CONCEPT OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION'S STATE POLICY IN THE AREA OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE
by Decree No.259 of the
President of the Russian Federation
of April 20, 2014
of the Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance
I. General provisions
1. This Concept represents a vision of goals, objectives, principles and main directions of the Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance, as well as of priorities for and modalities of providing technical, financial, humanitarian and other assistance to foreign States with a view to facilitating sustainable socio-economic development of recipient countries, settlement of crisis situations caused by natural and man-made disasters and other emergencies, internal and/or international conflicts.
2. The Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance is based on the Constitution of the Russian Federation, generally accepted principles and rules of international law, international agreements of the Russian Federation, the Budget Code of the Russian Federation, other laws and regulations of the Russian Federation, the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2020, the Concept of the Russian Federation's Foreign Policy and decisions of the President of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation on relations with international organizations and foreign States. The Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance is implemented with due regard to the main documents of the United Nations, including provisions of the UN Charter, the UN Millennium Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development, the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation), the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, "The Future We Want" Outcome Document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, as well as provisions of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Accra Agenda for Action, the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, the Strategy of Economic Development of the Commonwealth of Independent States for the period up to 2020 and the 2013 St. Petersburg Development Outlook.
3. Aware of its historical responsibility for the formation of the modern system of international relations and its further improvement, the Russian Federation considers international development assistance as an effective mechanism to solve global and regional problems, and to respond to new challenges and threats. Consistent implementation of this Concept will help promote Russia's national interests in this area by maximizing the return on aid provided. Experience accumulated in the field of international cooperation and its own donor potential allow Russia, while enhancing the time-tested formats of participation in international cooperation and in multilateral projects, to place greater emphasis on targeted bilateral assistance programmes and to competently select recipient countries based on the provisions of the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation until 2020 and the Concept of the Russian Federation's Foreign Policy.
4. Russia supports the strive of the international community for sustainable socio-economic development of all States which is a foundation of the modern system of international stability and collective security, and seeks to facilitate such development through its State policy in that area.
5. Russia pursues an active and targeted policy in the field of international development assistance which serves the national interests of the country, contributes to the stabilization of the socio-economic and political situation in partner States, and formation of good-neighbourly relations with neighbouring States, facilitates the elimination of existing and potential hotbeds of tension and conflict, especially in the regions neighbouring the Russian Federation, as well as help strengthen the country's positions in the world community and, eventually, create favourable external conditions for the development of the Russian Federation.
II. Objectives and principles of the Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance
6. The objectives of the Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance at a global level are as follows:
a) eliminating poverty and promoting sustainable socio-economic development of partner States, including post-conflict States;
b) influencing global processes in order to form a stable and just world order based on universally recognized rules of international law and partnership relations among States;
c) responding to natural and man-made disasters and other emergencies;
d) providing support for international efforts and initiatives to improve the transparency, quality and effectiveness of international development assistance, and active participation in the development of common approaches to the implementation of agreed decisions in that area;
e) strengthening a positive image of the Russian Federation and its cultural and humanitarian influence in the world.
7. The objectives of the Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance at a regional level are as follows:
a) establishing good-neighbourly relations with neighbouring States, contributing to the elimination of existing and potential hotbeds of tension and conflict, sources of illegal drug trafficking, international terrorism and organized crime, especially in the regions neighboring the Russian Federation, and preventing their occurrence;
b) facilitating integration processes in the space of the Commonwealth of Independent States;
c) promoting good governance based on the principles of the rule of law and respect for human rights in recipient States and encouraging self-reliance of the governments of those States in addressing emerging problems, provided they comply with the international legal principle of States' responsibility for the internal and external policy they pursue towards both their citizens and the international community;
d) facilitating the development of trade and economic cooperation.
