Moscow: US and NATO Biggest threats to International and Russian Security

Russia unveils new national security strategy

by Xinhua Writers Yu Maofeng, Liu Yang

MOSCOW, May 14 (Xinhua) — Russia’s new national security strategy, an updated version of its 1997 policy, outlines major threats to the country’s national security and defines its national interests.

The strategy paper, “a comprehensive and fundamental document” intended to last until 2020, was approved by President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday and released by the Kremlin on Wednesday.


The new strategy ensures continuity in Russia’s national security policy and reflects the country’s development priorities and national interests. It also aims to solve security problems that have occurred in the process of development, Medvedev said earlier in a security conference.

Reports about the draft of the paper trace back to 2004, when Igor Ivanov, the Security Council secretary, said the 1997 policy had completed its term and that Russia was facing new challenges and needed new solutions.

Russia encountered grave domestic challenges in the 1990s as it saw rampant separatist activities in Chechnya, the emergence of terrorist threats and economic deterioration.

The situation, however, has changed dramatically in the past decade. As Medvedev put it, Russia’s national security strategy through 2020 marked the end of the country’s transition period and its entry into a time of long-term strategic development.

Russia has overcome the systematic crisis consequences accompanied by the collapse of the Soviet Union, managed to safeguard its territorial integrity and sovereignty, and resumed its influence in the world arena, the document said.

Meanwhile, Russia is facing situations and problems totally different from 10 years ago. That is the background under which the new national security strategy was unveiled.

The document scrutinizes the security risks in the fields of politics, economy and society. It lists nine priorities, headed by national defense and social security, in the effort to ensure national security.

The guideline of the new strategy agrees with the “great security view” advocated by Anatoly Utkin, director of the International Research Center at the Institute of U.S. and Canada Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Utkin said the paper was more pragmatic compared to earlier ones and maps out many concrete tasks.


The document attaches great importance to such traditional issues as ensuring national territorial integrity and military security.

“The instability of the existing global and regional architecture, especially in the Euro-Atlantic region… is an increasing threat to the international security,” the paper said.

The attention of international politics in the long run will be concentrated on the acquisition of energy resources, it said.

“In a competition for resources, problems that involve the use of military force cannot be ruled out, which would destroy the balance of forces close to the borders of the Russian Federation and her allies,” it said.

Meanwhile, the United States’ plan to deploy a missile defense system in Central Europe has remarkably reduced the possibility of safeguarding the global and regional stability. Therefore, Russia will pursue a “rational and pragmatic” foreign policy, avoiding costly confrontation and a new arms race, the document said.

Russia will actively participate in multilateral cooperation and make its cooperation with Commonwealth of Independent States members a priority, the paper said.

Western media reports criticized the paper for its claims that the enhancement of the United States’ role will damage Russia’s national interests.

Russia, however, has been irritated by the United States due to an array of rows, including NATO’s eastward expansion, the proposed U.S. missile shield in Central Europe, “color revolutions” in former Soviet republics and last year’s Caucasus war.

In light of the threats, Russia will continue its military reform and seek to maintain a nuclear parity with the United States, the document said.


The strategy paper highlights economic security because the Russian economy was hit hard by the international economic downturn.

“The consequences of the world financial crisis could become comparable to the damage caused by a large-scale use of military force,” the paper said.

The new strategy paper differentiates from earlier versions by stressing economic security, analysts said.

Economic security has even surpassed traditional security problems as the top priority in the document, said Ruslan Grinberg, director of the Economy Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who participated in the paper’s draft work.

Economic security and its influence on other security issues are repeatedly mentioned in the paper, which says “Russia’s national security situation depends directly on the country’s economic potential.”

The sixth part of the document singles out seven factors to evaluate Russia’s national security, five of which are economic.

“The preservation of a natural-resources-export model of development” was one of the main threats to the national security in the economic sphere, the paper said.

Other economic risks include the country’s low economic competitiveness and loss of control over domestic natural resources.

Russia’s economy will gain momentum from developing a national innovation system, improving labor productivity, renovating national priority industries, exploring new energy production areas and improving the banking system and financial services, the document said.

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