MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
In 2020, Russia’s foreign policy activities were aimed at unlocking the potential of international cooperation in the interests of ensuring national security, promoting the country’s socio-economic development and promoting approaches that meet Russian interests in solving pressing global and regional problems.
Russia proposed a positive, unifying agenda – in the name of global stability and predictability, strengthening the central role of the UN as the main coordinating body of international politics. She called on partners to abandon zero-sum games and double standards in favor of open and honest dialogue. In order to launch a serious and direct conversation about the principles of interstate interaction and ways to solve the most pressing problems of our time, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin put forward an initiative to hold a summit of leaders of states – permanent members of the UN Security Council, which was in principle supported by partners in the “five” and positively received by the international community.
The most important area of work in the context of a pandemic of a new coronavirus infection was the organization of the return to their homeland of over 300 thousand Russian citizens and the provision of emergency assistance to those who, while abroad, found themselves in a difficult life situation. Russia was one of the first to provide active assistance to foreign countries in the fight against COVID-19 and in overcoming the socio-economic consequences of the crisis, and has established broad cooperation in the development, supply and production of antiviral drugs and vaccines. The promotion of multilateral cooperation in the field of public health was facilitated by Russian efforts through the UN and its specialized agencies, primarily WHO, as well as the EAEU, CSTO, BRICS, SCO, G20 and other associations.
The most important international anniversary event of the year was the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and the creation of the United Nations. Russia, together with a group of co-authors from 43 states, prepared a corresponding resolution of the UN General Assembly (GA), as part of the implementation of which a solemn meeting was held on December 1 in memory of the victims of the war. Most of its participants confirmed the importance of working together to prevent falsification of history and revise the assessment of the causes and results of World War II. In the year of the 75th anniversary of the Victory, it was especially symbolic that the support of the overwhelming majority of UN members (58 co-authors, 130 votes in favor) was received by our traditional UN General Assembly resolution “Combating the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to the escalation of modern forms racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance ”.
On June 24, in Moscow, with the participation of foreign leaders and guests, solemn events and the Victory Parade were held with numerous calculations of the armies of foreign states.
Despite the unfavorable epidemiological situation, Russia has successfully accomplished the tasks of the chairman in a number of international forums and organizations. About 140 events have been held in the BRICS association, more than 40 joint documents have been adopted. The Moscow Declaration, approved at the 12th BRICS Summit on November 17, confirmed the basic principles of the association’s activities and the similarity of the positions of its members on key issues on the international agenda. The Anti-Terrorism Strategy was agreed, the Strategy for Economic Partnership for the period up to 2025 was approved, the Energy Research Platform was launched.
Following the results of the Russian chairmanship in the Russia-India-China group, a joint information message was adopted, which emphasized the important role of interaction between the three states in ensuring global economic growth, peace and stability. A new direction of cooperation in this format has been initiated – between the sanitary and epidemiological services.
The result of the chairmanship in the CSTO in 2019-2020. the adoption of strategic documents on ensuring collective security, joint counteraction to new challenges and threats. The foundations of multilateral cooperation in the field of regional security and the operational capabilities of the Organization for combating terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking have been strengthened. The peacekeeping component of the CSTO has been strengthened. At the session of the Collective Security Council of the Organization on December 2, the leaders of the member states put forward an initiative to form a common agenda and establish interaction between the CSTO, CIS, SCO, OSCE and NATO.
About 70 events were held under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, including the SCO summit held on November 10. Positions on a wide range of issues on the international agenda have been agreed upon. Action plans for 2021-2025 approved on the implementation of the SCO Development Strategy and the implementation of the Program of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation until 2035.
Integration cooperation was also progressing in other Eurasian formats. Within the framework of the CIS, a number of program documents have been adopted that determine the vector of development of the Commonwealth in the medium term. Among them are the updated Concept for the further development of the CIS, the Strategy for the Economic Development of the Commonwealth for the period up to 2030 and the Action Plan for its implementation in 2021-2025.
Within a short time frame, the EAEU has formed a package of anti-crisis measures to ensure the vital needs of the population, maintain mutual trade, freedom of movement of goods and create conditions for subsequent economic growth. Green corridors have been opened for the import of critical products into the EAEU, restrictions have been introduced on the export of a number of goods. The Strategic Directions for the Development of Eurasian Economic Integration until 2025 were approved. A decision was made to grant Uzbekistan and Cuba the status of observer states in the EAEU, and the start of negotiations on an agreement on a free trade zone with Iran was approved.
On June 19, a Russian-Belarusian agreement was signed in Minsk on the mutual recognition of visas and on other issues related to the entry of foreign citizens and stateless persons into the territory of the Union State. The work on the coordination of integration “road maps” has intensified.
The work within the framework of the Russian initiative on the formation of the Greater Eurasian Partnership was brought to a qualitatively new level – the first meeting of the Joint Commission on the implementation of the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the EAEU and the PRC was held, the updated Program of Economic Cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Commission and ASEAN for the period up to 2025 was approved. The idea of building a “Greater Eurasia” was approved in the final documents of the meetings of the heads of state and government of the SCO member states.
