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Foreign relations of Russia

Russia has taken important steps to become a full partner in the world's principal political groupings. On December 27, 1991, Russia assumed the seat formerly held by the Soviet Union in the UN Security Council. Russia also is a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the North Atlantic Cooperation Council[?] (NACC). It signed the NATO Partnership for Peace[?] initiative on June 22, 1994. On May 27, 1997, NATO and Russia signed the NATO-Russia Founding Act[?], which provides the basis for an enduring and robust partnership between the Alliance and Russia--one that can make an important contribution to European security architecture in the 21st century. This agreement was superseded by the NATO-Russia Council that was agreed at the Reykjavik Ministerial[?] and unveiled at the Rome NATO Summit in May 2002. On June 24, 1994, Russia and the European Union (EU) signed a partnership and cooperation agreement.

Russia has played an important role in helping mediate international conflicts and has been particularly actively engaged in trying to promote a peace following the conflict in Kosovo. Russia is a cosponsor of the Middle East peace process and supports UN and multilateral initiatives in the Persian Gulf, Cambodia, Angola, the former Yugoslavia, and Haiti. Russia is a founding member of the Contact Group[?] and (since the Denver Summit[?] in June 1997) a member of the G-8. In November 1998, Russia joined the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum[?] (APEC). Russia has contributed troops to the NATO-led stabilization force in Bosnia and has affirmed its respect for international law and OSCE principles. It has accepted UN and/or OSCE involvement in instances of regional conflict in neighboring countries, including the dispatch of observers to Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Russia has faced criticism for perceived violations of human rights. For more on Russia's human rights record, see Politics of Russia.

Disputes - international: dispute over at least two small sections of the boundary with China remain to be settled, despite 1997 boundary agreement; islands of Etorofu[?], Kunashiri[?], and Shikotan[?] and the Habomai group occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia, claimed by Japan; Caspian Sea boundaries are not yet determined among Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan; Estonian and Russian negotiators reached a technical border agreement in December 1996 which has not been ratified; draft treaty delimiting the boundary with Latvia has not been signed; has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other nation; 1997 border agreement with Lithuania not yet ratified

Illicit drugs: limited cultivation of illicit cannabis and opium poppy and producer of amphetamines, mostly for domestic consumption; government has active eradication program; increasingly used as transshipment point for Southwest and Southeast Asian opiates and cannabis and Latin American cocaine to Western Europe, possibly to the United States, and growing domestic market; major source of heroin precursor chemicals

See also : Russia



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