Kremlin to rethink foreign policy strategy

Source: Vostock-Photo

Source: Vostock-Photo

In a recent meeting with Russia’s ambassadors and envoys to international organizations, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called on Russian diplomats to shed old stereotypes and concentrate on three major goals: promoting economic and industrial modernization to build an innovative economy; strengthening Russia’s democracy and civil society; and boosting international cooperation in the fight against organized crime.

“We should use our foreign policy opportunities more effectively to solve our internal problems and modernize our country, its economy, the social sphere and also the political system,” said the president, according to the transcript posted on his website.

Medvedev urged Russian diplomats to focus on boosting Russia’s multilateral contacts and stimulating new investment. Along with the officials of the Ministry of Economic Development and other economic institutions, diplomats must be aware of all key areas of modernization, from medicine to telecommunications.

“We need special modernization alliances with our main international partners, especially with such countries as Germany, France, Italy, the European Union in general, and the United States,” Medvedev said. Although he called cooperation with CIS partners a priority, the president placed it after cooperation with the Asia-Pacific region and Russia’s colleagues in the BRIC group.

Russia’s Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin spoke on the foreign policy directions set by Dmitry Medvedev

The president’s call resounded with Russian diplomats, who have already been taking steps to join the modernization campaign. As Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently proposed introducing a new position in Russian embassies: attaché for science and technology.

Medvedev suggests modernizing Russia’s democracy and civil society by means of global reform. In his view, the international community should develop contemporary democracy standards, involving all countries in this process.

“The more nations that follow democratic standards in their domestic policies, the better for Russian democracy,” said Medvedev, noting that such standards cannot be imposed unilaterally.

In terms of the fight against organized crime, Medvedev said that terrorism, drug trafficking and illegal migration were global problems by nature, and are typically associated with corruption. “Therefore, this concerns all countries, and, accordingly, our foreign political institutions,” the president concluded.

This review was combined from reports by the Rosbalt news agency, and the Nezavisimaya Gazeta and Kommersant newspapers.

Extracts from the speech of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev at meeting with Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives in international organizations:

On principles of Russian diplomacy

On the role of diplomacy in modernizing the economy

On special alliances for modernization

On strengthening the institutions of democracy and civil society

On fighting organized crime

On fighting organized crime

On cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region

On the CIS

Read the full transcript of the speech

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