The term is used since the early 1990s, usually to assert Russia's right to have major influence in the region. For instance, president Vladimir Putin has declared the region Russia's "sphere of influence", and strategically vital for Russia.
The region includes Baltic states which chose not to join any post-Soviet political organization and achieved NATO and European Union membership instead, and several countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.
Facing the Challenge of New Zealand's near Abroad: Terence O'Brien Discusses Aspects of New Zealand Policies in the South Pacific
Mar 01, 2010; The South Pacific is New Zealand's 'near abroad', and dealings with it can be both complex and challenging. Three benchmarks...