Foreign relations of Russia

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Diplomatic relations between world states and Russia
  Russia
  Nations that host a Russian Diplomatic Mission
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The foreign relations of the Russian Federation is the policy of the government of Russia by which it guides the interactions with other nations, their citizens and foreign organizations. This article covers the foreign policy of the Russian Federation since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in late 1991.

History[edit]

Foreign policies[edit]

Vladimir Putin's presidency lasted from January 2000 until May 2008 and again from 2012. In international affairs, Putin made increasingly critical public statements regarding the foreign policy of the United States and other Western countries. In February 2007, at the annual Munich Conference on Security Policy, he criticised what he called the United States' monopolistic dominance in global relations, and pointed out that the United States displayed an "almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations". He said the result of it is that "no one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them. Of course such a policy stimulates an arms race.".[1][2]

Putin proposed certain initiatives such as establishing international centres for the enrichment of uranium and prevention of deploying weapons in outer space.[1] In a January 2007 interview Putin said Russia is in favour of a democratic multipolar world and of strengthening the system of international law.[3]

While Putin is often characterised as an autocrat by the Western media and some politicians,[4][5] his relationship with former U.S. President George W. Bush, former Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, former French President Jacques Chirac, and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi are reported to be personally friendly. Putin's relationship with Germany's new Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is reported to be "cooler" and "more business-like" than his partnership with Gerhard Schröder, who accepted a job with a Russian-led consortium after vacating office.[6]

In the wake of the 11 September attacks on the United States, he agreed to the establishment of coalition military bases in Central Asia before and during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan. Russian nationalists objected to the establishment of any US military presence on the territory of the former Soviet Union, and had expected Putin to keep the US out of the Central Asian republics, or at the very least extract a commitment from Washington to withdraw from these bases as soon as the immediate military necessity had passed.

During the Iraq disarmament crisis 2002–2003, Putin opposed Washington's move to invade Iraq without the benefit of a United Nations Security Council resolution explicitly authorizing the use of military force. After the official end of the war was announced, American president George W. Bush asked the United Nations to lift sanctions on Iraq. Putin supported lifting of the sanctions in due course, arguing that the UN commission first be given a chance to complete its work on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.[citation needed]

In 2005, Putin and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder negotiated the construction of a major gas pipeline over the Baltic exclusively between Russia and Germany. Schröder also attended Putin's 53rd birthday in Saint Petersburg the same year.

The Commonwealth of Independent States [ (CIS), seen in Moscow as its traditional sphere of influence, became one of the foreign policy priorities under Putin, as the EU and NATO have grown to encompass much of Central Europe and, more recently, the Baltic states.

During the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, Putin twice visited Ukraine before the election to show his support for Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was widely seen as a pro-Kremlin candidate, and he congratulated him on his anticipated victory before the official election returns had been in. Putin's personal support for Yanukovych was criticized as unwarranted interference in the affairs of a sovereign state (See also The Orange revolution). Crises also developed in Russia's relations with Georgia and Moldova, both former Soviet republics accusing Moscow of supporting separatist entities in their territories.

Putin's visit to the Czech Republic: meeting with prime minister Jiří Paroubek, 2006

Russia's relations with the Baltic states also remain tense. In 2007, Russo-Estonian relations deteriorated further as a result of the Bronze Soldier controversy.[7]

Putin took an active personal part in promoting the Act of Canonical Communion with the Moscow Patriarchate signed 17 May 2007 that restored relations between the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church and Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia after the 80-year schism.[8]

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev visiting Serbia, 2009

In his annual address to the Federal Assembly on 26 April 2007, Putin announced plans to declare a moratorium on the observance of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe by Russia until all NATO members ratified it and started observing its provisions, as Russia had been doing on a unilateral basis.[9] Putin argues that as new NATO members have not even signed the treaty so far, an imbalance in the presence of NATO and Russian armed forces in Europe creates a real threat and an unpredictable situation for Russia.[9] NATO members said they would refuse to ratify the treaty until Russia complied with its 1999 commitments made in Istanbul whereby Russia should remove troops and military equipment from Moldova and Georgia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted as saying in response that "Russia has long since fulfilled all its Istanbul obligations relevant to CFE".[10] Russia has suspended its participation in the CFE as of midnight Moscow time on 11 December 2007.[11][12] On 12 December 2007, the United States officially said it "deeply regretted the Russian Federation's decision to 'suspend' implementation of its obligations under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE)." State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, in a written statement, added that "Russia's conventional forces are the largest on the European continent, and its unilateral action damages this successful arms control regime."[13] NATO's primary concern arising from Russia's suspension is that Moscow could now accelerate its military presence in the Northern Caucasus.[14]

The months following Putin's Munich speech[1] were marked by tension and a surge in rhetoric on both sides of the Atlantic. So, Vladimir Putin said at the anniversary of the Victory Day, "these threats are not becoming fewer but are only transforming and changing their appearance. These new threats, just as under the Third Reich, show the same contempt for human life and the same aspiration to establish an exclusive dictate over the world."[15] This was interpreted by some Russian and Western commentators as comparing the U.S. to Nazi Germany. On the eve of the 33rd Summit of the G8 in Heiligendamm, American journalist Anne Applebaum, who is married to a Polish politician, wrote that "Whether by waging cyberwarfare on Estonia, threatening the gas supplies of Lithuania, or boycotting Georgian wine and Polish meat, he [Putin] has, over the past few years, made it clear that he intends to reassert Russian influence in the former communist states of Europe, whether those states want Russian influence or not. At the same time, he has also made it clear that he no longer sees Western nations as mere benign trading partners, but rather as Cold War-style threats."[16]

British historian Max Hastings described Putin as "Stalin's spiritual heir" in his article "Will we have to fight Russia in this Century?".[17] British academic Norman Stone in his article "No wonder they like Putin" compared Putin to General Charles de Gaulle.[18] Adi Ignatius argues that "Putin... is not a Stalin. There are no mass purges in Russia today, no broad climate of terror. But Putin is reconstituting a strong state, and anyone who stands in his way will pay for it".[19] In the same article, Hastings continues that although "a return to the direct military confrontation of the Cold War is unlikely", "the notion of Western friendship with Russia is a dead letter"[17] Both Russian and American officials always denied the idea of a new Cold War. So, the US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said yet on the Munich Conference: "We all face many common problems and challenges that must be addressed in partnership with other countries, including Russia.... One Cold War was quite enough."[20] Vladimir Putin said prior to 33rd G8 Summit, on 4 June 2007: "we do not want confrontation; we want to engage in dialogue. However, we want a dialogue that acknowledges the equality of both parties’ interests."[21]

Putin publicly opposed to a U.S. missile shield in Europe, presented President George W. Bush with a counterproposal on 7 June 2007 of sharing the use of the Soviet-era radar system in Azerbaijan rather than building a new system in Poland and the Czech Republic. Putin expressed readiness to modernize the Gabala radar station, which has been in operation since 1986. Putin proposed it would not be necessary to place interceptor missiles in Poland then, but interceptors could be placed in NATO member Turkey or Iraq. Putin suggested also equal involvement of interested European countries in the project.[22]

In a 4 June 2007, interview to journalists of G8 countries, when answering the question of whether Russian nuclear forces may be focused on European targets in case "the United States continues building a strategic shield in Poland and the Czech Republic", Putin admitted that "if part of the United States’ nuclear capability is situated in Europe and that our military experts consider that they represent a potential threat then we will have to take appropriate retaliatory steps. What steps? Of course we must have new targets in Europe."[21][23][24]

The end of 2006 brought strained relations between Russia and Britain in the wake of the death of a former FSB officer in London by poisoning. On 20 July 2007 UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown expelled "four Russian envoys over Putin's refusal to extradite ex-KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi, wanted in the UK for the murder of fellow former spy Alexander Litvinenko in London."[25] The Russian constitution prohibits the extradition of Russian nationals to third countries. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that "this situation is not unique, and other countries have amended their constitutions, for example to give effect to the European Arrest Warrant".[26]

Miliband's statement was widely publicized by Russian media as a British proposal to change the Russian constitution.[27][28][29] According to VCIOM, 62% of Russians are against changing the Constitution in this respect.[30] The British Ambassador in Moscow Tony Brenton said that the UK is not asking Russia to break its Constitution, but rather interpret it in such a way that would make Lugovoi's extradition possible.[31] Putin, in response, advised British officials to "fix their heads" rather than propose changing the Russian constitution[29][32] and said that the British proposals were "a relic of a colonial-era mindset".[33]

When Litvinenko was dying from radiation poisoning, he allegedly accused Putin of directing the assassination in a statement which was released shortly after his death by his friend Alex Goldfarb.[34] Critics have doubted that Litvinenko is the true author of the released statement.[35][36] When asked about the Litvinenko accusations, Putin said that a statement released posthumously of its author "naturally deserves no comment".[37]

The expulsions were seen as "the biggest rift since the countries expelled each other's diplomats in 1996 after a spying dispute."[25] In response to the situation, Putin stated "I think we will overcome this mini-crisis. Russian-British relations will develop normally. On both the Russian side and the British side, we are interested in the development of those relations."[25] Despite this, British Ambassador Tony Brenton was told by the Russian Foreign Ministry that UK diplomats would be given 10 days before they were expelled in response. The Russian government also announced that it would suspend issuing visas to UK officials and froze cooperation on counterterrorism in response to Britain suspending contacts with their Federal Security Service.[25]

Alexander Shokhin, president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs warned that British investors in Russia will "face greater scrutiny from tax and regulatory authorities. [And] They could also lose out in government tenders".[25] Some see the crisis as originating with Britain's decision to grant Putin's former patron, Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky, political asylum in 2003.[25] Earlier in 2007, Berezovsky had called for the overthrow of Putin.[25]

Leaders of the 33rd G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Germany
Presidents Bush and Putin at the 33rd G8 summit, June 2007.

