When discussing foreign policy, at least in English, many political leaders will mention the importance of working with their country's allies.

A case in point would be the US and recent statements about Russia (re. war with Ukraine) and China (re. militarization of the South China Sea).

Question: In official public statements, which countries (if any) does Russia characterize as its allies?

Answers can draw from (but should distinguish between) official statements directed to international audiences (more likely to have official English translations), and those directed to Russian citizens (less likely to have official translations, but may still be translated by academics who specialize in Russia).


1 Answer 1


At least de facto, None.

Russian state news agency TASS has reported (on April 16, 2022) a statement by V. Putin

I would like to remind you Alexander III, our emperor, once said that Russia has just two allies, the armed forces and the navy.

The statement is clearly meant to suggest that Russia has no allies it considers reliable.

The statement goes on to report that formally Russia has an alliance with the member states of "Collective Security Treaty Organization."

As a military-political alliance he mentioned the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Russia maintains very close relations of alliance with its member-states.

The Wikipedia page for CSTO lists Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan as alliance's full-member states.

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    Meh, he also said in the same piece ""We have very good relations within the framework of various associations, for instance, BRICS. There is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. These are not military organizations, but they are our allies, which whom we have been cooperating very tightly and advancing relations," Putin said." So I suppose he considers them (BRICS / Shanghai) economic allies. Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 2:05
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    @Fizz "Meh" is a good estimate. The exact answer is clear as mud. We can only go by what he said and even that must be treated with a great deal of suspicion. I believe he maybe mixing what Russia refers to as "partners" and allies when he refers to "economic allies." I'll go with the traditional definition of "allies" (i.e., military ones).
    – wrod
    Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 2:07
  • All the BRICS except Brazil abstained from condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine, so he does have a leg to stand on claim they are allies in that sense too. Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 2:12
  • @Fizz thinking that it raises the relationship to the level of an alliance is probably stretching it.
    – wrod
    Commented Aug 7, 2022 at 2:14
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    @uhoh I think that has always been a commercial relationship. I doubt that (for example) Iranian citizens could travel to Russia without visas. But I could be wrong. I only know what's covered in the news.
    – wrod
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 7:45

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