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Monitor

Russia’s Development Policy: Concepts and Implementation

by Dr. Thomas Kunze, Leonardo Salvador, Michail Khrapak

Blending development assistance and interest-driven foreign policy

With the "Monitor Development Policy" series, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation aims to shed light on the role of non-traditional donors in development cooperation. This time, we take a look at Russia, which, as part of its development policy, focuses on neighbouring states in the post-Soviet space and states in the rest of the world that are important for Russia's interests.

As the successor state to the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation can look back on a long tradition of development assistance. Having said that, the term development assistance had quite different connotations in the Eastern Bloc. For a brief period following the collapse of the USSR, Russia was itself a recipient of development aid.

With the reconstitution of the Federation and its economic recovery, Moscow returned to the fold of donor states. By the end of the 2000s, the accession of the Russian Federation to the OECD seemed probable but did not materialize in the end.                 

Moscow has been going its own way at least since the country’s break with the West in 2014. This did not, however, involve scaling down its development assistance. On the contrary, Moscow has continuously raised the level of its development funding.

The main focus of its development assistance is on the post-Soviet area – with just a few exceptions, all the successor states to the Soviet Union are recipients of Russian development assistance.

Russia’s development policy is closely aligned in many respects with its foreign, security and economic interests and objectives.

Read the full "Monitor Development Policy" here as a PDF.

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