If Labour wants to put human rights at the heart of its foreign policy, it needs to talk more about Putin’s Russia

This latest article from UK think tank the Foreign Policy Centre looks at the evolution of Labour’s foreign policy. 

Lana Estemirova examines the evolution of Labour foreign policy from Corbyn to Starmer and makes the case for a more critical approach towards Russia, as part of a human rights focused policy and a more consistent criticism of all forms of imperialism. She looks at the history of both Labour and Corbyn’s analysis of Russia in the Putin-era, with a particular focus on the issue of Chechnya. She explores how the particular ideological approach Corbyn and some of his advisers brought into Labour’s foreign policy approach, led it to overlook some of the excesses of Putin’s behaviour and made it more open to Kremlin narratives that it should have been. Estemirova argues that there are opportunities for Starmer and Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy to develop a new foreign policy that addresses the human rights challenges in Russia and the impact Putin’s regime has on the wider region, while shining a spotlight on the way the UK financial sector and property market is being used by Russian elites.

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