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8 Feb, 2010 09:01

Standing up for national interests – Russia’s new Military Doctrine

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev talked to RT about Russia's new Military Doctrine, national security, and strategic priorities.

Today, on February 5, President Medvedev approved the Military Doctrine. First of all, I would like to say that in May of last year the president adopted the national security strategy up to 2020, where the national defense is determined as one of the strategic national priorities. We should continue to work on the strategy, and the Military Doctrine is one of the results of this work.

It is not fundamentally new. It developed on the Military Doctrine of 1993 and 2000. Besides, they also used new data concerning the situation in the country and in the world.

In order to objectively consider all the information, an interdepartmental group at the Security Council administration was formed. It was made up of the representatives of Russia’s Academy of Sciences, the Military Academy of Sciences, and other agencies. Then the first version of the Doctrine was drafted. Later, it was discussed and presented to federal authorities. As a result, after discussions in the Security Council administration and in the Security Council a new Military Doctrine was born, which the President approved today.

First of all, it was necessary to estimate the current situation in our country and in the world. The document had to be successive, not something absolutely new. It is obvious that we had to respect the UN charter, international law, and our international agreements on defense and security that are still in force. After the year 2000, significant changes have taken place. There should not be any contradictions to the current document and other basic documents. All these documents have been analyzed and finally we worked out this version of the Doctrine.

I am reading you the document which you have on your site: “Russia reserves the right to use nuclear arms in retaliation for any use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction against Russia or it allies and in cases of using conventional weapons which pose a direct threat to the state.”

We must say that we are not going to attack anyone, if there is a direct threat to the existence of our state – naturally, we have no other choice left. We will pursue a peaceful policy, but at the same time we will stand up for our national interests and defend ourselves using the means we have.

I have already said that we are not going to attack anyone, but we are not going to wait until we are attacked either. Given the kind of weapons some countries now possess, we simply will not have a chance to retaliate. Therefore, we will work to get information about the existing programs and we will work to ensure these attacks do not take place against Russia. The existence of nuclear weapons serves as a guarantor to deter our potential foes.

Our ultimate goal is that nuclear weapons are not spread, and would be better if they ceased to exist at all. But we have to take into account the current reality. Have other countries given up on nuclear weapons? No, they have not. Do they possess them? Yes, they do. Can they use them theoretically, if they possess them? Yes, they can. Therefore, I believe we shouldn’t be running in front of everybody to say no and pose a threat to the state, national interests and our citizens.

First of all, we have allied relations with Belarus. Moreover, we have certain duties in the CSTO.

We have taken into consideration the changes which took place in the world. These changes are really dramatic. In 1993, we had a certain state of affairs in the world. In 2000, that state of affairs was absolutely different, and today we are in another situation. Therefore, we need to bear in mind the changes we have passed through.

The Doctrine is not a dogma, it can be amended if necessary, and such amendments will be required in the future.