There is no alternative to the process of Russia's intensive integration in the world community, Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov said when addressing the "Gorchakov Readings" which opened in Moscow and which were named in honour of the outstanding Russian diplomat, Alexander Gorchakov (1798-1883). But the minister stressed that Russia "is not indifferent to the terms on which this process will take place, what will be the country's place in the system of international relations". According to Ivanov, Russia "will not pursue, under any circumstances, the passive or isolationist foreign policy". On the contrary, Ivanov pointed out, the interests of the country make it play "not simply active but in many respects the system-forming role in international relations". "It is possibly more important for the present-day Russia than ever before to remain in the centre of the world politics in the new, rapidly changing world, which is going through a complicated process of the formation of the principles of its future order," Igor Ivanov emphasised. According to the minister, "the historically established deep involvement of Russia in the system of international relations placed it before a difficult choice -- to search for the right balance between the volume of the international obligations of the state and the material resources which these obligations should support." Ivanov stressed that today Russia "consciously refuted the global messiah ideology which was characteristic of the USSR." But, according to him, this does not mean the refusal to pursue the active foreign policy and influence the formation of a new world order. The main foreign policy aims of Russia at the present stage, Igor Ivanov pointed out, are ensuring strategic stability in the world, strengthening the security of Russia and its partners in the Commonwealth of Independent States before the new threats and challenges, taking further steps for integration in Europe, and actively collaborating with its partners on the international scene. "The Gorchakov Readings" commence a wide programme of measures devoted to the 200th anniversary of the Russian foreign ministry".
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23