One focus of the new Russian foreign policy strategy announced by Putin is the "elimination of dominance" of the West in world politics. "The Russian Federation intends to prioritize eliminating (...) the dominance of the United States and other unfriendly countries in world politics," the 42-page document reads.
China and India, on the other hand, are being declared important allies of Russia on the world stage. The strategy therefore emphasizes the importance of "deeper relations and coordination with friendly sovereign global power and development centers on the Eurasian continent". The doctrine also provides for the expansion of relations with Africa and Latin America.
With regard to the new strategy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke of Moscow's reaction to the "existential nature of the threats to our country's security and development from the actions of unfriendly states".
Moscow has classified around 20 states as "unfriendly". They include the USA, Germany, Great Britain and Poland. They have all imposed massive sanctions on Moscow over Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine.
Lavrov specifically accused the US of being the driving force behind "anti-Russian reservations" in the world. Washington and its allies waged a "hybrid war" against Moscow.
Belarusian President Lukashenko said in a televised address to the nation on Friday that he and Putin would decide "if necessary" whether we deploy strategic weapons here. "We will stop at nothing to defend our countries, our states and our people," added Lukashenko.
"Strategic" nuclear weapons have greater range and effectiveness than "tactical" nuclear weapons. Putin announced last weekend that Russia would station "tactical" nuclear weapons in Belarus. The announcement has caused concern in Ukraine and among its western allies.
Lukashenko had previously called for a ceasefire "without preconditions" in Ukraine. "It has to stop now before it escalates any further," he said in his address to the nation on Friday. "All territorial issues, reconstruction, security and other issues should and can be clarified at the negotiating table," said Putin's close confidant.
The only solution is negotiations, Lukashenko said. The military-industrial complex in Russia is "in full swing" while Ukraine is "overwhelmed by Western weapons." A further escalation will result in many deaths, he added.
Lukashenko warned of a nuclear war looming due to Western support for Kiev. "A full-scale war has been unleashed because of the US and its satellites," Lukashenko said in the televised speech. That is why "a third world war with nuclear fires is lurking on the horizon".
Belarus is not directly involved in the conflict in Ukraine, but has allowed Russia to use Belarusian territory as a launch pad for last year's Ukraine offensive, according to sources in Kiev. Since then, both countries have held joint military exercises in Belarus and increased their military cooperation.
Ceasefire negotiations between Russia and Ukraine failed in the past due to the irreconcilable positions of both sides. Moscow only wants to end the conflict if Kiev accepts its demands.
These include recognizing Russia's annexation of five Ukrainian regions last year. For its part, Ukraine does not want to get involved in peace negotiations until Russia has withdrawn all of its soldiers from Ukrainian territory - without exception.