download Download PDF

You are:



Ideology-driven Russia’s foreign policy fosters global instability

Ideology-driven Russia’s foreign policy fosters global instability

Russia’s foreign policy has been increasingly affected by its aggression towards Ukraine. Iran and North Korea have become Russia’s closest partners directly supporting its military efforts. In its relations with the West, Russia’s main objective is to undermine Western support for Ukraine. Developing cooperation with the Global South is essential for Russia in order to secure alternative trade and logistics routes as well as to secure export markets for energy resources and other goods.

Although the Russian regime frequently mentions the necessity of constructing a multipolar world order, the only purpose of this narrative is to form an anti-Western coalition, which would comprise primarily of the Global South states, with Russia leading the coalition.

The goal of building such a coalition is declared in the new Russia’s Foreign Policy Concept, adopted in 2023. This document outlines Russia’s uniqueness, a ‘state-civilisation’, and its ambition to create a new world order. It begins with the narrative that Western neo-colonialism supposedly ensures its hegemony. The central goals of Russia’s foreign policy are defined as the dominance in the region of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and strategic cooperation with China and India. The concept also lists in detail foreign policy objectives towards Muslim countries, Africa, and Latin America. The United States and Europe are described as adversaries whose influence shall be limited.

Russia’s stance on the Israel-Hamas and Armenia-Azerbaijan conflicts is a good example of how opportunistically Russia conducts its foreign policy. Russia’s support for the authoritarian regimes and attempts to consolidate its influence in Africa, including with the help of PMCs, directly contribute to a worsening of the security and political situation in the Global South.

Russia is increasingly resorting to blackmail and threats, including the use of nuclear rhetoric, to force the West to scale back its support for Ukraine. The deployment of non-strategic nuclear weapons in Belarus, the decision to withdraw the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, and public reflections by some Russian figures, such as Sergey Karaganov, on the benefits of nuclear proliferation reinforce this rhetoric. In effect, Russia is trying to demonstrate its determination to escalate the situation further and to assert that the West shall change its policy towards Russia if it is interested in a constructive relationship.

The aggression against Ukraine is forcing the Kremlin’s regime to consider increasingly radical decisions that could help Russia overcome its international isolation. However, countries that have not supported sanctions against Russia, including China, are using economic cooperation with Russia primarily for their own benefit. This is despite the fact that both Russia and China are interested in limiting the Western influence. The exploitative nature of such relationships hinders the growth of Russia’s international influence in the long term – Russia lacks economic and military resources to consolidate its power status.

Print print
Cookie settings
Mandatory cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookie.
Functional cookies enable a website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in. Functional cookies are currently unused.
Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously. Statistical cookies are currently unused.
Allow all cookies Reject all