Monroeski Doctrine

   The “Monroeski Doctrine” was a colloquial description of Boris Yeltsin’s foreign policy strategy in the near abroad. Adapted from the United States’ 19th-century Monroe Doctrine, which prohibited European colonization of the newly independent Latin American republics, the Monroeski Doctrine affirmed the Russian Federation’s position as the dominant power in the entire former Soviet Union. Moscow often invoked the doctrine when it intervened in post-Soviet conflicts in the Newly Independent States of Eurasia, such as the Tajik Civil War and the separatist conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, Abkhazia, and South Ossetiya. Articulated by Andranik Migranyan, the Monroeski Doctrine used historical and geopolitical logic to argue that Russia—rather than Turkey, China, Iran, or the U.S.—was better equipped to solve issues in its “backyard,” particularly through organizations like the Commonwealth of Independent States. Political elites in the former Soviet Republics, particularly in the Baltic States, Georgia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan, criticized the policy as neo-imperialist. The term fell out of favor by the end of the 1990s, but the concept still girds the foreign relations theories of Russia’s Eurasianists.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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