Russia: A Re-emerging Donor
Similar to the other BRICS countries (Brazil, China, India and South Africa), since 2007 Russia has been creating, or rather ‘re-creating’, an international development assistance programme and has become an active global development cooperation partner. While the Soviet Union was one of the largest donor countries in the world, Russian official development assistance, according to official government sources, increased more than eightfold in a decade, from US$100 million in 2004 to US$876 million in 2014. Russia consistently promotes cooperation for international development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in major global governance institutions. But to what extent is Russia’s international development assistance compatible with its international cooperation strategy and domestic development priorities?This chapter attempts to respond to this question by exploring the country`s development assistance policy in detail. After a brief background on the history of Russian and Soviet international development assistance, the authors examine (1) the normative and institutional framework and (2) the sector and country/geographic foci of Russia’s international development assistance.
At this stage, it may be hypothesized that there are three major factors that influence Russia’s choice of partner countries, areas of assistance and the domestic structures of assistance delivery: the choice is driven, first, by security concerns; second, by economic interests; and third, by existing commitments in multilateral organizations.