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Leaked Paper Says Kinder Foreign Policy Required

Published: May 14, 2010 (Issue # 1573)


MOSCOW Russias foreign policy should become much friendlier in order to attract more investment, especially from the West, according to a leaked Foreign Ministry paper.

The document, titled Program for Effective Use of Foreign Policy in the Long-Term Development of Russia, amounts to a new, softer foreign policy after years of hostile relations with the West, according to Russian Newsweek, which first published the document.

Officials at the Foreign Ministry and the Kremlin confirmed the documents existence Wednesday, but they rejected the notion that it amounted to a new doctrine.

The text is simply a response to President Dmitry Medvedevs call to make foreign policy a driving force for foreign investment, a senior Foreign Ministry official told The St. Petersburg Times, requesting anonymity because the document has not been officially released.

The president set a task of helping to set up favorable conditions for economic growth, he said.

In his state-of-the-nation address last November, Medvedev called on the Foreign Ministry to become the locomotive driving foreign investment to Russia money that he said was needed to implement his plan to modernize the economy.

The document calls for better relations with the United States and the European Union to achieve the countrys economic goals.

Russia needs to forge modernizing alliances with its Western European partners and the EU as a whole to attract foreign capital, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov wrote in the introduction to the 13,000-word paper, posted on Russian Newsweeks web site.

The programs spirit is a foreign policy with neither friends nor enemies but only interests, the magazine said.

But the document also calls for exploiting the economic crisis to acquire industrial and energy assets in former Soviet republics countries where Russian influence is often rejected as imperialism. For instance, it defines the three Baltic states as an area of seriously devalued national assets that is no longer attractive for investment from EU members.

It was unclear Wednesday if and how the text would translate into real policy changes.

Medvedev approved a draft document in February, and it has been sent to the government, where it is currently being finalized by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Newsweek reported.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Dec. 18


Improve your English and knowledge of British culture during todays FORM lesson at the British Book Center. These free English lessons with a native speaker elaborate not only on grammar particulars but cultural topics as well. Todays event will discuss the BBC Two documentary Victorian Farm Christmas.



Friday, Dec. 19


Test your mastery of parlor games during Game Evening at the British Book Center. Learn how to play a variety of classic, mentally challenging games and use your newly acquired skills to crush weaker opponents. The event beings at 5 p.m.



Saturday, Dec. 20


The citys Babushkina Park on Prospekt Obukhovskoy Oborony will be invaded by dozens of rocking-and-rolling Santa Clauses during todays Santa Claus Parade. Not only will they parade through the park but there will also be competitions amongst the festively-clad participants and a musical master class. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed Santa Claus.


Stock up your record collection during the Vinyl Christmas Sale at the KL10TCH bar on Konyushennaya ploschad today. Spend the afternoon perusing the records for sale while listening the classic, clean sound of records spinning out hits from a variety of musical genres and time periods.



Sunday, Dec. 21


TheZenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the clubs website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts made from a plethora of sweet treats. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBAs and Capital Legal Services event Arctic Expedition this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



To have your event included in All About Town, email tot@sptimes.ru



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