“Russia has built up substantial foreign policy capital that is now contributing to our country’s development and working to protect the interests of our people and our national business.” This vision of the top priorities in Russia’s foreign policy, as expressed by then President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in his 2020 speech in February 2008, demonstrates the Russian government’s understanding of the fact that the external policy must be focused on ensuring conditions for an improved welfare and prosperity of Russian citizens.
Russia’s reemergence as an economic and political force has had a direct and tangible impact on the quality of life of average Russians. They are living better, with a sense of personal security and national pride. Russian businesses are growing into international corporate leaders. And, Russia is in the forefront of global issues ranging from security and diplomacy to environmental protection and world trade and economic policies.
Ensuring Russia’s strength in the world will also lead to better living conditions at home. Full participation in the world economy will not only have macro, but regional benefits for Russia. Mutually beneficial relations between Russia’s regions and their immediate neighbors — be it the Baltic States and Finland in the Northwest, Ukraine in the South and China in the East — will result in tangible, job-creating economic opportunities. At the same time, by broadening Russia’s economy, the country will be less dependent on the international energy markets and less vulnerable to global economic and financial crises.