8. The principles of the Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance are as follows:
a) Russia's commitment to the priorities of sustainable development of recipient States, concentration of efforts on achieving concrete results in combating poverty and inequality, and cooperation with partner States in the area of international development assistance in order to enhance trust and mutual respect, and to ensure transparency and accountability;
b) focus on strengthening equality and democratization of the system of international relations, and on the acceleration of the socio-economic development of recipient States;
c) provision of targeted assistance and pursuing dialogue with recipient States, taking into account political, economic, social, environmental and other characteristics of each of those States;
d) interaction with third countries and coordination of joint activities in the area of international development assistance, especially in responding to natural and man-made disasters, and other emergencies.
III. Regional priorities of the Russian Federation and modalities of international development assistance
9. International development assistance may be provided to:
a) Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Republic of Abkhazia, the Republic of South Ossetia and other States pursuing a policy of good neighbourliness and alliance with Russia, as well as individual States participating, along with the Russian Federation, in international associations and organizations in Eurasia;
b) States with long-standing friendly relations with Russia;
c) States participating together with Russian in the implementation of joint economic and social projects of mutual interest;
d) developing States, cooperation with which serves the national interests of the Russian Federation.
10. The priority areas of international development assistance at regional and global levels corresponding to the national interests of Russia are as follows:
a) improving the functioning of public administration systems, including public finance management, in the recipient States;
b) improving the environment for trade and investment activities in the recipient States, including through the simplification of procedures for cross-border movement of goods and services;
c) building industrial and innovation potential in the recipient States;
d) fostering economic activity in the recipient States and creating enabling environment for the participation therein of the low-income population groups;
e) establishing and improving national systems to combat organized crime and international terrorism, and to suppress financing of criminal groups and organizations;
f) supporting post-conflict peace-building efforts, facilitating progressive socio-economic development of States emerging from armed conflicts and preventing recurrence of the latter, through the expansion of Russia's participation in international peacekeeping operations, as well as in the work of the Peacebuilding Commission;
g) facilitating regional economic integration, development of State institutions, creation of transport infrastructure, efficient natural resources, management and implementation of socio-economic projects in the recipient States with the involvement of low-income population groups in the production activities in those States;
h) providing access of the recipient States' population to essential sources of livelihood, primarily to water and electricity;
i) creating conditions necessary to ensure the technological sovereignty of the recipient States in the field of information and communication technologies and to bridge the digital divide between developed and developing countries;
j) facilitating efforts to ensure food security and agricultural development of the recipient States;
k) strengthening national health and social protection systems, designed, inter alia, to combat the spread of infectious diseases;
l) improving the quality of education, especially primary, and vocational training, as well as their availability for the population in the recipient States;
m) adopting measures to protect the environment and to solve transborder environmental problems;
n) developing democratic society institutions, including protection of human rights.
11. International development assistance shall be provided on a bilateral and multilateral basis in the following forms:
a) on a bilateral basis:
- allocation of targeted financial grants or provision of goods or services to the recipient States on a free-of-charge basis;
- provision of concessional loans to finance industrial and agricultural imports in the recipient States, or the implementation of investment projects therein on terms of maturity (with loans available for a longer period of time than commercial loans), interest payment (at concessional rates) and repayment of the principal (funds are not provided as grants);
- provision of technical assistance to the recipient States through the transfer of expertise with a view to strengthening institutional and human capacity in the areas of health, education, environmental protection, disaster management, counter-terrorism, etc.;
- provision of debt relief, including through debt-for-development swaps, subject to the debtor's undertaking to use freed resources for the socio-economic development of the recipient State;
- provision of tariff preferences and other privileges in order to facilitate access of their exports to the Russian market;
- facilitation of the active involvement of the partner States in international trade;
- making target contributions for the implementation of international programmes using the capacities of international organizations, and provision of other assistance bearing in mind that the Russian Federation reserves the right to exercise its own discretion in making decisions with regard to the choice of the recipient State, the nature of assistance, the dispatch of Russian experts to provide technical assistance (trilateral assistance), as well as the procurement of non-primary goods and services;
b) on a multilateral basis:
- payment of contributions to international organizations of the UN system other international organizations and international financial institutions, as well as international and global funds;
- participation in initiatives undertaken in compliance with agreements reached in the framework of the Group of Eight, the Group of Twenty, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the BRICS and other organizations and associations.
