President Putin unveils new foreign policy doctrine to preserve ‘Russian World’

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A new foreign policy doctrine based on the concept of a “Russian World”— a conceptual framework used by hardliners to justify intervention in foreign countries with significant Russian speakers—was unveiled by President Vladimir Putin.

The 31-page “humanitarian policy” says Russia should “protect, safeguard and advance the traditions and ideals of the Russian World”.

The idea was enshrined as the official policy on Monday and presented as a kind of a soft power strategy, reports Reuters news agency.

The policy has been used in the past to justify Moscow’s occupation of parts of Ukraine and support for breakaway pro-Russian entities in the east of the country.

“The Russian Federation provides support to its compatriots living abroad in the fulfilment of their rights, to ensure the protection of their interests and the preservation of their Russian cultural identity,” the policy said.

It also states that Russia’s ties with its compatriots abroad allowed it to “strengthen on the international stage its image as a democratic country striving for the creating of a multi-polar world.”

The policy calls for further deepening of its ties with the self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic —two breakaway entities in eastern Ukraine, where the war continues to rage.

The new policy further states that Moscow should consolidate its cooperation with Slavic nations, China, and India, and further strengthen its ties to the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.

For years, Putin has been highlighting the “tragic fate” of those millions of ethnic Russians who have been living in newly independents states following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991—an event described by him as a geopolitical catastrophe.

Kremlin has continued to claim the former Soviet societies, from the Baltics to Central Asia, as its legitimate sphere of influence, which has been strongly opposed by many of those countries and the West.

(With inputs from agencies)

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