Russia is taking aim at the US in a new, threatening foreign policy

Russia is taking aim at the US in a new, threatening foreign policy

Russia is fully committed to fighting “American hegemony” in the world and “anti-Russian activities” of foreign states. In addition, it will use the military where necessary to “prevent and deter” aggression against itself and its allies. Incidentally Take Russia A month-long U.N. summit begins this weekend.

The ominous words are at the heart of a 42-page, 76-point new foreign policy approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a session of his own Security Council on Friday. The document describes Russia as “one of the centers of world development” and a “massive Eurasian and Euro-Pacific power” that plays a unique role in maintaining the balance of power in the world and “ensuring the peaceful development of mankind”. “Russia will henceforth base its foreign policy on the conduct of other countries,” the document said.

Espionage case

The document comes amid a week of heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington. On Wednesday, 31-year-old American journalist Ivan Gershkovich became a reporter The Wall Street JournalHe was arrested by the Russian secret service FSB in Yekaterinburg on suspicion of spying for the United States.

Born in the US to Russian parents, Gershkovich has been working in various media outlets in Russia since 2017. He is said to have interrogated the Russian mercenary Wagner in Yekaterinburg. According to news site Medusa, the journalist also visited the neighboring city of Nizhny Tagil, where the security complex is located. In a statement, the FSB wrote that Gershkovich “has been collecting state-secret information on the activities of the Russian military-industrial complex at the behest of the US government”.

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On Thursday, Gershkovich was transferred to Moscow and appeared before the Lefortovo court, where he pleaded not guilty. As per the court order, he will remain in custody for at least two months.

Intimidation of journalists

Although it is not yet clear, Russia appears to want to pressure both the US government and Western reporters in Moscow with the arrests. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday said Gershkovich had been caught “red-handed”, fueling speculation that the Kremlin may have authorized the arrest. Some believe that Gershkovich will soon be freed or that there will be more clarity on the charges.

In Russia, espionage investigations take place behind closed doors and are rarely released. A long-term exchange could take place, as last year when American basketball star Brittney Griner was traded for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bode. However, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday that it was still “too early” to think about that.

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The US is taking this matter seriously. A White House spokesman called the allegations “ridiculous” and “unacceptable” on Thursday. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken condemned “the Kremlin’s continued efforts to intimidate, suppress and punish journalists and activists”. There was also a big shock in the journalistic circle this week. “This is the Kremlin’s way of intimidating Western journalists who still report in Russia,” said Jean Cavillier of Reporters Without Borders. He said he feared Russia would become an “information black hole” if Western journalists could not safely report from the country.

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In a letter More than 30 major news outlets asked Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antoni, on Friday for Gershkovich’s “immediate release, without conditions.” “He is a journalist, not a spy,” said the editors-in-chief of the others FTBloomberg, Euronieuws, AFP and NOS.

Nicholas Daniloff is the last American journalist accused by Russia of espionage. He was briefly arrested in 1986 in response to the arrest of a Russian spy in the United States. In 2020, former US Marine Paul Whelan was sentenced to 16 years in prison for spying for the United States. Whelan, who, like Gershkovich, is incarcerated in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, maintains his innocence.

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