IV. Development and implementation of the Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance
12. Development and implementation of the Russian Federation's State Policy in the area of International Development Assistance as one of the aspects of the foreign policy shall be accomplished out in accordance with the Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation.
13. Mechanisms for the implementation of the Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance shall include:
a) State programmes of the Russian Federation managed by federal authorities responsible, within their terms of reference, for ensuring Russia's participation in international development assistance;
b) Commission of the Russian Federation for International Development Assistance to be established in order to coordinate the activities of federal authorities in the area of international development assistance and to prepare proposals on main directions of the Russian Federation's State policy in that area for the President of the Russian Federation. The Statute of the Commission and its composition shall be approved by the President of the Russian Federation.
14. Information support for the Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance shall be provided by all relevant Russian entities involved in development assistance activities, both in the recipient and donor States.
15. Provision of international development assistance by Russia shall be considered and decided upon subject to the availability of the following grounds:
a) a request for development assistance submitted by a foreign State;
b) an initiative to provide assistance coming from relevant federal authorities or authorities of constituent entities of the Russian Federation bordering recipient States;
c) a proposal by an international organization to provide financial or technical assistance in the implementation of some initiative;
d) an initiative to provide assistance coming from the Russian business community or non-governmental organizations;
e) the availability in the recipient States of national anti-poverty programmes and strategies for sustainable socio-economic development and improvement of social institutions in the fields of education, health and social assistance to the poor;
f) the recipient State's interest in the progressive development of bilateral relations.
16. The decision to provide or discontinue assistance to a foreign State shall be made by the Government of the Russian Federation.
17. The Russian Federation shall support international development assistance programmes in priority areas, States and regions implemented by constituent entities of the Russian Federation, local governments, bodies of the Russian business community and non-governmental organizations at their own expense.
V. Role of the academic community, the public and the business community in providing international development assistance
18. Representatives of the academic community, the public and the business community may be involved in the implementation of the Russian Federation's State Policy in the Area of International Development Assistance. At their request, federal authorities shall provide information about opportunities for developing partnerships with the recipient States, support investors and exporters in establishing and maintaining relations with those States, create conditions for the private sector's participation in the implementation of international development assistance–related projects in developing country.
19. Public associations, non-governmental organizations and non-profit organizations registered in the Russian Federation may develop cooperation with foreign public and charitable organizations promoting cultural and humanitarian relations. Allocation of federal budgetary resources to such associations and organizations registered in the Russian Federation with a view to using their potential to deliver Russia's assistance to the recipient States shall be considered in accordance with the established procedure.
VI. Accountability for funds allocated by the Russian Federation to provide international development assistance and evaluation of their utilization effectiveness
20. Information on the volume and forms of international development assistance has to be recorded on a timely basis by federal authorities which arrange for the analysis of the projects and for the accounting for funds allocated by the Russian Federation for international development assistance.
21. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the utilization of funds allocated from the federal budget for international development assistance shall be carried out on the basis of following principal criteria:
a) achievement of the expected result of the assistance;
b) cost-benefit ratio;
c) achievement of a result comparable to or exceeding the results of similar projects implemented in the area of international development assistance;
d) sustaining a positive effect achieved as a result of the assistance;
e) relevancy of the assistance provided as part of the general policy in the area of international development assistance;
f) contribution to the development of bilateral cooperation between the recipient States and the Russian Federation in the political and other fields;
g) promoting a positive perception of the Russian Federation as a donor country in the recipient State, as well as in other donor countries;
h) expected and unexpected results achieved in providing international development assistance.
22. Evaluation of the effectiveness of projects implemented by the Russian Federation in the framework international development assistance shall be carried out in cooperation with relevant authorities of the recipient States and/or heads of international organizations.