The foreign policy strategy, signed by Medvedev on Saturday but released Tuesday to coincide with a keynote speech to ambassadors, says the prime minister will be allowed for the first time to implement foreign policy measures, a right previously assumed to be retained by the president.
To quell speculation that presidential powers would be weakened after Putin left the Kremlin, Medvedev said immediately after his election in March that he would retain the presidential right to control foreign policy. Foreign and domestic press reporters rushed for an explanation but Kremlin spokesmen declined to comment.
Overall the new strategy strongly resembles one approved by then-President Putin in 2000, reiterating Russia’s interest in reasserting itself as an international player in a world where UN and international law reign supreme and unilateral actions by countries like the United States are unwelcome.
Tuesday’s address by Medvedev criticized U.S. plans to deploy parts of a missile-defense shied in Eastern Europe and Western nations’ failure to ratify the revised Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.Dmitry Trenin, political analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center said that “the vague and somewhat incomprehensible expectations that there might be some kind of liberalization in foreign policy” under Medvedev have proven unfounded.