In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Afifeh Abedi, referring to the most significant points of Russia in the new doctrine of foreign policy, (Russian world) of this country, which was recently published, stated: On the one hand, this doctrine shows the understanding of the Russians of the existing threats against Russia and on the other hand, it helps to explain Russia’s future strategic approaches. In fact, this doctrine, which is referred to as the “humanitarian doctrine”, is based on the Russian worldview and the roadmap of its future strategic approaches.
She added: This doctrine should be examined in connection with the Russian national security document that was published in 2021, in which the cultural invasion of the West and Westernization are considered as one of the threats against Russia and its culture, and similarly in the security strategies reference has been made to the expansion of Russian culture and protection of the rights of the Russians.
The analyst of Russian affairs considered protection of the rights of the Russians as an issue that has always been emphasized in all security and foreign policy documents of Russia in the past two decades and said: One of the most important supports of Russia’s aggressive approach towards Ukraine is the strategic culture of that country and its support for the majority of Russians residing in eastern Ukraine. Previously, this component had a decisive contribution to the Russian policy in the Crimea annexation debate.
Racism ideology, one of Russia’s powerful tools against West
According to Abedi, it seems that the Russians have come to the conclusion that the ideology of racism is a powerful tool in the hands of Moscow against the West, especially in the geography of the former Soviet Union, and it helps curb the West’s anti-Russian policies against Russia in this territory.
The researcher of the Research Center of the Expediency Council emphasized: Identity has always been one of the most influential components in Russia’s foreign policy, and it seems that Russia has come to the conclusion that in order to improve security and increase the support of its future strategic approaches, it should have a continuous cultural policy in the geography of the former Soviet Union which is done with the justification of supporting the Russians.
Emphasizing that part of the reason for codifying Russia’s political, cultural and social policies in the geography of the former Soviet Union is due to the various strategies that the West has had to isolate Russia, he added: After the Ukraine war, great efforts were made to present a hated image of Russia and its aggressive policies to the world, but according to the Russian strategic culture, Moscow’s policies met with the support inside Russia and eastern Ukraine, and this issue once again showed the Russians that they can still rely on the Russian strategic culture in future strategic approaches.
Abedi stated that the Russians evaluate the developments in terms of identity and always have a specific Russian action, and explained: Russia’s cultural policies in this region can be one of the indicators of its future power and help Moscow in securing regional and international geopolitical goals. In fact, the doctrine of the “Russian world” is a clear Russian policy that pursues social goals in the territory of the former Soviet Union. The uniqueness of the Russian race, providing a guarantee about the permanent protection of this race by the Russian government and creating the internal bond and cohesion of the Russians against the Western enemy are the goals of this document.
The analyst of the Russian affairs evaluated the “Russian World” doctrine from an external perspective with a “Pan-Slavic” nature and serving Russia’s grand international goals and said: The cultural environment of countries forms their security environment and Russia will more cohesion in the cultural environment, seeks to ensure its security in the first degree and implement the grand strategy of being an international player in the second degree.
Referring to parts of the new doctrine of Russia’s foreign policy, in which it is emphasized that this country should increase its cooperation with Slavic countries, China and India and strengthen its relations with the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, he continued: Russia in this part of this document, emphasizes that the declared policies of that country are not against other cultures and civilizations and it gives the message that although Russia’s new approach is interpreted from a racist perspective, it is not racist and wants to cooperate with other cultures and civilizations.
Abedi emphasized: Russian culture was always defined as an Asian-European culture, but in the historical trends, the Asian part of this culture was strengthened and the Western and European part weakened. It seems that with the recent crises between Russia and the West, there is an attempt to reduce attention to Western culture by highlighting the unique Russian culture and identity.
“Russian world” doctrine being anti-Western
The expert on Russian affairs stated that the doctrine of “Russian world” is considered as an anti-Western doctrine, adding: For this reason, in this document, cooperation with other parts of the world is emphasized and cooperation with other regions is welcomed. This policy, like other Russian documents of the past two decades, can be analyzed in line with the goal of creating a multipolar system, which Russia has always emphasized.
She added: In the past decade, the Russians have come to the conclusion that the economic, cultural and security policies of the West are in line with the development of Western culture and the destruction of other cultures, that is why they consider it as a threat against themselves and while trying to preserve their own identity, they show respect for other identities and do not have a hegemonic view towards other parts of the world.
Abedi, saying that the geopolitics of the East has become more important for Russia and the Russians see more political, economic and security opportunities in the East, added: In Russia’s strategic approaches, while trying to improve its position, we will be witness to the increase and expansion of ties with the East. It seems that Russia does not have a plan to change the level of its relations with Europe and the United States and seeks to reduce its dependence on Western countries, especially Europe.