board and invited to engage in dialogue. On the whole, as I see it, Mr Trump does not refuse. That is number one, and even number two.Third, I feel that many bilateral matters are currently perceived under the pressure of the domestic political situation. We hope when the situation gets back to normal, prospects will open for cooperation, including bilateral, on the issues I mentioned."
Vladimir Putin 9 April 2019
[Here Russia is referring to articles 7, 8, 9, and 10 of the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea which discuss the limits of the territorial sea and how it is measured, and what exactly are 'inland waters'. Article 10 discusses the 'historic' bays, which may have a different measure. In any event, all parties to the convention had the ability to iron out interpretations before the 1982 convention was finalised, and all parties have access to a dispute mechanism. The United States is not a party to the law of the Sea, and has no say in how boundaries are determined.
When Russia mentions 'special responsibility of Arctic States', it is referring to articles 234, 235 and 236 of the convention, which are worth quoting in their entirety:
234 -Coastal States have the right to adopt and enforce non-discriminatory laws and regulations for the prevention, reduction and control of marine pollution from vessels in ice-covered areas within the limits of the exclusive economic zone, where particularly severe climatic conditions and the presence of ice covering such areas for most of the year create obstructions or exceptional hazards to navigation, and pollution of the marine environment could cause major harm to or irreversible disturbance of the ecological balance. Such laws and regulations shall have due regard to navigation and the protection and preservation of the marine environment based on the best available scientific evidence.Once again, the United States is not a party to the convention. It will be interesting to see what 'permissions' they allow themselves in this fragile environment, especially as Russia reserved itself from some elements of the Convention that talk about military activity.
235 - 1. States are responsible for the fulfilment of their international obligations concerning the protection and preservation of the marine environment. They shall be liable in accordance with international law.
2. States shall ensure that recourse is available in accordance with their legal systems for prompt and adequate compensation or other relief in respect of damage caused by pollution of the marine environment by natural or juridical persons under their jurisdiction.
3. With the objective of assuring prompt and adequate compensation in respect of all damage caused by pollution of the marine environment, States shall cooperate in the implementation of existing international law and the further development of international law relating to responsibility and liability for the assessment of and compensation for damage and the settlement of related disputes, as well as, where appropriate, development of criteria and procedures for payment of adequate compensation, such as compulsory insurance or compensation funds.
236 - Sovereign immunity - The provisions of this Convention regarding the protection and preservation of the marine environment do not apply to any warship, naval auxiliary, other vessels or aircraft owned or operated by a State and used, for the time being, only on government non-commercial service.
However, each State shall ensure, by the adoption of appropriate measures not impairing operations or operational capabilities of such vessels or aircraft owned or operated by it, that such vessels or aircraft act in a manner consistent, so far as is reasonable and practicable, with this Convention.
"...when ratifying the Convention on the Law of the Sea, it [the Russian Federation] does not accept the procedures provided for in Section 2 of Part XV, which lead to binding decisions on disputes regarding military activities, including naval activities by government vessels."
Maria Zakharova, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman 14 October 2021
["Russian diplomacy prioritises the promotion of interfaith and intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding, as well as the consolidation of our efforts to stand up for the traditional spiritual and moral values shared by all world religions, and also combatting Islamophobia, including within the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the OSCE. This principled approach has been set forth in the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation as approved by President Vladimir Putin in late March 2023."The Russian Federation has a large, and growing, Muslim population. The high birth rate in Muslim regions and low birth rate in Christian Orthodox regions has meant Muslims, who made up about 12% of Russia's population 2017, are now on track to make up about 30% of Russia's population by 2034. Naturally, given history, the government is very determined to promote religious and cultural tolerance and universal moral values (human rights). In addition, Russia is increasing its economic ties to the Muslim world, in the Middle East, and in Africa.]
Sergey Lavrov 18 May 2023
[The aggression against Syria was funded by Saudis, Qataris, and the USA. Saudi actors imported weapons from the Balkans and transited them to terrorists trying to overthrow the legitimate government. Turkey funneled fanatical jihadi terrorists into Syria from all over the Middle East, North Africa, Russia's Chechen Republic, and muslim regions of China. Turkey seized adjacent grain-rich Syrian provinces and proceeded to 'Turkify' the occupied Syrian territory.
