Vladimir Putin signed Executive Order On Measures to Implement the Russian Federation Foreign Policy.
The Executive Order aims to implement a coherent foreign policy of the Russian Federation that would protect its national interests based on the principles of pragmatism, transparency and a multiple-vector approach in forming a new, polycentric system of international relations.
The Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation has been instructed, jointly with other federal executive authorities, as follows:
- to assist in creating favourable external conditions for the Russian Federation’s long-term development, modernisation of its economy, and strengthening its positions as an equal partner on global markets;
- to seek to assert the rule of law in international relations, to advocate the leading role of the UN in global affairs and the fundamental principles of the UN Charter that require the development of friendly relations between nations on the basis of equality, respect for each others’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, and recognition of the UN Security Council’s primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, and to broaden the Russian Federation’s input into UN peacekeeping operations;
- to make active use of various forms of multilateral diplomacy, including BRICS, the G20, the G8, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation;
- to encourage more active joint international efforts to counter global challenges and threats, including the danger of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and means of their transportation, international terrorism, drug trafficking, organised crime and regional conflicts.
The following instructions have been given with regard to relations with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member states:
- to consider the development of multilateral cooperation and integration processes within the CIS as a key area for Russia’s foreign policy;
- to implement a coherent policy toward further development of multi-faceted cooperation between CIS member states in socio-economic, humanitarian, law enforcement and other sectors;
- to promote the entry into force and implementation of the Agreement on a Free Trade Zone of October 18, 2011;
- to encourage broader cooperation with the Republic of Belarus within the framework of the Union State;
- to encourage deeper Eurasian integration within the framework of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space between the Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Kazakhstan and contribute to creating the Eurasian Economic Union by January 1, 2013, while assuring that these formats are open to other states, first and foremost members of the Eurasian Economic Community and the Commonwealth of Independent States, and to support the position of these new integration associations in the international fora;
- to strengthen the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and its mechanisms of rapid response to modern challenges and threats and its peacekeeping potential, and to improve foreign policy coordination within the framework of this organisation.
The instructions also concern resolving the Trans-Dniester problem, settling the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in cooperation with other OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries and based on the principles laid out in joint statements by the President of Russia, the President of the United States and the President of France made between 2009 and 2011, and promoting the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia’s statehood.
The following instructions have been given to the Russian Foreign Ministry with regard to the European Union:
- to be committed to achieving the strategic goal of creating a common economic and human space, spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean;
- to seek an agreement with the European Union on reciprocal abolition of entry visas for short-term travel of their citizens;
- to defend the principles of equality and mutual benefit in working on a new strategic partnership framework agreement between Russia and the European Union;
- to contribute to efficient implementation of the Partnership for Modernisation initiative;
- to develop a mutually beneficial energy partnership with the aim of creating a common European energy sector, ensuring strict compliance with existing bilateral and multilateral contractual obligations.
Instructions pertaining to the Asia-Pacific region, in particular, concern broader participation in regional integration processes with the aim of promoting accelerated socio-economic development of Eastern Siberia and the Far East; deepening equal, trust-based partnership and strategic cooperation with China, strategic partnership with India and Vietnam, and developing mutually beneficial cooperation with Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and other key nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Foreign Ministry has been instructed as follows with regard to the United States of America:
- to pursue the policy of ensuring a stable and predictable cooperation based on the principles of equality, non-interference in internal affairs and respect for mutual interests, with the goal of taking the bilateral cooperation to a truly strategic level;
- to give priority attention to increasing high-quality trade and economic cooperation, broadening the work of the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission and ensuring equal, non-discriminatory conditions for bilateral trade on a constant and unconditional basis;
- to work actively on preventing unilateral extraterritorial sanctions by the US against Russian legal entities and individuals;
- to promote initiatives pertaining to further liberalisation of visa regime;
- to ensure a step-by-step implementation of the new START Treaty of April 8, 2010 between the Russian Federation and the United States;
- to work on the basis that talks on further reduction of strategic offensive arms are possible only within the context of taking into account any and all factors influencing global strategic stability;
- to be committed to Russia’s position regarding the creation of a global missile defence system by the United States of America, seeking firm guarantees that it is not aimed against Russian nuclear forces.
Instructions were also given regarding the Euro-Atlantic region. These include creating an equal and indivisible security architecture in the Euro-Atlantic region on the basis of international law; developing relations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation according to its readiness to take into account Russia’s interests in the field of security and strategic stability and to respect the fundamental principles of international law; promoting initiatives to reform the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe with the goal of turning it into an effective mechanism of collective cooperation for the benefit of all member states; and supporting the work of the Council of Europe to strengthen the common legal space for all European nations.
The Executive Order contains instructions on deepening relations with Latin American and Caribbean nations and developing Russia’s traditionally friendly ties with African nations.
The instructions also concern crisis situations, including in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Foreign Ministry has been instructed to provide assistance to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in building a peaceful, independent, democratic state on a bilateral basis and in cooperation with partners in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, as well as within the framework of Russia-NATO Council projects; to seek a settlement for the dispute with Iran’s nuclear programme relying exclusively on political and diplomatic means; and to promote the peaceful settlement of the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula within the framework of six-party talks.
The instructions also concern the international legal status of Russia’s national borders, including the national borders of its continental shelf; strengthening of multi-format cooperation in the Arctic; maintenance and expansion of Russia’s presence in Antarctica, including based on effective use of mechanisms and procedures provided in the Antarctic Treaty System; and promotion and protection of Russia’s business interests in international markets.
In addition, instructions are given with regard to international humanitarian ties.
The Government has been instructed to develop a concept for strengthening human and resource potential within the Foreign Ministry, Economic Development Ministry and the Federal Agency for Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation.
The Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation is further instructed to submit a new Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation by December 2012.