In the context of the global crisis caused by the consequences of COVID-19, the strategic partnership between Russia and China had an important stabilizing effect on international relations. Bilateral interaction on topical issues of the regional and global agenda received additional development, especially at the UN and other leading international platforms. The commonality of the positions of the two countries on a wide range of international problems was reflected in the Joint Statement of the Foreign Ministers adopted in September.
The Russian-Indian dialogue was productive in nature, including within the framework of multilateral formats. In February, India hosted a meeting of the Russian-Indian Military-Industrial Conference, in September – the Indra Navi-2020 joint naval maneuvers.
In the ASEAN direction, efforts were focused on promoting the practical aspects of interaction. Used for this, including the visit to Russia of ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoy (February), a special video conference of the Russia-ASEAN Foreign Minister on the fight against coronavirus (June), the ministerial session of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) (September), events under the Ministerial Conference mechanism defense of the ASEAN member states with dialogue partners. Our ideas for building up anti-epidemiological cooperation at the regional level are reflected in the statement of the leaders of the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) on strengthening the collective capacity to prevent and respond to epidemics (November 14), as well as in the statement of the regional coordinators and chairman of the Asia-Europe Forum (ASEM ) on the fight against coronavirus infection (September 7).
Russian trade and economic priorities are reflected in the new founding document of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum – The Putrajaya Guidelines for the Development of APEC until 2040. (20 November).
Constructive relations with most of the states of Latin America and the Caribbean have maintained their positive dynamics. In cooperation with like-minded people, Russia energetically supported multilateral efforts aimed at protecting the rights and legitimate interests of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
As a follow-up to the agreements of the first Russia-Africa summit (Sochi, October 23-24, 2019), new impulses were given to the institutionalization of Russian-African cooperation – the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum began to function, the Association for Economic Cooperation with African Countries was formed (with the participation of a number of large Russian public and private companies).
Concrete results were brought by Russia’s efforts to resolve regional conflicts and crisis situations. Thanks to the mediation of our country, armed clashes have ended and peace has been restored in Nagorno-Karabakh. Emergency humanitarian assistance was provided to the population, conditions were created for the return of refugees and displaced persons, a peacekeeping operation was launched, and the creation of a joint Russian-Turkish center to monitor the cessation of hostilities was agreed.
With Russian assistance, it was possible to achieve a radical reduction in shelling in the east of Ukraine and, in general, to maintain the ceasefire between the parties to the internal Ukrainian conflict.
We defended the international legal framework in the framework of resolving the Kosovo problem and post-conflict settlement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In June, a Russian-Serbian intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the fight against terrorism was signed.
Interaction with Iran and Turkey in the “Astana format” contributed to the stabilization of the situation in Syria. The International Conference on the Return of Syrian Refugees and Temporary Displaced Persons (Damascus, November 11-12), with the participation of representatives of more than 20 states, including Russia, Iran, China and Lebanon, as well as a number of international organizations. Assistance to the Syrians continued on a bilateral basis to overcome the socio-economic crisis.
Our active contacts with the warring parties in Libya contributed to the establishment of dialogue between them and the reduction of military-political tensions in this North African country.
Significant efforts have been made in the area of countering new challenges and threats. During the 63rd session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, a resolution was adopted on the involvement of young people in efforts to prevent drug use. This topic was developed by us at the OSCE platform during the October annual anti-drug conference.
In the field of economic diplomacy, an important result of the year was the adjustment of agreements on avoidance of double taxation with Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta.
Russia’s involvement in international efforts within the G20 and OPEC + to stabilize pricing in the global oil market amid a sharp drop in demand, including top-level contacts with the leadership of Saudi Arabia, the United States and a number of other countries, has significantly reduced the volatility of oil prices.
Russia’s relations with the collective West did not change for the better: in the policies of NATO, the EU and a number of their individual members, confrontational approaches prevailed over constructive principles.
Nevertheless, the dialogue with European countries interested in cooperation with Russia continued. On February 18, after a five-year break, a joint meeting of the foreign and defense ministers of Russia and Italy took place in Rome in the “two plus two” format. In October, Moscow hosted the 17th meeting of the Russian-Italian Council for Economic, Industrial, Monetary and Financial Cooperation.
During the Russian-French high-level talks held on June 26 in the format of a video conference, a list of joint working groups on priority areas of bilateral cooperation was approved. Meetings of 8 of them were held.
Despite the narrowing of the positive agenda in relations with Germany, regular political dialogue was maintained with it. As part of the founding meeting of the Russian-German Economic Council in December, the opening ceremony of the next “cross” Year “Economy and Sustainable Development 2020-2022” took place. The Year of Germany in Russia started in September.
In relations with the United States, Russia proceeded from the understanding of the special responsibility of our two states for maintaining international security and strategic stability, and demonstrated openness to mutually beneficial cooperation based on respect for each other’s interests. One of the important areas of work on the bilateral track is the “strategic dialogue” on nuclear missile arms control.
In the interests of reducing tension along the Russia-NATO line, steps were taken to ensure predictability and restraint in the military-political sphere in the European space. In particular, Russia has introduced a unilateral moratorium on the deployment of ground-based intermediate and short-range missiles in Europe.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.