The UK, Israel and the EU supplied intel and propaganda services, assisted in fabricating chemical 'atrocities', helped destroy the integrity of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and helped Kurdish Syrians to seize grain and oil rich northern Syria. All (except Israel) assisted in attacking Syria with cruise missiles on the false pretext of Syria's use of chemical weapons.
The Kurds wanted to create a 'homeland' for Kurds (even although their rights to their own language and culture are guaranteed under Syrian law). The terrorists, in contrast, wanted to establish a hard-line wahabbi religous government on Syria, which, while largely Sunni, is based on civil governance in the interests of all faiths and ethical systems. The USA happily looked on as terrorists took over large parts of Syria, and did nothing to stop the terrorists stealing oil, destroying archaeological sites of immense importance, stealing and exporting antquities. Only when Russia finally intervened and bombed the hundreds of tankers running oil to Turkey did USA finally lift a finger to stop 'their' terrorists.
"The war in Syria, by the way, has lasted already longer than WWI and longer than from the invasion of Hitler into the Soviet Union till the end of the WWII. And this damned, confusing and horrible war costs hundreds and thousands of human lives, produces millions of refugees and damages the trust between states that do not even share common borders with Syria....
...the conflict between Israel and Palestine, which to me seems to be further away from resolution than ever. I recently assisted at the funeral of Shimon Peres in Jerusalem. And even the eulogies referenced that Shimon Peres was convinced of the necessity of peace with the Palestinians, since without the courage for peace, so Shimon often said Israel cannot safely exist.
The current Israeli government focuses on security and they say, without security there can be no peace. However, security cannot take precedence over peace, both are needed, simultaneous and full."
Vladimir Putin 27 October 2016 ]
["To put it briefly, the emergence of what we call a polycentric world order is an objective process consisting of the emergence of new centres of economic and financial power, enhancing their political leverage along the way. This is an organic process, as exemplified by the BRICS phenomenon....the emergence of polycentric trends gave birth to a new era with the ascendance of China and India, which are now economic powerhouses, and of course Russia, when it stopped being embarrassed by its uniqueness, roots and cultural and civilisational identity. All these processes were met with harsh resentment...the emergence of a polycentric, democratic and a more just world order is inevitable, just as the resistance by old powers to these new trends in global politics. This is life. One thing that brings some comfort in this situation is that the majority is with those who support collective approaches in international affairs. The majority shares our view about the need for mutual respect."
Sergey Lavrov 30 July 2018
The difference between a 'polycentric' world and a 'multipolar' world is lost on me. Whatever the case, Mr. Lavrov a few years ago remarked that he thought it might take as long as 25 years for a multipolar world to emerge. Thanks to Russian planning to counter western aggression a multipolar world is being born much sooner.]
[How will Russia neutralise threats to its security, sovereignty and territorial integrity from these State entities? First comes deterrence, that is, making it obvious that any attack on Russia will meet with a 'military-technical response'. This could include anything from cyberattacks to cutting of internet and undersea power cables, destruction of gas pipelines and oil terminals through to targeted destruction of part or all of the armed forces of NATO and relevant European States.
"The EU countries and EU leaders are openly talking about the need to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, as they put it. They are pumping the criminal Kiev regime full of weapons and ammunition, and are sending instructors and mercenaries to Ukraine...
We will respond to hostile steps in a tough manner if need be, guided by the national interests of Russia and the principle of reciprocity that is universally accepted in diplomatic practice."
Sergey Lavrov 4 April 2023
The reference to responding in a 'tough manner' probably means that EU instructors in Ukraine may be targeted in future. More likely, it means Russia might stop third party supply of Russian oil, further restrict Russian oil production, and end the export of Ukrainian grains to Europe.