On 10 December 2007, Russia ordered the British Council to halt work at its regional offices in what was seen as the latest round of a dispute over the murder of Alexander Litvinenko; Britain said Russia's move was illegal.[38]

SCO and CSTO members

Following the Peace Mission 2007 military exercises jointly conducted by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states, Putin announced on 17 August 2007 the resumption on a permanent basis of long-distance patrol flights of Russia's strategic bombers that were suspended in 1992.[39][40] US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack was quoted as saying in response that "if Russia feels as though they want to take some of these old aircraft out of mothballs and get them flying again, that's their decision."[40] The announcement made during the SCO summit in the light of joint Russian-Chinese military exercises, first-ever in history to be held on Russian territory,[41] makes some believe that Putin is inclined to set up an anti-NATO bloc or the Asian version of OPEC.[42] When presented with the suggestion that "Western observers are already likening the SCO to a military organisation that would stand in opposition to NATO", Putin answered that "this kind of comparison is inappropriate in both form and substance".[39] Russian Chief of the General Staff Yury Baluyevsky was quoted as saying that "there should be no talk of creating a military or political alliance or union of any kind, because this would contradict the founding principles of SCO".[41]

The resumption of long-distance flights of Russia's strategic bombers was followed by the announcement by Russian Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov during his meeting with Putin on 5 December 2007, that 11 ships, including the aircraft carrier Kuznetsov, would take part in the first major navy sortie into the Mediterranean since Soviet times.[43] The sortie was to be backed up by 47 aircraft, including strategic bombers.[44] According to Serdyukov, this is an effort to resume regular Russian naval patrols on the world's oceans, the view that is also supported by Russian media.[45] The military analyst from Novaya Gazeta Pavel Felgenhauer believes that the accident-prone Kuznetsov is scarcely seaworthy and is more of a menace to her crew than any putative enemy.[46]

In September 2007, Putin visited Indonesia and in doing so became the first Russian leader to visit the country in more than 50 years.[47] In the same month, Putin also attended the APEC meeting held in Sydney, Australia where he met with Australian Prime Minister John Howard and signed a uranium trade deal. This was the first visit of a Russian president to Australia.

On 16 October 2007 Putin visited Tehran, Iran to participate in the Second Caspian Summit,[48] where he met with Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.[49] Other participants were leaders of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan.[50] This is the first visit of a leader from the Kremlin to Iran since Joseph Stalin's participation in the Tehran Conference in 1943.[51][52] At a press conference after the summit Putin said that "all our (Caspian) states have the right to develop their peaceful nuclear programmes without any restrictions".[53] During the summit it was also agreed that its participants, under no circumstances, would let any third-party state use their territory as a base for aggression or military action against any other participant.[48]

On 26 October 2007, at a press conference following the 20th Russia-EU Summit in Portugal, Putin proposed to create a Russian-European Institute for Freedom and Democracy headquartered either in Brussels or in one of the European capitals, and added that "we are ready to supply funds for financing it, just as Europe covers the costs of projects in Russia".[54] This newly proposed institution is expected to monitor human rights violations in Europe and contribute to development of European democracy.[55]

Leaders of the BRICS nations at the G-20 summit in Brisbane, 15 November 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin and ex-U.S. President George W. Bush failed to resolve their differences over U.S. plans for the planned missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic, on their meeting in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on 6 April 2008. Putin made clear that he does not agree with the decision to establish sites in the Eastern European countries, but said they had agreed a "strategic framework" to guide future U.S.-Russian relations, in which Russia and the U.S. said they recognized that the era in which each had considered the other to be a "strategic threat or enemy" was over. Putin expressed cautious optimism that the two sides could find a way to cooperate over missile defense and described his eight-year relationship as Russian president with Bush as "mostly positive". The summit was the final meeting between Bush and Putin as presidents and follows both leaders' attendance at last the NATO summit in Romania 2 April 2008 – 4 April 2008. That summit also highlighted differences between Washington and Moscow over U.S.-backed proposals to extend the military alliance to include the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia. Russia opposes the proposed expansion, fearing it will reduce its own influence over its neighbours.[56] Fareed Zakaria suggests that the 2008 South Ossetia War turned out to be a diplomatic disaster for Russia. He suggests that it was a major strategic blunder, turning neighboring nations such as Ukraine to embrace the United States and other Western nations more.[57] George Friedman, founder and CEO of private intelligence agency Stratfor, takes an opposite view, arguing that both the war and Russian foreign policy have been successful in expanding Russia's influence.[58]

In July 2012 Putin said in address during a meeting with Russian ambassadors in Moscow:[59]

"Russia’s foreign policy has always been and will remain self-sufficient and independent… it is consistent, successive and represents the unique role of our country in world affairs and civilization development which has formed over centuries. It has nothing to do with isolationism or confrontation, and provides for integration into global processes...We will continue strongly defending the United Nations Charter as a basis of the modern world order, and we will continue to push for everyone to proceed from the fact that only the United Nations Security Council has the right to make decisions in cases requiring the use of force"

— President Putin, meeting with ambassadors

Current issues[edit]

Vladimir Putin, Petro Poroshenko, Angela Merkel and François Hollande, 17 October 2014

The mid-2010s marked a dramatic downturn in Russian relations with the west, with some even considering it the start of a new Cold War. The United States and Russia back opposing sides in the Syrian Civil War, and Washington regarded Moscow as obstructionist regarding its support for the Bashar al-Assad government.[60]

In 2013, for the first time since 1960, the United States cancelled a summit with Russia after the latter granted asylum to Edward Snowden.[61]

The greatest increase in tensions, however, came during the Ukraine crisis that began in 2014, which saw the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia.[62] Russia also inflamed a separatist uprising in the Donbass region, though Moscow continues to deny its involvement. The United States responded to these events by putting forth sanctions against Russia, and most European countries followed suit, worrying about Russian interference in the affairs of central and Eastern Europe.[citation needed] October 2015 saw Russia, after years of supporting the Syrian government indirectly, directly intervene in the conflict, turning the tide in favor of the Assad regime. Russia's relations with Turkey, already strained over its support for the Assad regime, deteriorated further during this period, especially after the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian jet fighter on 24 November 2015. In 2015, Russia also formed the Eurasian Economic Union with Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus.

The Russian government also remains bitter over the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe, arguing that western leaders promised that NATO would not expand beyond its 1990s borders.[63]

For decades, the dispute between Japan and Russia over the ownership of the Kuril Islands has hindered closer cooperation between the two countries, but since 2017 high level talks involving Prime Minister Shinzō Abe have been ongoing in an attempt to resolve the situation.[64]

Bilateral relations[edit]

Africa[edit]

Country Formal relations began Notes
 Algeria See Algeria–Russia relations
 Angola See Angola–Russia relations or Angola–Soviet Union relations

Russia has an embassy in Luanda. Angola has an embassy in Moscow and an honorary consulate in Saint Petersburg. Angola and the precursor to Russia, the Soviet Union, established relations upon Angola's independence.

 Benin See Benin–Russia relations

Russia has an embassy in Cotonou, and Benin has an embassy in Moscow.[65]

 Botswana 6 March 1940 See Botswana–Russia relations

Botswana and the Soviet Union initiated diplomatic relations on 6 March 1970. Despite its pro-Western orientation, Botswana participated in the 1980 Summer Olympics. The present-day relations between the two countries are described as friendly and long standing. In March, the two countries also celebrated the 35th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations. According to the minister of Foreign Affairs, Russia was one of the first countries to establish full diplomatic relations with Botswana.[66]

Trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Botswana are stipulated by the Trade Agreement of 1987 and the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation of 1988. The Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Botswana signed the Agreement on Cultural, Scientific and Educational Cooperation in September 1999. Russia and Botswana have had fruitful cooperation in a variety of fields, particularly in human resource development. And Russia is still offering more scholarship in key sectors such as health, which is currently experiencing a critical shortage of manpower. Botswana also is one of the countries where Russian citizens do not require a visa.[67] Russia has an embassy in Gaborone, while Botswana covers Russia from its embassy in Stockholm (Sweden) and an honorary consulate in Moscow.

 Burkina Faso See Burkina Faso – Russia relations

Diplomatic relations between Burkina Faso and the Soviet Union were established for the first time on 18 February 1967. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Burkina Faso recognized Russia as the USSR's successor. However financial reasons has shut the embassies between the two nations. In 1992, the embassy of the Russian Federation in Ouagadougou was closed, and in 1996, the embassy of Burkina Faso in Moscow was closed.

 Cameroon See Cameroon–Russia relations

Russia has an embassy in Yaoundé, and Cameroon has an embassy in Moscow.

 Cape Verde

Russia is represented in Cape-Verde by its embassy in Praia.[68][69]

 Chad
  • Chad has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in N'Djamena.
 Central African Republic

In March 2018, Russia agreed to provide free military aid to the Central African Republic, sending small arms, ammunition, and 175 instructors to train the Central African Armed Forces.[70] The advisers are believed to be members of the Wagner Group.[71]

 Democratic Republic of the Congo See Democratic Republic of the Congo–Russia relations
 Congo The Republic of the Congo has no embassy in Moscow. Russia has an embassy in Brazzaville.
 Djibouti 1978 * Russia has an embassy in Djibouti City, Djibouti.
 Egypt 26 August 1943 See Egypt–Russia relations
 Ethiopia 1943-4-21 See Ethiopia–Russia relations
 Gambia 1965-07-17 See Gambia–Russia relations

Both countries have established diplomatic relations on 17 July 1965. Diplomatic relations were later established once again after the breakup of the Soviet Union. The Gambia has an embassy in Moscow. Russia is represented in the Gambia through its embassy in Dakar (Senegal).

 Ghana See Ghana–Russia relations
Embassy of Ghana in Moscow

Russia has an embassy in Accra, and Ghana has an embassy in Moscow. In 2008, assurances from Russia's ambassador to Ghana concerning assistance to sustain the fight against mosquitoes and environmental pollution in the region were very much appreciated since they were the major problems confronting Accra.

 Guinea-Bissau See Guinea-Bissau–Russia relations

Guinea-Bissau has an embassy in Moscow, and Russia has an embassy in Bissau.

 Ivory Coast See Ivory Coast–Russia relations

Russia works on UN missions to help the people of Ivory Coast. The help is sometimes done from the Russian embassy in Abidjan, but is also done from the embassy in Accra, Ghana. From these point of view, Russia regarded the outcome of the extraordinary summit held in Dakar, Senegal, of the Economic Community for West African States.

 Kenya See Kenya–Russia relations
  • Russia has an embassy in Nairobi.
  • Kenya has an embassy in Moscow.
 Liberia

Liberia and Russia resumed bilateral relations in March 2010 and cited a recent exploration of mine by a Russian company as a sign of future trade relations.[72]

 Libya

Russia sharply criticised the NATO-led military intervention in the Libyan civil war, though it chose not to use its veto power on the United Nations Security Council to block it. On 27 May 2011, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said that although Moscow opposed the military operations, it believed Gaddafi should leave power.[73]

In early June 2011, Russian envoy Mikhail Margelov was received in Benghazi, the de facto headquarters of the Libyan opposition. Margelov's stated objective was to broker a truce between anti-Gaddafi forces and the Gaddafi-led government.[74] He left Benghazi with an invitation from the NTC for Russia to open a representative office in the city,[75] though it opted not to do so before recognising the council as Libya's sole legitimate representative, which it did on 1 September 2011.[76]

 Madagascar 29 September 1972 See Madagascar–Russia relations

The establishment of diplomatic relations between Madagascar and the Soviet Union started on 29 September 1972.

During the 2009 Malagasy political crisis, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that Russia is "concerned by the increased frequency of attempts on the African continent to resort to non-constitutional methods of solving internal political problems." He went on to say that, in addition to increasing economic and social problems, the use of force is of concern and runs counter to democratic principles, whilst affirming Russia's support of the African Union's position.[77]

 Mali See Mali–Russia relations

Russia has an embassy in Bamako, and Mali has an embassy in Moscow.

 Mauritania See Mauritania–Russia relations

Russia has an embassy in Nouakchott, and Mauritania has an embassy in Moscow.

 Mauritius 17 March 1968 See Mauritius–Russia relations

The Soviet Union and Mauritius established diplomatic relations on 17 March 1968.[80] Russia has an embassy in Port Louis, and Mauritius has an embassy in Moscow, which was opened in July 2003.[81]

 Morocco See Morocco–Russia relations

Russia has an embassy in Rabat, and a consular office in Casablanca. Morocco is represented in Russia by its embassy to Moscow. President Vladimir Putin had paid a visit to Morocco in September 2006 in order to boost economic and military ties between Russia and Morocco.

 Mozambique 25 June 1975 See Mozambique–Russia relations

Mozambique-Russia relations date back to the 1960s, when Russia began to support the struggle of Mozambique's Marxist-oriented FRELIMO party against Portuguese colonialism. Most leaders of the FRELIMO were trained in Moscow. Diplomatic relations were formally established on 25 June 1975, soon after Mozambique gained its independence from Portugal. In June 2007, both Russia and Mozambique signed an agreement on economic cooperation.[82] Russia has an embassy in Maputo while Mozambique has an embassy in Moscow.

 Namibia See Namibia–Russia relations

Namibia has an embassy to Russia in Moscow and Russia has an embassy to Namibia in Windhoek. Relations between Namibia and Russia were considered "excellent" in 2006 by then-Namibian Minister of Education Nangolo Mbumba, while Russia expressed a desire for even stronger relations, particularly in the economic field. Also in 2006, the Namibia-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation was officially opened during a visit by Russian Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev to Windhoek. During said visit, the Minister said Russia was interested in investing in oil, hydro-electric power and tourism.[83] In 2007, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov held discussions with Namibian Deputy Prime Minister Nahas Angula and President Hifikepunye Pohamba in regards to the possibility of developing Namibia's significant uranium deposits with an aim towards creating a nuclear power plant in the country.[84] In 2008, Trutnev returned to Namibia, this time to Swakopmund, to meet at the third annual Intergovernmental Commission. Top foreign ministry official Marco Hausiku and his deputy Lempy Lucas represented Namibia in discussions with Trutnev.[85]

 Nigeria See Nigeria–Russia relations
  • Nigeria has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in Abuja and a consulate-general in Lagos.
 Senegal 14 June 1962 See Russia–Senegal relations

Russia has an embassy in Dakar and Senegal has an embassy in Moscow. The Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with Senegal on 14 June 1962.

 Seychelles 1976-06-30 See Russia–Seychelles relations

Diplomatic relations between Seychelles and the Soviet Union were established on 30 June 1976, a day after the island nation gained its independence from the United Kingdom.[86] Russia has an embassy in Victoria.[87] Seychelles is represented in Russia through its embassy in Paris (France) and an honorary consulate in Saint Petersburg.

 South Africa 1992-02-28 See Russia–South Africa relations
 South Sudan 22 August 2011[91][92][93] See Russia–South Sudan relations
 Sudan See Russia–Sudan relations

Russia has an embassy in Khartoum and Sudan has an embassy in Moscow.

For decades, Russia and Sudan have maintained a strong economic and politically strategic partnership. Due to solidarity with both the United States and with the Soviet Union and with the allies of the two nations, Sudan declared neutrality and instead chose membership in the Non-Aligned Movement throughout the Cold War. Russo-Sudanese relations were minorly damaged when, in 1971 members of the Sudanese Communist Party attempted to assassinate then-president Gaafar Nimeiry, and Nimeiry pegged the blame on the USSR, thus enhancing Sudanese relations with the West, and were damaged again when Sudan supported the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan when the USSR invaded in 1979. Due to a common enemy, diplomatic cooperation between the two countries dramatically got back on track during the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Vladimir Putin was elected the President, and then the Prime Minister of Russia, and along with Chinese leader Hu Jintao opposed UN Peacekeepers in Darfur. Russia strongly supports Sudan's territorial integrity and opposes the creation of an independent Darfurian state. Also, Russia is Sudan's strongest investment partner in Europe and political ally in Europe, and Russia has repeatedly and significantly regarded Sudan as an important global ally in the African continent. For decades there have been Sudanese collegians studying in Russian universities.

 Swaziland See Swaziland–Russia relations
 Tanzania See Russia–Tanzania relations

Both countries have signed diplomatic missions on 11 December 1961 Russia has an embassy in Dar es Salaam, and Tanzania has an embassy in Moscow.[94]

 Tunisia 1956 See Russia–Tunisia relations

Russia has an embassy in Tunis, and Tunisia has an embassy in Moscow.

 Uganda See Russia – Uganda relations

Russia has an embassy in Kampala and Uganda has an embassy in Moscow.

 Zambia See Russia–Zambia relations
  • Start date: 1964
  • Russia has an embassy in Lusaka.
  • Zambia is represented in Russia by its embassy in Moscow.
 Zimbabwe 1981-02-18 See Russia–Zimbabwe relations

Russia-Zimbabwe relations date back to January 1979, during the Rhodesian Bush War. The Soviet Union supported Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union, and supplied them with arms; Robert Mugabe's attempts to gain Soviet support for his Zimbabwe African National Union were rebuffed, leading him to enter into relations with Soviet rival Beijing. After the end of the white regime in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe had strengthened his relations with both Beijing and Moscow as a result of intense western pressure on him. Russia maintains strong economic and political ties with Zimbabwe and both countries had vetoed the UN resolution imposing UN sanctions on Zimbabwe which was proposed by both the US and the UK on 12 July 2008.

Americas[edit]

Country Formal relations began Notes
 Argentina 1885-10-22 See Argentina–Russia relations
 Barbados 1993-01-29

The Russian Federation and Barbados established formal diplomatic relations on 29 January 1993.[96][97] In 2018 both nations celebrated 25 years of diplomatic ties and pledged closer collaboration.[98][99][100] The two nations also discussed cultural exchanges and Russia working with Barbados' light oil and gas industry.[101][102] And possible scholarships to Russian schools.[103]

 Belize 25 June 1991

Both countries have established diplomatic relations on 25 June 1991. Belize immediately recognized Russia as the USSR's successor after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Russia is represented in Belize through its embassy in Mexico City and an honorary consulate in Belize City.

 Bolivia See Bolivia–Russia relations

With Bolivia the focus on relations with Russia is mainly economic, as opposed to political and strategic, as an agreement to invest in Bolivia's natural gas fields shows. It is seen to "help Latin America...[as it] expands Latin America's economic opportunities, diversifies its relationships...that's healthy."[105]

2008 saw, as a first step to re-establish ties with Russia, the Bolivian government had plans to purchase a small batch of helicopters. Ambassador Leonid Golubev told The Associated Press that he would like to see Russia's ties to Bolivia one day "approach the level" of its growing partnership with Venezuela.[106] [107]

In 2009 amid improving relations between the two countries Bolivia and Russia signed various agreements pertaining to energy and military ties, mining activities and illegal drug eradication. [106][106][108]

  • Bolivia has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in La Paz.
 Brazil See Brazil–Russia relations

Brazil–Russia relations have seen a significant improvement in recent years, characterized by an increasing commercial trade and cooperation in military and technology segments. Today, Brazil shares an important alliance with the Russian Federation, with partnerships in areas such as space and military technologies, and telecommunications.

 Canada 1942-06-12 See Canada–Russia relations

Canada and Russia benefit from extensive cooperation on trade and investment, energy, democratic development and governance, security and counter-terrorism, northern issues, and cultural and academic exchanges.

  • Canada has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in Ottawa and consulates-general in Montreal and Toronto.
 Chile 1944-12-11 See Chile–Russia relations
 Colombia 1935 See Colombia–Russia relations
  • Colombia has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in Bogotá.
 Costa Rica See Costa Rica–Russia relations

Costa Rica has an embassy in Moscow. Russia has an embassy in San José.[109] Holders of a Russian passport need a visa authorized by Costa Rica, or alternatively Costa Rican authorities will accept Russian nationals with a visa stamp for the European Union, Canada, USA, South Korea, or Japan valid for 90 days after arrival; with a tourist visa, Russians can stay in Costa Rica for a maximum of 90 days.[110] In order to get a tourist visa, the person needs to apply for it in the closest Costa Rican embassy to where the person is living.[citation needed] He/she must have a valid passport and either have an invitation letter or a bank statement with enough money to survive the length of the stay in Costa Rica, plus proof of onward travel (ticket to exit Costa Rica & legal ability to travel to the destination stated on the ticket). Holders of a Costa Rican passport also need a visa from Russian authorities.

 Cuba See Cuba–Russia relations or Cuba–Soviet Union relations

Relations between the two countries suffered somewhat during the Boris Yeltsin administration, as Cuba was forced to look for new major allies, such as China, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Relations improved when Vladimir Putin was elected as the new Russian President. Putin, and later Dmitry Medvedev, emphasized re-establishing strong relations with old Soviet allies. In 2008, Medvedev visited Havana and Raúl Castro made a week-long trip to Moscow. In that same year the two governments signed multiple economic agreements and Russia sent tons of humanitarian aid to Cuba. Cuba, meanwhile, gave staunch political support for Russia during the 2008 South Ossetia war. Relations between the two nations are currently at a post-Soviet high, and talks about potentially re-establishing a Russian military presence in Cuba are even beginning to surface.

 Dominica 1995

Dominica and Russia have established diplomatic relations on 19 May 1995.[111] In April 2018, Dominica has appointed a resident ambassador to the Russia.[112]

 Ecuador See Ecuador–Russia relations

Ecuador has an embassy in Moscow.[113] Russia has an embassy in Quito.[114]

 Grenada

During the New Jewel Movement, the Soviet Union tried to make the island of Grenada to function as a Soviet base, and also by getting supplies from Cuba. On October 1983, during the U.S. invasion of Grenada, U.S. President Ronald Reagan maintained that US Marines arrived on the island of Grenada, which was considered a Soviet-Cuban ally that would export communist revolution throughout the Caribbean. In November, at a joint hearing of Congressional Subcommittee, it was told that Grenada could be used as a staging area for subversion of the nearby countries, for intersection of shipping lanes, and for the transit of troops and supplies from Cuba to Africa, and from Eastern Europe and Libya to Central America. In December, the State Department published a preliminary report on Grenada, in which was claimed as an "Island of Soviet Internationalism". When the US Marines landed on the island, they discovered a large amount of documents, which included agreements between the Soviet Government, and the New Jewel Movement, recorded minutes of the Committee meetings, and reports from the Grenadian embassy in Moscow.[115] Diplomatic relations between Grenada and the Soviet Union were severed in 1983 by the Governor General of Grenada. Eventually in 2002, Grenada re-established diplomatic relations with the newly formed Russian Federation.[116]

 Guyana 17 December 1970 See Guyana–Russia relations
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on 17 December 1970.
  • Guyana is represented in Russia by its High Commission in London, United Kingdom.
  • Russia is represented in Guyana by its embassy in Georgetown.
 Mexico 1 December 1890 See Mexico–Russia relations
  • Mexico has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in Mexico City.
 Nicaragua December 1944 See Nicaragua–Russia relations

Both countries signed diplomatic missions on 18 October 1979, a few months after the Sandinista revolution.[117] President Vladimir Putin visited Nicaragua on 12 July 2014.

  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in Managua.
 Panama 21 November 1903[118] See Panama–Russia relations
  • Panama has an embassy in Moscow.[119]
  • Russia has an embassy in Panama city.[120]
 Paraguay See Paraguay–Russia relations
 Peru
 Suriname

The nations have begun discussing cooperation in the areas of agriculture, fishing, shipbuilding, education, along with trade. In October 2013, the Surinamese foreign minister, Yldiz Pollack-Beighle visited Moscow for talks on concluding military and joint law enforcement training.[123]

 Trinidad and Tobago 6 June 1974 See Russia–Trinidad and Tobago relations

Both countries have signed diplomatic missions on 6 June 1974. Russia is represented in Trinidad and Tobago through a non-resident embassy in Georgetown (Guyana). Both countries have interests with each other since the Soviet Union. In August 1992, Trinidad recognized Russia as the USSR's successor. In 2004, Sergey Lavrov and Knowlson Gift signed the protocol on the political consultations between the two Ministries. In April 2005 the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago signed the cooperation agreement.[124] In 2004, the Russian Cossack folk dance had nine concerts in Port of Spain, San Fernando, Couva, and Tobago.

 United States See Russia–United States relations
 Uruguay See Russia–Uruguay relations

Russia has an embassy in Montevideo and Uruguay has an embassy in Moscow.[125] Russia is looking for cooperation with Uruguay in the field of nuclear energy, the Russian ambassador to Latin America said: "Our countries could maintain cooperation in the sphere of nuclear energy although Uruguay's legislation bans the use of nuclear energy". The diplomat said Uruguayan officials had shown interest in a floating nuclear power plant, when the project's presentation took place at the Russian Embassy recently. The first floating plant will have capacity of 70 MW of electricity, and about 300 MW of thermal power. The cost of the first plant is estimated at US$400 million, but could later be reduced to $240 million. This year marks the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Uruguay.

 Venezuela See Russia–Venezuela relations
  • Russia has an embassy in Caracas.
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Moscow.

Asia[edit]

Country Formal relations began Notes
 Afghanistan See Afghanistan–Russia relations

Afghanistan and Russia have shared a highly varied relationship from the mid-19th century to the modern day. For decades, Russia and Britain struggled for influence in Afghanistan, strategically positioned between their two empires, in what became known as "The Great Game". Following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, the new Soviet Union established more cordial relations with Afghanistan, and in 1919 became the first country to recognise Afghan sovereignty.[126]

Relations between the two nations became complicated following the 1978 communist coup known as the Saur Revolution. The new communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was highly dependent on the Soviet Union, and the Soviet support for the widely disliked communist regime, and the ensuing Soviet–Afghan War, led to a great hatred for the Soviets in much of the Afghan population. The Soviets occupied Afghanistan in the face of a bitter ten-year insurgency before withdrawing in 1989. Even following the withdrawal of Soviet forces, the Soviet Union provided massive support to the embattled DRA government, reaching a value of $3 billion a year in 1990. However, this relationship dissolved in 1991 along with the dissolution of the Soviet Union itself. On 13 September 1991, the Soviet government, now dominated by Boris Yeltsin, agreed with the United States on a mutual cut off of military aid to both sides in the Afghan civil war beginning on 1 January 1992. The post-coup Soviet government then attempted to develop political relations with the Afghan resistance. In mid-November it invited a delegation of the resistance's Afghanistan Interim Government (AIG) to Moscow where the Soviets agreed that a transitional government should prepare Afghanistan for national elections. The Soviets did not insist that Najibullah or his colleagues participate in the transitional process. Having been cut adrift both materially and politically, Najibullah's faction torn government began to fall apart, and the city of Kabul fell to the Mujahideen factions in April 1992.

In 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that he wanted to be more involved in Afghanistan, supporting development of infrastructure and the army. This came as relations between Afghan President Karzai and American President Obama reached a low.

 Armenia 3 April 1992 See Armenia–Russia relations

Armenia's most notable recent foreign policy success came with 29 August treaty with Russia on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance, in which Moscow committed itself to the defense of Armenia should it be attacked by a third party. Russia is the key regional security player, and has proved a valuable historical ally for Armenia. Although it appeared as a response to Aliyev's US trip, the treaty had probably long been under development. However, it is clear from the wider context of Armenian foreign policy that—while Yerevan welcomes the Russian security guarantee—the country does not want to rely exclusively on Moscow, nor to become part of a confrontation between Russian and US-led alliances in the Transcaucasus.

  • Armenia has an embassy in Moscow and general consulates Dony Rostov and Sankt Peterburg and honorary consulates in Kaliningrad and Sochi.
  • Russia has an embassy in Yerevan and general consulate in Gyumri.
  • Russia has recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1995.
  • Armenia joined the Russian-led Eurasian Union in 2015.
  • It is estimated that there are between 2,500,000 and 2,900,000 million Armenians in Russia.
 Azerbaijan 4 April 1992 See Azerbaijan–Russia relations
 Bahrain See Bahrain–Russia relations

Russia has an embassy in Manama, and Bahrain has an embassy in Moscow.

 Bangladesh 1971 See Bangladesh–Russia relations

Relations can be traced back to 1971 during the independence war when the Soviet Union sympathised with the Mukti Bahini cause and offered their assistance in the conflict. Although the start of their relations were very favourable, Bangladesh and Russia's relations have fluctuated greatly from extremely warm during the early 1970s to an all-time low during the 1980s (attributed to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan). After the dissolution of the Soviet Union Bangladesh established ties with all the former Soviet Republics including Russia and began diversifying into other areas such as education, cultural, military and energy.

 Cambodia 13 May 1956[128] See Cambodia–Russia relations
 China See China–Russia relations
 East Timor See East Timor–Russia relations

Russia was one of the first countries to recognise East Timor’s independence and took part in nearly all UN aid programs, providing food and relief personnel, including civil and transport aviation pilots.[129] After the shooting of José Ramos-Horta (former president of East Timor), the Russian ministry said; "The Russian side expresses its concern over the attempt on the life of the East Timor president, and hopes political stability in East Timor will be maintained, as a fundamental condition for a successful solution to the complicated problems it is facing. And in the interests of strengthening national unity and ensuring social and economic development."

Russia is represented in East Timor through its embassy in Jakarta (Indonesia).

 Georgia[130] 1 July 19922 September 2008[131] See Georgia–Russia relations

On 29 August 2008, in the aftermath of the 2008 South Ossetia war, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze announced that Georgia had broken diplomatic relations with Russia. He also said that Russian diplomats must leave Georgia, and that no Georgian diplomat would remain in Russia, while only consular relations would be maintained. Russian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said that Russia regretted this step.[132]

 Japan See Japan–Russia relations
 India See India–Russia relations

During the Cold War, India and the Soviet Union enjoyed a strong strategic, military, economic and diplomatic relationship. After the collapse of the USSR, India improved its relations with the West but it continued its close relations with Russia. India is the second-largest market for the Russian arms industry. In 2004, more than 70% of the Indian Military's hardware came from Russia, making Russia the chief supplier of arms.[133] Since 2000 and the visit of Vladimir Putin in India, there has been an Indo-Russian Strategic Partnership.

 Iran See Iran–Russia relations

Relations between Russia and Persia (pre-1935 Iran) have a long history, as they officially commenced in 1521 with the Safavids in power. Past and present contact between Russia and Iran has always been complicated and multi-faceted, often wavering between collaboration and rivalry. The two nations have a long history of geographic, economic, and socio-political interaction. Their mutual relations have often been turbulent, and dormant at other times. Russia and Iran are strategic allies and form an axis in the Caucasus alongside Armenia. Iran has its embassy in Moscow and consulate generals in the cities of Kazan and Astrakhan. Russia has its embassy in Tehran, and consulate generals in the cities of Rasht and Isfahan.

 Iraq See Iraq–Russia relations
 Israel See Israel–Russia relations and Russian language in Israel
 Japan 1855-02-07 See Japan–Russia relations or Japan–Soviet Union relations

Japan's relations with Russia are hampered by the two sides' inability to resolve their territorial dispute over the four islands that make up the Northern Territories (Kuriles), which the Soviet Union seized towards the end of World War II. The stalemate has prevented conclusion of a peace treaty formally ending the war. The dispute over the Kuril Islands exacerbated the Japan–Russo relations when the Japanese government published a new guideline for school textbooks on 16 July 2008 to teach Japanese children that their country has sovereignty over the Kuril Islands. The Russian public was outraged by the action the Foreign Minister of Russia criticized the action while reaffirming its sovereignty over the islands.[142][143]

 Jordan See Jordan–Russia relations

Russia has an embassy in Amman, while Jordan has an embassy in Moscow. Both countries had established diplomatic relations on 20 August 1963.[144]

 Kyrgyzstan See Kyrgyzstan–Russia relations
President Almazbek Atambayev and Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev during the Moscow Victory Day Parade, 9 May 2015

Whereas the other Central Asian republics have sometimes complained of Russian interference, Kyrgyzstan has more often wished for more attention and support from Moscow than it has been able to obtain. For all the financial support that the world community has offered, Kyrgyzstan remains economically dependent on Russia, both directly and through Kazakhstan. In early 1995, Askar Akayev, the then President of Kyrgyzstan, attempted to sell Russian companies controlling shares in the republic's twenty-nine largest industrial plants, an offer that Russia refused.[145]

 Kazakhstan See Kazakhstan–Russia relations

Kazakhstan has an Embassy of Kazakhstan in Moscow, consulate-general in Saint Petersburg, Astrakhan and Omsk. Russia has an embassy in Astana and consulates in Almaty and Uralsk.

Diplomatic relations between Russia and Kazakhstan have fluctuated since the fall of the Soviet Union but both nations remain particularly strong partners in regional affairs and major supporters of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Eurasian Economic Union.[146] Kazakhstani-Russian relations have been strained at times by Astana's military and economic cooperation with the United States as well as negotiations over Russia's continued use of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, however the two nations retain high-level military and economic cooperation perhaps second among former Soviet states only to that between Russia and Belarus. Kazakhstan sells oil and gas to Russia at a significantly reduced rate and Russian businesses are heavily invested in Kazakhstan's economy.

 Laos See Laos–Russia relations
 Lebanon See Lebanon–Russia relations
  • Lebanon has an embassy in Moscow.
  • Russia has an embassy in Beirut.
 Malaysia 3 April 1967[149] (as Soviet Union)

Russia has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur,[150] and Malaysia has an embassy in Moscow.[151]

 Mongolia 1921-11-05[152]

Relations between Mongolia and the Russian Federation have been traditionally strong since the Communist era, when Soviet Russia was the closest ally of the Mongolian People's Republic. Russia has an embassy in Ulaanbaatar and two consulate generals (in Darkhan and Erdenet). Mongolia has an embassy in Moscow, three consulate generals (in Irkutsk, Kyzyl and Ulan Ude), and a branch in Yekaterinburg. Both countries are full members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (Russia is a participating state, while Mongolia is a partner).

After the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, Mongolia developed relations with the new independent states. Links with Russia and other republics were essential to contribute to stabilisation of the Mongolian economy. The primary difficulties in developing fruitful coordination occurred because these new states were experiencing the same political and economic restructuring as Mongolia. Despite these difficulties, Mongolia and Russia successfully negotiated both a 1991 Joint Declaration of Cooperation and a bilateral trade agreement. This was followed by a 1993 Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation[153] establishing a new basis of equality in the relationship. Mongolian President Bagabandi visited Moscow in 1999, and Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Mongolia in 2000[153] in order to sign the 25-point Ulaanbaatar Declaration, reaffirming Mongol-Russian friendship and cooperation on numerous economic and political issues.

   Nepal See Nepal–Russia relations

Nepal and the Soviet Union had established diplomatic relations in 1956. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Nepal extended full diplomatic recognition to the Russian Federation as its legal successor. Since then numerous bilateral meetings have taken place between both sides. Since 1992 numerous Nepalese students have gone to Russia for higher studies on a financial basis. In October 2005 the Foreign ministers of both countries met to discuss cooperation on a variety of issues including political, economic, military, educational, and cultural. Both countries maintain embassies in each other's capitals. Russia has an embassy in Kathmandu while Nepal has an embassy in Moscow.

 North Korea See North Korea–Russia relations
North Korean embassy in Moscow, Russia.
Russian embassy in Pyongyang.

Russia–DPRK relations are determined by Russia's strategic interests in Korea and the goal of preserving peace and stability in the Korean peninsula. Russia's official position is by extension its stance on settlement of the North Korean nuclear crisis.

 Pakistan 1948[154] See Pakistan–Russia relations

Relations between these two countries have been strained in the past, because of Pakistan's close ties to America and its support for the Afghan rebels during the invasion by the USSR.[citation needed]

 Philippines June 2, 1976
 Qatar See Qatar–Russia relations
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Moscow, January 2016
 Saudi Arabia 1926 See Russia–Saudi Arabia relations
 Singapore 1968-06-01(as USSR) See Russia–Singapore relations
  • Singapore maintains an embassy in Moscow and Russia has an embassy in Singapore.

Singapore and the Soviet Union (now Russia) entered into full diplomatic relations on 1 June 1968. The two nations engaged in trade and economic cooperation. After the start of Vladimir Putin's term, Singapore and Russia strengthened ties, participating in a number of regional meetings such as the ASEAN-Russia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum. Both Singapore and Russia are members of APEC.

 Sri Lanka See Russia–Sri Lanka relations
  • During the war between the Sri Lanka Armed Forces (Government of Sri Lanka) and Tamil Tigers, Russia helped Sri Lanka by providing education on battle field tactics to Sri Lanka Army.
  • Sri Lanka also reacted in favor of Russia during the Ukrainian crisis, and acknowledged the concerns of Russia as justifiable.
  • Russia has an embassy in Colombo. Sri Lanka has an embassy in Moscow.
 Syria See Russia–Syria relations

Russia has an embassy in Damascus and a consulate in Aleppo, and Syria has an embassy in Moscow. As with most of the Arab countries, Russia enjoys a historically strong and stable friendly relationship with Syria.

Since 1971, Russia has leased port facilities in Tartus for its naval fleet. Between 1992 and 2008 these facilities were much in disrepair, however, works have commenced concurrent with the 2008 South Ossetia war to improve the port's facilities to support an increased Mediterranean presence of the Russian Navy.

Russia is believed to have sent Syria dozens of Iskander missiles.[155]

Russia has been strongly supporting Syria in the Syrian civil war, especially since the start of an air campaign in 2015.

 Taiwan See Russia–Taiwan relations

In the Chinese Civil War, the Soviet Union had a tumultuous yet strategic relations with the Kuomintang-led Nationalist China until 1949 with the proclamation of the People's Republic of China and the subsequent military takeover of Mainland China by the Chinese Communist Party. In the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, the Soviet Union under the leadership of Nikita Khrushchev recommended the internationalization of the Taiwan Question and appealed to the United Nations and other multilateral organizations to erase the crisis, further, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union called for the Ten Nations Summit in New Delhi to discuss the issue and eradicate the military tension on 27 September 1958 and undermined as one of the precursors of the latter Sino-Soviet split.[156] Since the formation of the Russian Federation, Taiwan has exported many ferric materials to Russia in 2004–2005. In 2005, the total amount of the trade between the two economies was $2,188,944,473. Russia also has a representative office in Taipei,[157] and Republic of China has a representative office in Moscow.[158] According to the data, Russia keeps a positive balance in its trade relations with Taiwan mainly from crude oil, cast iron and steel, nonferrous metals, petrochemical products, ferroalloys, coking coal, timber, and chemical fertilizers. Russia imports mostly electronics and electronic parts, computers and computer parts, and home appliances. The two countries cooperate closely and intensely by establishing unofficial diplomatic relations since 1993~1996. Taipei is targeting Russia for exporting opportunities and marketing potentials and this mutually-beneficial relationship is effective, especially under the framework of APEC.[159]

 Tajikistan See Russia–Tajikistan relations
Embassy of Tajikistan in Moscow

Until 2005, Russia had 11,000 border guards manning the Tajik frontier with Afghanistan. In September 2012, and after months of negotiating, Russia and Tajikistan have reached an agreement on what Russia will pay for its bases in Tajikistan and extended the lease to 20 or 29 years. The bases are used for 9,000 Russian troops of the 201st Motor Rifle Division. The new deal with Tajikistan makes it worthwhile for Russia to upgrade the four army camps and one air base they occupy. To get the long lease, Russia agreed to sell Tajikistan weapons and military equipment at a sharp discount and train Tajik officers in Russian schools, for free, for the duration of the deal. Tajikistan also promises to help keep the heroin out of Russia.[160]

 Turkmenistan See Russia–Turkmenistan relations

Recently, Russian-Turkmenistan relations have revolved around Russia's efforts to secure natural gas export deals from Turkmenistan. Russia is competing with China, the European Union, India and the United States for access to Turkmenistan's rich supply of hydrocarbons.[163] The two countries often lock horns over price negotiations for gas exports to Russia.[164][165] Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow has agreed to help supply and expand the Russian-backed Pricaspiysky pipeline, however no action has yet occurred towards this goal.[166]

 United Arab Emirates See Russia–United Arab Emirates relations
  • Russia has an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate-general in Dubai.
  • United Arab Emirates has an embassy in Moscow.
 Uzbekistan 1992 See Russia–Uzbekistan relations
 Vietnam 30 January 1950(as USSR)
Russia (Now)
See Russia–Vietnam relations

Europe[edit]

Country Formal relations began Notes
 European Union
 Albania 7 April 1924 See Albania–Russia relations
 Austria See Austria–Russia relations
 Belarus See Belarus–Russia relations or Foreign relations of Russia towards Belarus

The introduction of free trade between Russia and Belarus in mid-1995 led to a spectacular growth in bilateral trade, which was only temporarily reversed in the wake of the financial crisis of 1998. President Alexander Lukashenko sought to develop a closer relationship with Russia. The framework for the Union of Russia and Belarus was set out in the Treaty On the Formation of a Community of Russia and Belarus (1996), the Treaty on Russia-Belarus Union, the Union Charter (1997), and the Treaty of the Formation of a Union State (1999). The integration treaties contained commitments to monetary union, equal rights, single citizenship, and a common defence and foreign policy.

 Bosnia See Bosnia–Russia relations

Bosnia is one of the countries where Russia has contributed troops for the NATO-led stabilization force.[168] Others were sent to Kosovo and Serbia.

 Belarus See Belarus–Russia relations
  • Russia remains the largest and most important partner for Belarus both in the political and economic fields.
 Belgium See Belgium–Russia relations

Russia has an embassy in Brussels and a consulate-general in Antwerp, whilst Belgium has an embassy in Moscow and an honorary consulate in Saint Petersburg.

 Bulgaria 1879-07-07 see Bulgaria–Russia relations
 Croatia 1992-05-25 See Croatia–Russia relations
 Czech Republic See Czech Republic–Russia relations

The present day relations between the two countries are at their best, and many agreements have been signed. Russia also has further reduced its oil deliveries to the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic has an embassy in Moscow, and two consulate generals (in Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg). The Russian Federation has an embassy in Prague, and two consulate generals in (Brno and Karlovy Vary).

 Denmark 8 November 1493[173] See Denmark–Russia relations
 Estonia 2 February 1920 See Estonia–Russia relations and Chechen–Estonia relations

Russia recognised Estonia via the Tartu Peace Treaty on 2 February 1920. Russian-Estonian relations were re-established in January 1991, when presidents Boris Yeltsin of RSFSR and Arnold Rüütel of the Republic of Estonia met in Tallinn and signed a treaty governing the relations of the two countries after the anticipated independence of Estonia from the Soviet Union.[177][178] The treaty guaranteed the right to freely choose their citizenship for all residents of the former Estonian SSR.

Russia re-recognised the Republic of Estonia on 24 August 1991 after the failed Soviet coup attempt, as one of the first countries to do so. The Soviet Union recognised the independence of Estonia on 6 September. Estonia's ties with Boris Yeltsin weakened since the Russian leader's initial show of solidarity with the Baltic states in January 1991. Issues surrounding the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic republics and Estonia's denial of automatic citizenship to persons who settled in Estonia in 1941-1991 and offspring[179] ranked high on the list of points of contention.

 Finland

Relations with Russia are peaceful and friendly. Finland imports a lot of goods and basic necessities, such as fuel, and the two nations are agreeing on issues more than disagreeing on them. Russia has an embassy in Helsinki, a consulate-general in Turku and consulates in Lappeenranta and Mariehamn.

Finland has an embassy in Moscow, a consulate-general in Saint Petersburg and two branches of the consulate (in Murmansk and Petrozavodsk).

Finland was a part of the Russian Empire for 108 years, after being annexed from the Swedish empire. Discontent with Russian rule, Finnish national identity, and World War I eventually caused Finland to break away from Russia, taking advantage of the fact that Russia was withdrawing from World War I and a revolution was starting in earnest. Following the Finnish Civil War and October revolution, Russians were virtually equated with Communists and due to official hostility to Communism, Finno-Soviet relations in the period between the world wars remained tense. Voluntary activists arranged expeditions to Karelia (heimosodat), which ended when Finland and the Soviet Union signed the Treaty of Tartu in 1920. However, the Soviet Union did not abide by the treaty when they blockaded Finnish naval ships. Finland was attacked by the USSR in 1939. Finland fought the Winter War and the Continuation War against the Soviet Union in World War II. During these wars the Finns suffered 90,000 casualties and inflicted severe casualties on the Russians (120,000 dead in the Winter War and 200,000 in the Continuation War).

Contemporary issues include problems with border controls causing persistent truck queues at the border, airspace violations, pollution of the Baltic Sea, and Russian duties on exported wood to Finland's pulp and paper industry. Russia also considered large swathes of land near the Finnish border as special security area where foreign land ownership is forbidden. A similarly extensive restriction does not apply to Russian citizens. The Finnish Defence Forces and Finnish Security Intelligence Service have suspected that Russians have made targeted land purchases near military and other sensitive installations for intelligence or special operations purposes.[180][181] Right-wing commentators accuse the government of continuing the policy of Finlandisation.

Recently, Finland-Russia relations have been under pressure with annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, which Finland considers illegal. Together with the rest of the European Union, Finland enforces sanctions against Russia that followed. Still, economic relations have not entirely deteriorated: 11.2% of imports to Finland are from Russia, and 5.7% of exports from Finland are to Russia, and cooperation between Finnish and Russian authorities continues.[182]

 France See France–Russia relations

Right after the breakup of the USSR, bilateral relations between France and Russia were initially warm. On 7 February 1992, France signed a bilateral treaty, recognizing Russia as a successor of the USSR. As described on the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the bilateral relations between France and Russia remain longstanding, and remain strong to this day.[183]

 Germany See Germany–Russia relations

Germany tries to keep Russia engaged with the rest of the Western world. The future aim is to promote a stable market-economy liberal democracy in Russia, which is part of the Western world.

 Holy See 2009 See Holy See–Russia relations.

Russia has an embassy in Rome accredited to the Holy See. Holy See–Russia relations are largely linked to ecumenical relations with the Russian Orthodox Church.

 Hungary
 Iceland See Iceland–Russia relations
  • Iceland has an embassy in Moscow.[184]
  • Russia has an embassy in Reykjavík.[185]
  • Both countries have close ties in financing, which has strengthened the relations between the two.[186] Iceland also called Russia as its "new friend" after having been turned down by its traditional allies for an emergency loan to boost the balance sheet of its second largest commercial bank.[187]
 Italy See Italy–Russia relations

Russia has an embassy in Rome and consulates in Genoa, Milan and Palermo, and Italy has an embassy in Moscow, a consulate in Saint Petersburg, two consulte generals (in Ekaterinburg and Kaliningrad), and two embassy branches in (Samara and Volgograd). Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Russia enjoys close relations with Italy. In 2006, Russia and Italy have signed a protocol of cooperation for fighting crime and defending civil liberties. There are close commercial ties between the two countries. Italy is Russia's second important commercial partner in the EU, after Germany. and its state-owned energy company, ENI, has recently signed a very important long-term contract with Gazprom, to import Russian gas into Italy.

The relationship between Russia and Italy goes back a long way. Already in the 1960s, Italy's FIAT built a car-assembling plant in the Soviet city of Tolyatti (a city named after the Italian Communist Party's secretary Palmiro Togliatti). Russians have always visited Italy in great numbers. Many Russian students come to Italy each year to study arts and music.[citation needed] Unlike many other Western European countries, Italy has traditionally always maintained good relationships with Russia, even during the Soviet era.[citation needed] In particular, the Silvio Berlusconi Government (2001–2006) strengthened Italy's ties with Russia, due to his personal friendship with President Vladimir Putin. Cooperation extends also to the aviation sector, between Italy's Alenia and Russia's Sukhoi, who are jointly developing a new aircraft. Finally, for a long time Italy had the largest communist party in the Western world, with over 2 million members. .[188]

 Latvia 1920-10-04 and again 1991-10-04 See Latvia–Russia relations
  • Until 1917, Latvia had been part of the Russian empire. Following the Latvian declaration of independence, war broke out between Latvia and the Russian SFSR.
  • Diplomatic relations between the two countries were first established in 1920, following the conclusion of a Soviet-Latvian peace treaty on 11 August 1920.[189] The treaty was ratified by the Latvian Constituent Assembly on 2 September, and by the Latvian government on 25 September. On the Russian side, it was ratified by the Pan Russian Central Executive Committee on 9 September. Ratification letters were exchanged between the two governments in Moscow on 4 October, the date on which in entered into effect. These relations lasted until the Soviet take over of Latvia in 1940.
  • Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian government recognized the independence of Latvia on 24 August 1991.
  • Russia expresses concern for how Latvia's language and naturalization laws effect Latvia's Russian-speaking population. Russians comprised 27.6% of the population in 2010. In turn, Latvia is interested in the welfare of ethnic Latvians still residing in Russia. The latest Russian census shows about 40,000 still living in Russia, but sources indicate that given the probability of an undercount, Latvians in Russia probably number about 50,000-60,000.
 Norway 30 October 1905 See Norway–Russia relations
 Poland See Poland–Russia relations

In recent years, relations with Russia have worsened considerably. Poland responded with strong disapproval towards the 2008 Georgian Crisis, in which a military invasion of Georgia was led by Russia. Georgia is a former USSR republic, Poland was a member of the Eastern Bloc, and Poland stated its support for Georgia and condemned Russia's actions. The Polish believed the invasion was carried out by the Russians in an attempt to reestablish and reassert its dominance over its former republics. Since 2009, however, relations with Russia somewhat improved - despite the plane accident where the former Polish president died on what is still considered a controversial event. After the 2014 Crimean crisis the relations deteriorated again, as Poland strongly condemned Russian actions against Ukraine.

  • Poland has an embassy in Moscow and consulates-general in Irkutsk, Kaliningrad and Saint Petersburg.
  • Russia has an embassy in Warsaw and consulates-general in Gdańsk, Kraków and Poznań.
 Romania 1878-10-12 See Romania–Russia relations
 Serbia 1838/1940 See Russia–Serbia relations

Diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union were established on 24 June 1940, and Serbia and the Russian Federation recognize the continuity of all inter-State documents signed between the two countries. There are about 70 bilateral treaties, agreements and protocols signed in the past. Serbia and the Russian Federation have signed and ratified 43 bilateral agreements and treaties in diverse areas of mutual cooperation so far.[193]

 Slovakia 1993-01-01 See Russia–Slovakia relations
 Slovenia 1992-05-25 See Russia–Slovenia relations
 Spain See Russia–Spain relations
  • Russia has an embassy in Madrid and a consulate-general in Barcelona.
  • Spain has an embassy in Moscow and a consulate-general in Saint Petersburg.
 Sweden See Russia–Sweden relations.

Both countries had a history of war, and reastablishing diplomatic missions. Russia has an embassy in Stockholm and a consulate in Gothenburg, and Sweden has an embassy in Moscow and consulates in Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad.

  Switzerland 1816 See Russia–Switzerland relations

Switzerland opened a consulate in Saint Petersburg in 1816, upgrading it to a legation 90 years later. The two countries broke off diplomatic relations in 1923, when Russia was going through a period of revolutionary turmoil – and they were not resumed until 1946. Russia has an embassy in Bern and a Consulate-General in Geneva. Switzerland has an embassy in Moscow and since 2006, a Consulate-General in Saint Petersburg.

 Ukraine See Russia–Ukraine relations
  • Russia has an embassy in Kiev and consulates-general in Kharkiv, Lviv and Odessa.
  • Ukraine has an embassy in Moscow and consulates-general in Rostov-on-Don, Saint Petersburg, Tyumen and Vladivostok.
 United Kingdom See Russia–United Kingdom relations
  • Russia has an embassy in London and a consulate-general in Edinburgh.
  • United Kingdom has an embassy in Moscow and consulates-general in Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.

Oceania[edit]

Country Formal relations began Notes
 Australia 1942 See Australia–Russia relations
 Indonesia February 1950 See Indonesia-Russia relations

Russia is represented in Indonesia especially an Embassy in Jakarta. Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Ludmilla Georgievna serve as the First Female Russian Ambassador to Indonesia since 2018.

The Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with Indonesia in 1950 and is one of the very few countries to recognize Indonesia's independence from the Netherlands after World War II

Early in the Cold War, both countries had very strong relations, with Indonesian president Sukarno visiting Moscow and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev visiting Jakarta. When Sukarno was overthrown by General Suharto, relations between the two states were significantly deteriorated, likely due to Indonesia's enforced anti-communist policy under Suharto following the 1965 unrest. However, unlike the relations with China during Suharto's rule, the diplomatic relations were not suspended and remained intact. During this time, Indonesia is also one of many countries that boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Indonesia's negative views of the Soviet Union had significantly increased following the 1979 Soviet-Afghan War, with many Indonesians claiming it as a "communist crime against Muslims".

Indonesian President Suharto will travel to the Soviet Union in September for his first visit to Moscow since taking power more than two decades ago, the government announced Wednesday.

Official talks between Suharto and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev are scheduled for 11–12 Sept. in the Kremlin.

Relations between the Soviet Union and Indonesia grew tense 20 years ago after a failed communist-inspired coup attempt, but a thaw began when Gorbachev came to power.

The USSR under Gorbachev began to develop closer ties with Indonesia alongside other Southeast Asian countries, and relations between the two states were improving once again since the formation of the modern-day Russian Federation. Under Boris Yeltsin and later Vladimir Putin, relations were generally stable and continued to the present day.

 Nauru See Nauru–Russia relations

Russia is represented in Nauru through its embassy in Canberra (Australia). Russia's ambassador to Australia Alexander Blokhin serves concurrently as Russia's non-resident ambassador to Nauru (as well as to Fiji and Vanuatu).

Nauru's banks are said to have provided services to the mafia in Russia during the 1990s; over the course of the 1990s, approximately 70 billion U.S. dollars owned by Russian mafia were held in Nauru banks.[198]

In 2009, Nauru became the fourth country to recognize the states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, breakaway regions of Georgia. Only three other UN member states have done so. Russia was reported to be giving Nauru $50M in humanitarian aid in exchange.[199]

 New Zealand 1943 See New Zealand–Russia relations
 Palau 28 November 2006

Palau and Russia have had established diplomatic relations since 28 November 2006.

 Tonga See Russia–Tonga relations

The Kingdom of Tonga and the Soviet Union established formal diplomatic relations in 1976. Tonga was the first Pacific Island country to establish relations with the USSR. The USSR was dissolved in 1991 and was succeeded by Russia as the successor state.

On 2 October 2005, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Tonga ST T. Tupou exchanged telegrams offering congratulations on the occasion of 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two nations. In his heads of foreign ministries of Russia and Tonga expressed confidence in further development of Russian-Tongan relations in the interests of the peoples of both countries and strengthen peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region.[200]

Russia has a non-resident ambassador based in Canberra, Australia.

 Tuvalu

Russia and Tuvalu established diplomatic relations with Russia on 25 September 2011.[201]

 Vanuatu 30 June 1986 See Russia–Vanuatu relations or Soviet Union–Vanuatu relations
  • In 1987, Vanuatu authorised Soviet vessels to fish within Vanuatu's Exclusive Economic Zone, in exchange for economic aid. The agreement lapsed the following year, and was not renewed, due to disagreements over the price to be paid for fishing rights by the USSR.[202]

Perception[edit]

Global opinion[edit]

Pew Research Center indicated that (as of 2015) only 4 surveyed countries have a positive view (50% or above) of Russia. The top ten most positive countries are Vietnam (75%), Ghana (56%), China (51%), South Korea (46%), Lebanon (44%), Philippines (44%), India (43%), Nigeria (39%), Tanzania (38%), Ethiopia (37%), and Uganda (37%). While ten surveyed countries have the most negative view (Below 25%) of Russia. With the countries being Pakistan (12%), Turkey (15%), Poland (15%), United Kingdom (18%), Jordan (18%), Ukraine (21%), Japan (21%), United States (22%), Mexico (24%), and Australia (24%). Russian's own view of Russia was overwhelmingly positive at 92%.[203]

Alleged aggressiveness[edit]

"Russian aggression" or the portrayal of Russia as an aggressive actor has been the subject of political analysis. Reference to "Russian aggression" is common in Western media where it is used to criticize Russia.[204] It has been used to refer to both Catherine the Great's 18th century agenda[205] and 21st century Russian policies.[206] In the 1990s supporters of NATO expansion into Eastern Europe claimed this would diminish "Russian aggression".[207]

The post-Maidan conflict in Ukraine is usually blamed on "Russian aggression".[208] NATO-sponsored analysts have described what they call a cybernetic "Russian aggression" against Ukraine in the 2010s.[206]

Multilateral[edit]

NATO and the European Union[edit]

Russia is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Union of Russia and Belarus, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Paris Club, and the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC). It signed the NATO Partnership for Peace initiative on 22 June 1994. On 20 May 1997, NATO and Russia signed the NATO–Russia Founding Act, which the parties hoped would provide the basis for an enduring and robust partnership between the Alliance and Russia—one that could make an important contribution to European security architecture in the 21st century, though already at the time of its signing doubts were cast on whether this accord could deliver on these ambitious goals.[209] This agreement was superseded by the NATO–Russia Council that was agreed at the Reykjavik Ministerial and unveiled at the Rome NATO Summit in May 2002. On 24 June 1994, Russia and the European Union (EU) signed a partnership and cooperation agreement. In recent years, tensions have heightened, as NATO members in Eastern Europe, especially Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland, feel threatened by Russia.[citation needed] European Union imposed sanctions on Russian businesses and individuals in 2014, regarding the annexation of Crimea and alleged support for separatists during Donbass War.[210]

Former Soviet Republics and Warsaw Pact[edit]

The non-Russian countries that were once part of the USSR have been termed the 'near abroad' by Russians. More recently, Russian leaders have been referring to all 15 countries collectively as "Post-Soviet Space," while asserting Russian foreign policy interest throughout the region.[211] After the USSR was dissolved by the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, Russia tried to regain some sort of influence over the post-Soviet space by creating, on 8 December 1991, a regional organization – the Commonwealth of Independent States. The following years, Russia initiated a set of agreements with the Post-Soviet states which were designed to institutionalize the relations inside the CIS. However, most of these agreements were not fulfilled and the CIS republics began to drift away from Russia, which at that time was attempting to stabilize its broken economy and ties with the West.[212]

Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, 12 April 2011

One of the major issues which had an influence on the foreign relations of Russia in FSU was the remaining large Russian minority populations in many countries of the near abroad. This issue has been dealt with in various ways by each individual country. They have posed a particular problem in countries where they live close to the Russian border, such as in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, with some of these Russians calling for these areas to be absorbed into Russia. By and large, however, Russians in the near-abroad do not favor active intervention of Russia into the domestic affairs of neighboring countries, even in defense of the interests of ethnic Russians.[213] Moreover, the three Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) have clearly signaled their desire to be outside any claimed Russian sphere of influence, as is reflected by their joining both the NATO alliance and the European Union in 2004.

