On the other hand, her fellow autocrat, King Louie the 15th of France banned it!
Catherine's foreign policy was not particularly enlightened, but it did work.
She expanded the Russian Empire by any means she could.
She was truly gathering the lands.
She placed a former lover, Poniatowski on the Polish throne in 1763.
And then turned her attention south.
Russia had long considered that the Black Sea would make a logical southern boundary.
Unfortunately, the Crimea and surrounding lands were still under Ottoman Turk control.
The Ottoman's moreover controlled Istanbul or Constantinople, which would give Russia an outlet on the Mediterranean if they could take it.
Catherine therefore started a war in 1768 with the Turks and by 1774 Russia was the Middle East's most powerful nation.
Other European powers were unpleasantly shocked by Russia's success.
The 1774 Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji removed the Crimea from Ottoman power, don't worry I'm not going to put that on the final,
and gave Russia the rest of the surrounding territory.
Russia annexed Crimea in 1783 regardless.
With the fertile Ukrainian steppe land under Russian control, Catherine could look west again.