How will it protect its 'spiritual and moral values? By censoring some parts of the internet and foreign NGO organisations, expelling foreign news media organisations that spread anti-Russian propaganda, and supporting its orthodox church missions in European countries.
Russia will protect its socio-economic development by developing foreign trade and trade partners who make sovereign decisions and will not permit interference by the west. It seems to me that Russia will actively promote regional commodity trade hubs at critical socio-geographic nodes - Venezuela, Brazil, Turkey, India, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kazakhstan. China is already the world's largest and most effective trade hub.
Russia will probably reduce and neutralise these same threats to 'allies' and partners by sharing military technology, weapons sales, and perhaps military intelligence. In the case of Belarus, a Union State member, Russia will provide military training, equipment, weapons, and now nuclear weapons stationed in Belarus (although these are likely a card to be given away in some distant arms control treaty, or, in the less distant future, a Eurasian Security Treaty). The main deterrent force to maintain peace and stability is cooperative work against terrorism, and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation rapid reaction force when west sponsored coups are attempted.
"...this is the first case where the CSTO has used its peacemaking potential in practice to ensure the security, stability and integrity of one of its members. For us, not only the military but also and primarily the moral support of our CSTO partners is of principle importance. All CSTO member states acted as a united front and resolutely supported Kazakhstan’s request.
Now I would like to tell you about the current developments in our country and the events of the past few days. Having a full picture of these events, I can say with responsibility that all the events that have taken place since the beginning of this year are links in the same chain. They are part of a single destructive scenario that has been in preparation for a long time. Investigation will reveal whether these preparations were made over one, two or three years...Spontaneous rallies were used as a pretext for provoking civil unrest. Religious radicals, criminals, outright thugs, looters and petty hooligans filled the streets as if on cue. Socio-economic and socio-political demands were put on the back burner, they were forgotten. Next followed the hot phase, and armed fighters, who were biding their time, took over.
The main goal of these events became clear – to undermine the constitutional system, destroy governance institutions and seize power. It is obvious now that these armed activities were coordinated from a single centre, and the carefully planned operation entered its decisive phase.
Proof of this is provided by the simultaneous – I repeat, simultaneous – attacks on the buildings of regional governments, law enforcement agencies, pretrial detention centres, strategic facilities, banks, the TV tower and television channels. They seized airports, blocked motorways and railway lines and hindered the operation of ambulances and fire-fighters.
During attacks on military units and checkpoints, the thugs attempted to seize weapons and military equipment. Real fighting went on in Almaty and several other cities. For example, the attack on the Interior Ministry department in Almaty went on for two nights. The police repelled the attacks. Seven armourers’ shops were seized in Almaty alone. These attacks were staged by trained professionals, including snipers armed with special rifles.
The terrorists used special communication equipment and wore military and police uniforms. They cynically used the protesters as human shields. Using their five-fold superiority in terms of numbers, the thugs attacked our police and military personnel, beating them up with extreme brutality, decapitating two of them. There were barbarous attacks on hospitals.
Seeking to stretch the state’s resources, the masterminds organised their attack across a wide front. Their aggression was taking place across 11 regions simultaneously, but their main blow was directed at Almaty. As you know, this is the largest city in Kazakhstan, the country’s financial centre, which also serves as the main transport and communications hub. Losing control of this city would have paved the way to losing the densely populated southern part of the country and then the country in its entirety. Terrorists hoped to stretch thin the law enforcement agencies and then attack the capital of Kazakhstan. We have seen fighters converge on the President’s residence. In fact, this was a real war unleashed by terrorists against our state using various methods.
We had to take unprecedented measures in response. Kazakhstan’s military and law enforcement agencies have succeeded in mobilising themselves, rebuffing the attackers, and taking control of the situation. Unfortunately, this came at a very high cost: there were casualties in the military and law enforcement agencies, as well as among civilians, with 16 members of law enforcement and the military dead and over 1,300 wounded. Unfortunately, there were also civilian casualties, although we have yet to obtain the exact figures.
More than 1,270 businesses were affected across the country, with more than 100 shopping centres and banks looted. The police alone lost about 500 vehicles, either damaged or burnt. The physical damage has been huge, and a special government commission has been tasked with assessing it.
