by Luis Miguel, The New American:
Like China, Russia understands that the world’s greatest superpowers are already at war — and the theater of the war extends far beyond the traditional battlefield.
In line with Moscow’s ongoing struggles with the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed off on a new version of his country’s foreign policy doctrine — a document detailing the priorities and goals of Russian diplomacy.
The new concept places emphasis on claims that the West is trying to undermine Russia on various fronts due to the war in Ukraine.
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As reported by Russia Today (RT), Putin’s approval of the document was announced Friday during a meeting with top officials from the Russian Security Council. Among those present were Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
According to the Russian foreign policy doctrine, “The United States and their satellites have used measures, taken by the Russian Federation to protect its vital interests regarding Ukraine, as a pretext to escalate their long-standing anti-Russian policies, and have unleashed a hybrid war of a new type.”
This is despite the fact that, according to Moscow, Russia “does not see itself as the West’s enemy, does not isolate itself from it and harbors no hostile intentions towards it.” Per the document, Russia’s hope is that the Western nations will “recognize the futility of confrontational policies and hegemonic ambitions” and form a mutually beneficial relationship with Moscow.
“The Russian Federation is ready for dialogue and cooperation on such a basis,” the document states.
Furthermore, the concept asserts that the U.S. and its allies want to “weaken Russia in every possible way,” and the “hybrid war” encompasses military, technological, and economic facets intended to “limit its sovereignty in external and internal politics and to erode its territorial integrity.”
This concept represents a marked shift from the previous iteration of Russia’s foreign policy doctrine, signed in 2016. That version focused on combating terrorism and growing Russia’s global footprint.
Russia is continuing to leverage its influence in Eastern Europe. As the Associated Press reports, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Friday that Russia might place nuclear weapons in his country. This comes after Putin announced plans last week to deploy short-range and small-yield nuclear weapons in Belarus.
“Putin and I will decide and introduce here, if necessary, strategic weapons, and they must understand this, the scoundrels abroad, who today are trying to blow us up from inside and outside,” Lukashenko said during his annual address. “We will protect our sovereignty and independence by any means necessary, including through the nuclear arsenal.”