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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, Oct. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with todays free exhibition in the citys Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled Under the Rustling Wings, the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontovs play The Masquerade, which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBAs Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmChams Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spas Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the citys cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the citys KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the clubs website or in person at either the arenas box office or the clubs merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russias energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russias largest economic sector.



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