Policy Memos

Russian Diplomacy in the 21st Century: Multilateralism Put to Work

Policy Memo:


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In a summer 2002 interview, Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov outlined some of the recent achievements of Russian diplomacy and suggested that well–thought out foreign policy would yield the goals Russia has set. According to Ivanov, "If you look at the activeness of the last few months, you see, after all, not some sort of spontaneous measures, but the implementation of the principles that were ratified by the president two years ago in the foreign policy concept blueprint. The essence of this is that the limited resources at the country's disposal should promote as much as possible the domestic reforms that are being carried out.” 
Seen in this light, the overall performance of Russian foreign policy in the first years of the twenty-first century does show a pattern of following a wide-ranging and yet focused design. The breadth of the design suggests that, inevitably, there will be incongruities of coordination. The implementation of Russia’s foreign policy concept will pose other problems related to a multitude of factors on all levels, from systemic to personal. Yet current Russian diplomatic activity, in the context of Russia’s historical circumstances, reveals a strong degree of consistency and purposefulness. [...]

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