I can tell you in all certainty that terrorists, including foreign fighters, were directly involved in the aggression against Kazakhstan. It was not a coincidence that the criminals attacked morgues at night to collect and drive away with the corpses of their dead accomplices. They also took the corpses of fighters from the battlefield. We know what kind of international terrorists do this: this is how they cover up their tracks. It is obvious that they want to sow chaos in our country to seize power.
In keeping with the resolution of Kazakhstan’s Security Council and based on a comprehensive analysis carried out by the law enforcement agencies and special services, we designated these developments as a terrorist threat and an act of aggression. These developments reached a critical point when criminals took control of Almaty and nine regional capitals. This is when we declared a counter-terrorist operation.
Kazakhstan turned to the CSTO for assistance, which proved to be extremely timely. When the fighters learned that three cargo planes had arrived in the country’s capital, they gave up on their plan to seize the President’s residence. This enabled us to send more forces to Almaty and recapture the city from the hands of the terrorists..."
President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev 10 January 2022
"Considering the tectonic shifts that are taking place in the process of the rise of a new world order, the Foreign Ministry of Russia is part of the effort to strengthen our national security and strategic stability as a whole. We will continue to work energetically in accordance with our competences and the goals set out in the Foreign Policy Concept. Our goal in the geopolitical context is comprehensive and provides for building a fair multipolar world based on the principle of equal and indivisible security......While firmly upholding our interests, we will work consistently to encourage these countries to see that there is no alternative to creating the foundations of a harmonious and safe existence for everyone in a polycentric world."
Director of the Foreign Ministry Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov 25 April 2023
[I believe the Russia's Foreign Ministry use of the term 'Anglo-Saxons' derives from a piece that Mark Twain wrote on September 7, 1906. The sentiment is below, and the full text can be accessed here. In other words it is a tart reposte to the inadequacies of USA and UK (primarily).
"At the banquet, last winter, of that organization which calls itself the Ends of the Earth Club, the chairman, a retired regular army officer of high grade, proclaimed in a loud voice, and with fervency,Are the US and UK governments aware of this rapprochement? Of course. But they can never admit it.
“We are of the Anglo-Saxon race, and when the Anglo-Saxon wants a thing he just takes it.”
That utterance was applauded to the echo. There were perhaps seventy-five civilians present and twenty-five military and naval men. It took those people nearly two minutes to work off their stormy admiration of that great sentiment; and meanwhile the inspired prophet who had discharged it–from his liver, or his intestines, or his esophagus, or wherever he had bred it–stood there glowing and beaming and smiling, and issuing rays of happiness from every pore–rays that were so intense that they were visible...
The soldier man’s great utterance, interpreted by the expression which he put into it, meant, in plain English–
“The English and the Americans are thieves, highwaymen, pirates, and we are proud to be of the combination.”...
It was an amazing thing to see–that boyishly frank and honest and delighted outburst of enthusiasm over the soldier prophet’s mephitic remark. It looked suspiciously like a revelation–a secret feeling of the national heart surprised into expression and exposure by untoward accident; for it was a representative assemblage. All the chief mechanisms that constitute the machine which drives and vitalizes the national civilization were present–lawyers, bankers, merchants, manufacturers, journalists, politicians, soldiers, sailors–they were all there.
Apparently it was the United States in banquet assembled, and qualified to speak with authority for the nation and reveal its private morals to the public view...
We imported our imperialism from monarchical Europe; also our curious notions of patriotism–that is, if we have any principle of patriotism which any person can definitely and intelligibly define....but for us the European Food Trust might never have acquired the art of poisoning the world for cash; but for us her Insurance Trusts might never have found out the best way to work the widow and orphan for profit; but for us the long delayed resumption of Yellow Journalism in Europe might have been postponed for generations to come. Steadily, continuously, persistently, we are Americanizing Europe, and all in good time we shall get the job perfected."
