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Approved by
the President of the Russian Federation V.Putin
June 28, 2000


The Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation


      Of key importance are relations with the European Union (EU). The on going processes within the EU are having a growing impact on the dynamic of the situation in Europe. These are the EU expansion, transition to a common currency, the institutional reform, and emergence of a joint foreign policy and a policy in the area of security, as well as a defense identity. Regarding these processes as an objective component of European development, Russia will seek due respect for its interests, including in the sphere of bilateral relations with individual EU member countries.

      The Russian Federation views the EU as one of its main political and economic partners and will strive to develop with it an intensive, stable and long-term cooperation devoid of expediency fluctuations.

      The character of relations with the EU is determined by the framework of the June 24, 1994 Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation, establishing partnership between the Russian Federation, on the one hand, and the European communities and their member states on the other, which is yet to achieve its full effectiveness. Concrete problems, primarily the problem of an adequate respect for the interests of the Russian side in the process of the EU expansion and reform, will be dealt with on the basis of the Strategy for the Development of Relations between the Russian Federation and the European Union, approved in 1999. The EU's emerging military-political dimension should become an object of particular attention.

      Realistically assessing the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Russia proceeds from the importance of cooperation with it in the interests of maintaining security and stability in the continent and is open to constructive interaction. The necessary basis for that was laid in the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization of May 27, 1997. The intensity of cooperation with NATO will depend on its compliance with key clauses of this document, primarily those concerning non-use or threat of force, and non-deployment of conventional armed forces groupings, nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles in the territories of the new members.

      At the same time, on a number of parameters, NATO's present-day political and military guidelines do not coincide with security interests of the Russian Federation and occasionally directly contradict them. This primarily concerns the provisions of NATO's new strategic concept, which do not exclude the conduct of use-of-force operations outside of the zone of application of the Washington Treaty without the sanction of the UN Security Council. Russia retains its negative attitude towards the expansion of NATO.

      Substantive and constructive cooperation between Russia and NATO is only possible if it is based on the foundation of a due respect for the interests of the sides and an unconditional fulfillment of mutual obligations assumed.

      Interaction with states of Western Europe, primarily with such influential ones as Britain, Germany, Italy and France, represents an important resource for Russia's defense of its national interests in European and world affairs, and for the stabilization and growth of the Russian economy.