08:02 GMT +321 October 2017
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    Other countries' security at Russia's expense?

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    MOSCOW. (Yevgeny Kozhokin for RIA Novosti) - Analysts started discussing Moscow's future relations with other countries, after President Dmitry Medvedev approved the Russian foreign policy concept which only addresses the most important long-term issues, while issues of current politics should be tackled separately.

    It appears that the concept sets forth clear long-term guidelines with regard to other former Soviet republics, emphasizing the fact that Russia has not renounced the idea of post-Soviet integration. It sets out three main objectives that must be accomplished in this respect.

    First, the concept recognizes the importance of the Russia-Belarus Union State focusing on real economic development, the introduction of market-economy principles and the creation of a common economic space.

    Second, the document attaches priority to the Eurasian Economic Community and its main driving force, collectively, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. It also says that the Eurasian Economic Community could become an effective mechanism for implementing ambitious projects such as hydropower plant construction, transportation infrastructure, and other large-scale projects.

    Third, the concept recognizes the importance of the Collective Security Treaty Organization that maintains security in the CIS.

    The concept focuses on these three entities rather than the CIS as a whole because they are viable, effective and able to develop.

    The Russian foreign policy concept also respects the sovereignty of all CIS states, which have the right to establish regional associations not involving Russia. This includes GUAM, an organization comprising Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova, and the Central Asian Economic Union.

    Still, it is unclear to what extent such associations want and can maintain stability, without hindering the work of viable CIS institutions. Moscow is saying that it respects the sovereignty of other states which, in turn, should respect Russian legislation and Russia's interests, including its regional interests.

    These are the most important regional priorities set forth in the national foreign policy concept.

    The document's other sections also mention the CIS in various other foreign-policy contexts. Obviously, CIS issues match the Russian foreign policy's humanitarian aspects, primarily the so-called Russian World concept.

    The foreign-policy concept discusses the position of Russian-speaking compatriots in great detail. Moscow is ready to support compatriots' organizations, so that they could more effectively uphold their rights in the countries of their residence, and to help anyone wishing to return to Russia.

    The document also mentions the three Baltic states, specifically Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, whose Russian-speaking diasporas still require protection.

    The concept discusses historic issues in great detail, emphasizing the need to respect history, and says that objective historical assessments are an element of democratic culture. Anyone rewriting history in line with self-serving political considerations or exonerating Nazi criminals and their accomplices violates the principles of democracy. Unfortunately, the Baltic states are a case in point.

    According to this concept, NATO cannot maintain regional security at Russia's expense. Moreover, the UN is viewed as the main guarantor of global security in accordance with international law. Neither NATO, nor the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) can serve such guarantors for differing reasons. They have failed to accomplish objectives mentioned in their statutory documents.

    Under the preamble of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, NATO sought to promote stability and wellbeing in the North Atlantic area. The parties to the treaty were determined to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization of their peoples, founded on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law and resolved to unite their efforts for collective defense and for the preservation of peace and security.

    However, NATO now operates far beyond its initial sphere of responsibility and has deviated from specific goals mentioned in the preamble. NATO regulatory documents do not reflect reality. Consequently, NATO no longer facilitates the development of emerging democracies, including Ukraine and Georgia.

    The Russian foreign-policy concept includes purely domestic implications and cannot be called an international declaration. The Foreign Ministry is not the only agency entrusted with its implementation. On the contrary, all government institutions and agencies and indeed all Russian citizens are obliged to accomplish a number of objectives that will enhance Russia's global role.

    Yevgeny Kozhokin is director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies.

    The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

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