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Russia: Foreign Relations

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what aims and objectives he has set for UK foreign policy in respect of the Russian Federation. (309194)

We aim to have a strong and uncompromising relationship with the Russian Federation, based on mutual respect, a shared commitment to enhanced prosperity, greater equality and respect for the rule of law and human rights as it is clearly in the UK’s and Europe’s interest to engage with, rather than isolate, Russia.

Russia is an important partner, including at the UN, in the G8 and the G20. We need to work together on tackling climate change, enhancing trade relationships and energy security, and on shared foreign policy objectives, including Afghanistan, promoting peace in the Middle East, combating the proliferation of nuclear weapons and developing security in our shared neighbourhood. The Government welcome President Medvedev’s focus on the need to strengthen the rule of law in Russia. Implementation of this agenda would significantly enhance Russia’s ability to meet the standards it set itself when it joined organisations such as the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The Government would like to see a strong and dependable Russia with which we and our partners can do business on a range of global challenges. That means a Russia which plays a responsible international role, and which keeps to the international commitments it has made, including in relation to energy supplies to Ukraine and EU member states, in relation to human rights in Chechnya and across Russia and in relation to Georgia.