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The Religious Diplomacy of the Russian Federation

Russie.Nei.Reports, No.12, June 2012

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The Russian Federation is shaping its religious diplomacy (i.e., in brief, the use of the religious factor in foreign policy) and exercises it with a growing efficiency. This is, to a certain degree, a consequence of processes taking place in Russia, namely, first and foremost, the solving of the crisis of identity and values, and, closely connected with this, the renaissance of religion in Russian political and social life. For many Russians, including the political elite, religion is a crucial component of tradition and as such the foundation of values for spiritual recovery of Russian society and Russia’s regaining its power status. These internal processes have consequences for Russia’s external activity. Religion appears in the state concepts of Russia’s policy: Russia is depicted as a “civilisational pole” with its own cultural space (russkiy mir) and mission (i.e. promoting interfaith dialogue). Both (russkiy mir and interfaith dialogue) are connected with state security and soft power.

Dr Alicja Curanović is currently assistant professor at the Institute of International Relations, Faculty of Journalism and Political Science, at the University of Warsaw. Her research interests are international relations in the post-Soviet area; Russian foreign policy; religious factor in international relations; perception, identity and image in politics.

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