Russia Issues New Foreign Policy Concept

Arms Control Today, September 2000 | Go to article overview

Russia Issues New Foreign Policy Concept


The Russian government formally released a foreign policy concept July 10 that stresses maintenance of positive relations and continued cooperation with foreign governments, including outspoken support for a range of arms control-related initiatives. The new concept appears to be written in a more conciliatory, diplomatic tone than either the national security concept it is designed to complement or the recently issued military doctrine. (See ACT, January/February and May 2000.)

Formally signed by President Vladimir Putin June 28, the new document replaces the foreign policy concept issued in 1993. Much of the new concept deals directly with arms control and related issues, observing early on that "the threat of nuclear conflict has been reduced to a minimum." In this context, the concept not only notes Russia's "consent" to further negotiated strategic reductions but also reaffirms Moscow's interest in preserving the ABM Treaty and warns that U.S. deployment of missile defenses will compel Russia to adopt "adequate measures."

The concept stresses the importance of continued cooperation with NATO, although it also acknowledges present-day tensions between NATO and Russia.

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