Mark Twain 7 September 1906
["In the current circumstances, it is impossible to hold any meaningful talks with the United States or the West as a whole. Poisoned with the venom of pseudo-exceptionalism, Washington is not ready for an equal dialogue. The United States is using every opportunity to maintain its increasingly shaky position of “global hegemon” and is therefore resolved to aggravate confrontation with Russia and other states which do not accept the patently objectionable ideas of Pax Americana."
Director of the Foreign Ministry Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control Vladimir Yermakov 25 April 2023
The US aggressive anti-Russian policy (consonant with racism, in my opinion) manifests not only in proxy war on Russia, an illegal unilateral blocking of Russian foreign trade, but also in the diplomatic, cultural and social spheres.
The US embraces a form of petty apartheid, trying to split Russia from every form of international interaction as possible.
The USA has a destroyed diplomatic relations with Russia, from closing down Russian consulate facilities in USA, seizing the ambassadorial residence, searching Russian consular buildings prior to placing their own keypad lock on the door, savagely cutting Russian diplomats allowed to work in USA, limiting Russian diplomatic visa terms to absurdly short terms, preventing Russia from paying for costs of diplomats in USA, to prohibiting the entry of all high level Russian officials to Russia. Of course, the USA, as host country of the UN, is obliged to provide visas for Russian delegations to the UN. The US routinely delays the visas to the very last possible moment, and refuse visas for lower level Russian participants in UN activities.
Of course, Russia has reciprocally barred equivalent top US officials in response - President Biden, Secretary of State, head of the CIA, head of the Military, and so forth.
But Russians do not lock closed doors. They will temporarily lift blocks on these people if it is in Russia's national interests. Russia is willing to listen to what these people have to say, as long as it is respectful and constructive.
"This step, taken as a response measure, is the inevitable result of the extreme Russophobic policy of the current US Administration, which, in a desperate attempt to maintain American hegemony, has abandoned any sense of decorum and placed its bets on the head-on containment of
However, we do not oppose maintaining official ties when it is in our national interests, and, if necessary, we will address the issues arising from the status of the black-listed individuals in order to organise high-level contacts."
Sergey Lavrov 15 March 2022 ]
[There is nothing new in these conditions for relations with USA. They have been repeated over and over again, in one form or the other in recent years - and continue to be repeated.
"Unfortunately, relations between Russia and the United States, which directly affect global security and stability, are going through a deep crisis. It is rooted in fundamentally different approaches to the formation of the modern world order.
Madam Ambassador, I do not wish to upset the positive atmosphere of the ceremony for presenting the letters of credence and I know that you probably won’t share my opinion, but I must say that the use by the US of such foreign policy tools as support for the so-called colour revolutions, including support for the state coup in Ukraine in 2014, ultimately led to the current crisis in Ukraine and exacerbated the deterioration of Russia-US relations.
But we have always supported the development of Russia-US relations exclusively on the principles of equality, mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and interests, and non-interference in internal affairs. We will continue following these principles in the future as well."
Vladimir Putin, April 5 2023
Russia wants to maintain "strategic parity" with the US, where, at the moment, 'strategic' refers to nuclear weapons. There are two elements - first, Russia and the US should have the same nuclear destructive power and monitor each others arsenals to ensure neither side cheats. The US has unilaterally destroyed all nuclear weapons treaties except the the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty. But as the US has launched a hybrid war of aggression (a blockade and a proxy army) against Russia, and modernised Ukrainian drones to attack one of Russia's nuclear weapons deployment bases, Russia has as a consequence suspended (not withdrawn) it's participation in the treaty until the US stops it's attack and meets certain conditions.
US anti-missile complexes in Poland and elsewhere are deployed to shoot down Russian strategic weapons launched by Russia in response to a US 'first strike'. Why does Russia feel safe in taking this step, when Russia has no anti missile batteries to shoot down US nuclear weapons sitting close to the US border? Because Russia has unstoppable non-nuclear hypersonic missiles on submarines within minutes of the US coast. Their impact power is similar to a small nuclear explosion. A form of parity has been restored, at least for the moment.
