On Friday, March 31, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree approving the updated Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation. The head of state announced this in his opening remarks at a meeting with the permanent members of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.

According to the President, cardinal changes in international life required Moscow to seriously adjust the key documents of strategic planning, including the concept of foreign policy, which fixes the principles, tasks and priorities of diplomatic activity.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with the presidential administration, the Security Council apparatus, the government, and many ministries and departments, has carried out large-scale and painstaking work to update it and bring it into line with modern geopolitical realities," Putin said.

As the head of state noted, the document will become a "solid doctrinal basis" for the further work of the Russian side on international affairs.

Along with this, the President called on all colleagues involved in the implementation of foreign policy to pay special attention to expanding ties with constructively minded partners and creating conditions for unfriendly states to abandon hostile policies towards Russia.

"In the long-term planning of our actions, it is important to take into account the fullness of the factors and trends in the development of international relations, to work to strengthen Russia's sovereignty, increase the role of our country in solving world problems and forming a more just, multipolar world order," Putin stressed.

Recall that the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation is a system of views on the national interests of the country in the foreign policy sphere, as well as the basic principles, strategic goals, main tasks and priority directions of the foreign policy of the Russian Federation.

The previous version of this document was approved by the President on November 30, 2016. As Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during the Friday meeting of the Security Council, the new document retains continuity with the previous concept and develops the foreign policy provisions of the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation, approved in 2021.

"The concept fixes a high degree of continuity with the previous edition of 2016 in terms of the fundamental principles of our foreign policy, primarily its independence and focus on creating favorable external conditions for the progressive development of Russia, ensuring its security and improving the well-being of our citizens," Lavrov said.

  • Lavrov: in the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation, the United States is called the main initiator of the anti-Russian line

He noted that the document reflects changes in geopolitical realities, which accelerated with the start of a special military operation in Ukraine. In particular, the unprecedented level of international tension over the past decade is stated.

"The existential nature of threats to the security and development of our country created by the actions of unfriendly states is recognized. The main initiator and conductor of the anti-Russian line is directly called the United States of America and, in general, the policy of the West, aimed at all possible weakening of Russia, is characterized as a hybrid war of a new type," the Foreign Minister said.

According to him, the key trend in international relations at the present stage is the formation of a multipolar world order in the course of redistribution of development potential in favor of new growth centers. As Lavrov noted, the structural restructuring of the world economy is taking place against the backdrop of the crisis of economic globalization, which until recently was carried out "according to American rules."

The minister also said that the concept sets out the Russian vision of the principles of a more balanced and fair world order, including polycentricity, sovereign equality of states, ensuring their right to choose development models and defending cultural and civilizational diversity.

The Foreign Minister added that promoting the formation of a multipolar world order is defined as a framework task for all areas of Russia's foreign policy.

In addition, emphasis is placed on the need to ensure the rule of law in international relations. According to Lavrov, the document proclaims that the progressive development of international law should take into account the realities of today's world.

"In the face of acute external threats, our readiness to observe the principle of indivisibility of security is confirmed, but only in relation to those states and their associations that show reciprocity in this matter," he explained.

In addition, Lavrov noted that the concept provides for innovations in the part relating to the conditions for the use of force for self-defense in the framework of compliance with the requirements of Article 51 of the UN Charter. In particular, it provides for the possibility of taking symmetrical and asymmetric measures in response to unfriendly actions against Russia. It also introduces the thesis of the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to repel or prevent an armed attack on Russia and its allies.

"Thus, we unequivocally declare that we will defend the right of the Russian people to exist and free development," the minister said.

Among other things, the document reveals provisions that affect the protection of Russian traditional spiritual and moral values, building cooperation based on a single guideline common to all world religions.

"Among the undoubted priorities are ensuring the rights of our citizens and organizations abroad, supporting compatriots, countering Russophobia, strengthening the position of the Russian language in the world, fighting for historical truth, protecting our culture, depoliticizing sports, establishing new forms of sports cooperation," Lavrov said.

He also noted that the document focuses on Russia's strategic interests in the context of deepening Eurasian integration based on the Union State of Russia and Belarus, the Eurasian Economic Union, the CSTO, the CIS, the formation of the Greater Eurasian Partnership, and the further strengthening of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS. In addition, the policy of unlocking the potential of strategic partnership with China, India, the countries of the Islamic world, the states of ASEAN, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean has been fixed.

The document says that Russia seeks to transform Eurasia into a single continent-wide space of peace, stability, mutual trust, development and prosperity.

In addition, the document notes: "Russia does not consider itself an enemy of the West, does not isolate itself from it, has no hostile intentions towards it and expects that in the future the states belonging to the Western community will realize the futility of their confrontational policy and hegemonic ambitions."

The concept expresses the expectation that Western states will take into account the complex realities of a multipolar world and return to pragmatic interaction with Russia, guided by the principles of sovereign equality and respect for each other's interests.

At the same time, the document says that Moscow is interested in maintaining strategic parity, peaceful coexistence with the United States and establishing a balance of interests between the two countries, taking into account their status as major nuclear powers, special responsibility for strategic stability and the state of international security as a whole.

Speaking about relations with the Anglo-Saxon countries and the states of continental Europe, Sergey Lavrov stressed that Russia has no initially hostile intentions towards them.

"However, they should be aware that pragmatic interaction with Russia is possible only if they realize the futility of confrontational policy and if this policy is abandoned in practical actions. It will be up to us to decide to what extent the West will be ready to follow these recommendations," the Foreign Minister concluded.