Leaked Paper Says ‘Kinder’ Foreign Policy Required
Published: May 14, 2010 (Issue # 1573)
MOSCOW — Russia’s 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 document’s existence Wednesday, but they rejected the notion that it amounted to a new doctrine.
The text is simply a response to President Dmitry Medvedev’s 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 country’s 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 Newsweek’s web site.
“The program’s 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.Pages: