«Privilege to Conduct Independent Foreign Policy»

No matter how popular common human values, «global management» and other stereotypes are, a foreign policy of a sovereign state has always been and is still based on its own national interests and national security vision. Not many states can allow themselves this luxury in the contemporary world but no doubt Russia should be among those who can. 

What is the place of Russia in the XXI century world system – is it a raw materials appendage or one of «power centers»? Why many Russian initiatives are not welcomed by international community? Why the system of international relations continues to stick to the «double standards» principle? When will Russia become strong enough to flatly exclude the abuse of power from international practice? How to make the world system balanced?

The reality of contemporary world demands clear answers to all these questions – that’s why the Putin’s article «Russia and the changing world» (Moskovskie novosti, 27.02.2012) stands out to attract attention. I’d like to emphasize only one, the most «burning» issue devoted to contemporary international agenda, that is highlighted in the article. That is internal nature of the «Arab spring» and lessons to be drawn from it.. 

The author says «The Arab Spring has graphically demonstrated that the world public opinion is being shaped by the most active use of advanced information and communications technology. It is possible to say that the Internet, social networks, cell phones, etc. have turned into an effective tool for the promotion of domestic and international policy on par with television».

Being another phase of «color revolutions» The Arab spring marks a new high technology phase of global power struggle for influence, resources, hegemony. It’s the phase of network wars based on soft power as seen by Joseph.

Nye Jr., Professor, Harvard University School of government, who coined the term. He believes the «soft power» played a decisive role in the «Cold War» and is to unfold in full swing in the XXI century.

Going to the bottom of it the soft power is «a power of information and images». It’s application actually has no boundaries. 

It’s exactly the «soft power» technologies the «color revolutions» were sparked with. The operation was funded through various foundations and other non-government structures.

All revolutionary shockwaves of our time are characterized by the growing influence of financial and managerial support to anti-system elements coming from abroad.

The common rule is the influence is exerted only on the regimes possessing the resources the West is interested in. The Russian leadership does see the inspired nature of the «color revolutions», so it flatly rejects this way of interference into internal affairs, Putin says:»

The activities of “pseudo-NGOs” and other agencies that try to destabilize other countries with outside support are unacceptable (extra bolds by E.P). However, Russia does not use or fund national NGOs based in other countries or any foreign political organizations in the pursuit of its own interests. China, India and Brazil do not do this either».

Still the West continues to instigate protests in Russia. R. Douglas, an American expert, says the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) with a $100 million budget, funds dozens of Russian «civil society» groups.

Just one of numerous examples: «Golos», claiming to be an independent vote monitoring group that had said the elections were rigged before they started, has been receiving money from the National Endowment for Democracy since 2000 through the National Democratic Institute, chaired by Madeleine Albright. 

Besides the George Soros «Open Society Foundations», the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the biggest source of funding interference into internal affairs including the channels of the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute.

There are grandiose future plans. On December 15 2011 Philip H. Gordon, Assistant Secretary for Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, said: «As part of our democracy strategy, the administration has been consulting with Congress on an initiative to create a new fund to support Russian non-governmental organizations that are committed to a more pluralistic and open society.» 

Actually it’s the resurrection of Cold War by using new significantly upgraded means and technologies (including «color revolutions»). To counter this kind of actions the Russians need to resort to full scale use of the technologies similar to the «colored» ones (that is «soft counter-power») in combination with firm belief in their rightness.

That is the only way Russia may avoid the export of a «color revolution» in its territory in a pitched network battle and preserve it’s statehood and its future, or, in other words, its privilege to conduct independent foreign policy.

Putin says Russia is not a country that backs down from challenges. Russia is focused; it pulls itself up and responds to any challenge in a dignified manner. It overcomes trials and always prevails. We have a new generation of creative, responsible people, who see the future. They are already playing and will continue to play leadership roles in enterprises and entire sectors of the economy, government organizations, and the entire country.


Elena PONOMAREVA, Strategic Culture Foundation

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