Russia has always wanted "peaceful coexistence" with USA, and under the current President, bent itself out of shape to try to achieve that.
"I agree that we must at least try to break out of this vicious circle [with the USA]. But it was not us who began to draw this circle. On the contrary, we opened ourselves completely in the mid-1990s and we expected it would be an equal dialogue, that our interests would be reckoned with, that we would be able to talks to each other and meet each other halfway...It is inadmissible to seek to achieve one’s goals unilaterally and at any cost....Please don’t provoke us to actively defend our interests. Let us try to reach agreement on various matters.
I would like to hope that we will have other relations with the new administration, the relations of partnership and reckoning with each other’s interests..."
Vladimir Putin 27 October 2016
The USA pretended it was interested, but when it found it couldn't acquire most of Russia's strategic resources, it blew the dust off it's long standing plan to destroy the Russian State and place a US puppet in control. Russia wants peaceful cooexistence with the USA, but USA wants to endlessly provoke and attack the Russian Federation, in violation of Article 1 (1) of the United Nations Charter requiring members "To maintain international peace and security". The USA's aggressive policy to Russia is also in breach of the USA obligation under UN Charter Article 1 (2) to "To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace".
Russia rejects the USA concept of 'balance of power' in international relations, as it is based on confrontation and 'might makes right'. This is especially important because both countries are nuclear armed, and there is a great danger of miscalculation and the termination of life on earth in a nuclear conflagration. Such a scenario hardly advances either parties desire for their citizens to enjoy peaceful and secure lives.
The "balance of interest" concept that Russia insists upon is, I suspect, based on agreeing cooperatively to settle irritations in relationships through dialogue, and when positions can't be reconciled, even by compromise, then to clearly advise the other side of what consequences will follow (economic, political, and as a last resort military) where the disagreeing side impinges on the legitimate, legal rights of the dialogue partner.
"If we've reached agreement on something, it should be fulfilled. At any rate, there's no shifting blame to others or accusing us of all the imaginable sins because that's simply improper."
We’re still exercising restraint and refraining from similarly loutish answers to our partners but everything has limits and we can respond one day"
Vladimir Putin 27 October 2016
It is pointless to threaten consequences if they cannot be carried out. Even if they can be carried out, it is pointless to outline consequences when the response does more harm to the side choosing the road of conflict than to the side wanting negotiation. Therefore, even within the 'balance of interests' concept, there is an element of power imposition for the side that has greater potential.]
[The current State bodies involved in the current Security Council are:
Prime Minister, Federation Council Speaker, State Duma Speaker, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council, Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, Security Council Secretary, Interior Minister, Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, Director of the Federal Security Service, Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service, and Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport. The list may not be complete, it is taken from those attending a Security Council Meeting to discuss the newly released Foreign Policy Concept.]
[The Constituent entities are republics, regions (Oblasts), autonomous region, territories, autonomous areas, and autonomous cities of Federal importance according to Wikipedia. They are top level political entities in the Russian Federation, have their own Parliaments and governing heads, and have varying degrees of autonomy.]
[This canvassing of opinion prior to and during foreign policy decisions seems highly desirable, and stands in contrast to the west, where decisions are made for party political reasons, or to benefit the arms industry - who may be donors to politicians - with little informed public debate. Of course 'constructive social fofrces' is open to labelling and close-down of arguments that discomfort the government.
The Duma (lower house) and the Federation Council (upper house) are the two chambers of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation. The federal executive bodies probably mainly refers to the State Council of the Russian Federation. The State Council helps formulate priorities and directions in foreign policy, as well as in domestic policy. It usually includes regional governors, speakers of the upper and lower house, Presidential representative, and heads of the Republics. The President's Security Council is heavily involved.]
[[That's a curious construct. I wonder what if it refers to the Foundation for National Values, a private-public funded 'think tank' set up by Maxim Shugalei. It operates internationally (except where it is 'sanctioned', doing surveys on national sentiment on various issues in a variety of countries. It seems to be modeled on similar western private-public Non Governmental Organisations and so-called 'think-tanks'.]]