Vladimir Putin outlines new foreign policy

Putin signals hardline foreign policy (illustration photo:

The shift of president might be accompanied by a shift in foreign policy.


I am convinced that global security can be achieved only together with Russia and not by trying to sideline her, weaken her geopolitical position and damage her defence capacities, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin writes in an article published this week in newspaper Moskovskie Novosti. The article, one of several written by the candidate for president over the last weeks, outlines a hardline position towards the West, the U.S.A and especially NATO.

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According to Putin, the understanding of national security today “fundamentally differs” between NATO and the U.S.A on the one hand and Russia on the other.

We will consistently root our policy in our own interests and objectives, and not resolutions dictated by others,” Putin writes. “Russia is only reckoned with when it is strong and firmly stands on its feet,” he adds.

Interestingly, Putin in the article also touches on the role of the Internet, social media and mobile telephones, saying that they “unfortunately often are used to provoke extremism, separatism, nationalism and manipulation of the public opinion and as a way to directly intervene in domestic affairs of sovereign states”.

According to several analysts, the shift of president is likely to include a shift also in foreign policy. While Dmitry Medvedev has made foreign policy a key component in his drive for domestic social and economic modernization, Putin might want it otherwise. Deputy leader of the Russian Centre for Political Technology Aleksei Makarin says to newspaper Kommersant that a new government-initiated policy paper now indicates a downplay of the stress on modernization issues in foreign policy.

Probably, the programme of the president [Medvedev] is either put on hold or no longer considered of relevance”, Makarin says.