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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

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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