Close cultural, ethnic and historical links exist between Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The traditional Russian perspective is that they are one ethnic group, with Russians called 'Great Russians', Belarusians 'White Russians' and Ukrainians 'Little Russians'. This manifested itself in lower levels of nationalism in these areas, particularly Belarus and Ukraine, during the disintegration of the Soviet Union. However, few Ukrainians accept a "younger brother" status relative to Russia[citation needed], and Russia's efforts to insert itself into Ukrainian domestic politics, such as Putin's endorsement of a candidate for the Ukrainian presidency in the last election, are contentious.

Russia maintains its military bases in Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Tajikistan.

Russia's relationships with Georgia are at their lowest point in modern history due to the Georgian-Russian espionage controversy and due to the 2008 Russo-Georgian war, Georgia broke off diplomatic relations with Russia and has left the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Russia's relations with Ukraine, since 2013, are also at their lowest point in history as a result of the pro-Western Euromaidan revolution in Ukraine, the 2014 Crimean Crisis and the pro-Russian insurgency in Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Ukraine, like Georgia, has introduced a bill to the Verkhovna Rada to withdraw from the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Kiev has begun the process of doing so.

In addition, Russia also maintains relations with Bulgaria, Czech Republic, part of the former East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, the countries that were once part of the former Warsaw Pact, and furthermore, Albania. Russia also continues to maintain friendly relations with Cuba, Mongolia and Vietnam as well as third world and non-aligned countries of Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Cambodia, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, India, Iraq, Laos, Mozambique, Serbia, Syria and the former Southern part of Yemen.

International membership[edit]

Membership in International Organizations:[214]

Russia holds a permanent seat, which grants it veto power, on the Security Council of the United Nations (UN). Prior to 1991, the Soviet Union held Russia's UN seat, but, after the breakup of the Soviet Union the Russian government informed the United Nations that Russia will continue the Soviet Union's membership at the United Nations and all other UN organs.

Russia is an active member of numerous UN system organizations, including:

Russia also participates in some of the most important UN peacekeeping missions, including:

Russia also holds memberships in:

Mediation in international conflicts[edit]

Russia has played an important role in helping mediate international conflicts and has been particularly actively engaged in trying to promote a peace following the Kosovo conflict. Russia's foreign minister claimed on 25 February 2008 that NATO and the European Union have been considering using force to keep Serbs from leaving Kosovo following the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence.[215]

Russia is a co-sponsor of the Middle East peace process and supports UN and multilateral initiatives in the Persian Gulf, Cambodia, Burma, Angola, the former Yugoslavia, and Haiti. Russia is a founding member of the Contact Group and (since the Denver Summit in June 1997) a member of the G8. In November 1998, Russia joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC). Russia has contributed troops to the NATO-led stabilization force in Bosnia and has affirmed its respect for international law and OSCE principles. Russia has accepted UN and/or OSCE involvement in instances of regional conflict in neighboring countries, including the dispatch of observers to Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan, and the de-facto Republic of Artsakh.

Russia supported, on 16 May 2007, the set up of the international tribunal to try the suspects in the murder of the Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafiq Hariri.[216]

Territorial disputes[edit]

  • The Kuril Islands dispute concerns the islands of Iturup, Kunashir, and Shikotan and the Khabomai group, all of which had belonged to the Japanese Empire until the Soviet–Japanese War when the Soviet Union occupied them and the southern part of the Sakhalin island. The Russian SFSR, then part of the USSR, got them at the end of the Second World War during the 1945 Yalta Conference, when the Allies agreed to the cession of the islands to the USSR. However, this stipulation was not included in the treaty of Capitulation of Japan which later gave Japan a chance to demand the return of the "controversial northern territories". However, the disputed territory is currently administered by the Russian Federation, and the majority of inhabitants of the disputed territory are supportive of Russian administration, because all the Japanese inhabitants were expelled from the islands in 1946.
  • The dispute between Russia and Latvia regarding the Pytalovo (Abrene) area of Pskov Oblast, Russia, was settled in the 27 March 1997 border treaty.[217][218]
  • Disputes over the boundary with the People's Republic of China were finally resolved on 21 July 2008. On that day the Foreign Ministers of the two countries signed an agreement in Beijing. Under the agreement, Russia ceded approximately 174 km² of territory to China.[219] The territory transferred comprised Tarabarov Island and approximately half of Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island. The area transferred was largely uninhabited.[220] The settlement of their border dispute followed over 40 years of negotiations. The final settlement was the result of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation which was concluded on 2 June 2005 and signed by Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. This followed talks in Vladivostok. There is now no border dispute between Russia and China along their 4300 km border.
  • Caspian Sea boundaries are not yet determined among all littoral states. Issues between Russia and the states bordering it – Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan – were settled in 2003. Russia has no common land or Caspian-sea border with Turkmenistan and Iran, which do not agree with the Caspian Sea settlements.
  • Territorial issues between Estonia and Russia regarding some territories of Pskov and Leningrad Oblast of Russia are still unresolved. The 2005 treaty on Estonia–Russia border was not ratified by the Russian side. Negotiations were reopened in 2012 and the Treaty was signed in February 2014, but ratification is still pending.[221]
  • Russia has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other nation. The Soviet Union signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1960.
  • Disputes over the boundary with Georgia relating to Russia's recognition of Georgian regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, due to the 2008 South Ossetia war and which has led to the severance of all diplomatic relations between them.
  • Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation refused to recognize Ukrainian sovereignty over Sevastopol as well as over the surrounding Crimean Oblast, using the argument that the city was never practically integrated into the Ukrainian SSR because of its military status. This claim was relinquished in the bilateral Peace and Friendship Treaty, which confirmed that both the Crimea and Sevastopol belong to Ukraine. A separate treaty established the terms of a long-term lease of land and resources in and around Sevastopol by Russia. In the 2014 Crimean crisis of early 2014 Crimea was annexed by Russia.[222][223] Since then status of the Crimea and of the city of Sevastopol is currently under dispute between Russia and Ukraine; Ukraine and the majority of the UN members consider Crimea to be an autonomous republic of Ukraine and Sevastopol to be one of Ukraine's cities with special status, while Russia and other UN members, on the other hand, consider Crimea to be a federal subject of Russia and Sevastopol to be one of Russia's federal cities.[222][223] On 31 March 2014 the State Duma approved the denunciation of the above-mentioned Peace and Friendship Treaty and long-term lease of land in Sevastopol.[224]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

  • Ambrosio, Thomas, and Geoffrey Vandrovec. "Mapping the Geopolitics of the Russian Federation: The Federal Assembly Addresses of Putin and Medvedev." Geopolitics (2013) 18#2 pp 435–466.
  • Bowen, Andrew (2017). "Coercive Diplomacy and the Donbas: Explaining Russian Strategy in Eastern Ukraine". Journal of Strategic Studies. doi:10.1080/01402390.2017.1413550. 
  • Gvosdev, Nikolas K., and Christopher Marsh. Russian Foreign Policy: Interests, Vectors, and Sectors (Washington: CQ Press, 2013) excerpt and text search
  • Hopf, Ted, ed. Understandings of Russian Foreign Policy (1999)
  • Kanet, Roger E. Russian foreign policy in the 21st century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
  • Larson, Deborah Welch, and Alexei Shevchenko. "Status seekers: Chinese and Russian responses to US primacy." International Security (2010) 34#4 pp 63–95.
  • Legvold, Robert, ed. Russian Foreign Policy in the 21st Century and the Shadow of the Past (2007)
  • Menkiszak, Marek: "Responsibility to protect... itself? Russia’s strategy towards the crisis in Syria", FIIA Briefing Paper 131, The Finnish Institute of International Affairs.
  • Mankoff, Jeffrey. Russian Foreign Policy: The Return of Great Power Politics (2nd ed. 2011).
  • Myers, Steven Lee. The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin (2015)
  • Roberts, Sean P.: Russia as an international actor: The view from Europe and the US, FIIA Report 37 (2013), The Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Sakwa, Richard. Russia against the Rest: The Post-Cold War Crisis of World Order (Cambridge UP, 2017) 362pp online review
  • Saul, Norman E. Historical Dictionary of Russian and Soviet Foreign Policy (2014)excerpt and text search
  • Stent, Angela E. The Limits of Partnership: U.S. Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century (Princeton UP, 2014) 355 pages; excerpt and text search
  • Tsygankov, Andrei P. "The Russia-NATO mistrust: Ethnophobia and the double expansion to contain "the Russian Bear"." Communist and Post-Communist Studies (2013).
  • Yefremenko, Dmitry. Forced or Desired Modernity? Russia’s Chances in the Post-American world. // Russia in Global Affairs, 2010, July / September, No. 3. - P. 36-49. Mode of access: http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/number/Forced-or-Desired-Modernity-14996
  • Yefremenko, Dmitry. Waiting for a Storm. Russian Foreign Policy in the Era of Change. // Russia in Global Affairs, 2012, April–June, No. 2. - P. 18-32. Mode of access: http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/number/Waiting-for-a-Storm-15571

External links[edit]