Russia's new security strategy: sleeker and stronger
In the overview of national defense, the strategy names as a threat the “policy of some leading countries, aimed at military supremacy” by building up nuclear and conventional strategic arms, unilateral development of anti-ballistic missile defense and militarization of space. The policy “may trigger a new arms race,” the document warns.
While Russia is not going to waste money on stockpiling its arsenals, it will “act in a least costly manner to keep party with the United States of America in terms of strategic weapons,” to counter the ABM system and take into account the global strike concept in the US military doctrine. The latter refers to the stated ability of US forces to strike at any target in the world in a matter of half a day.
In practical terms the new strategy means that Russia will keep its nuclear forces at a high degree of readiness, while continuing with its military reform, which will see Russian troop numbers reduced and transformed into an instrument of solving regional conflicts.
Security expert, deputy director of the Institute of Economics
The new national strategy dismisses NATO’s expansion plans and ‘attempts to assume global functions’ as unacceptable to Russia. It says the relations with the North-Atlantic alliance will be determined by its willingness to “take into account Russia’s lawful interests,” “to respect international law” and its reform, which will help the bloc find a new mission and humanitarian functions.
Chairman of Russian Parliament’s Commission of international relations
The document says Russia will modernize its border troops to be prepared for possible military conflicts and to prevent crimes like trafficking of drugs, weapons and human beings, smuggling and poaching. Borders with Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan as well as regions of the Arctic, the Caspian Sea and the Far East require special attention.
Secretary of Russia’s Security Council
On the economic side, the main challenges are the export nature of Russia’s industry, its overt dependence on global markets, labor inefficiency, vulnerable financial system and corruption. The document suggests focusing on state-private partnership in key industries, support high-tech projects, facilitate trade for Russian producers and fight corruption. The goal is to become the fifth country in the world in terms of GDP.
Among other threats to Russia’s national security the strategy names: global financial crises, which “may have a devastating effect comparable to the large-scale use of military force”; terrorism and extremism; social injustice; epidemics and socially dangerous decease like tuberculosis; a lack of domestically produced food and medicine; the industrial impact on Russia’s environment, and cybercrime.
Chairman of the Russian Parliament’s Committee on defense
National Security Strategy 2020
The document outlining Russia’s policy in security until 2020 replaces the 1997 paper, which was outdated, according to many experts. The work on it started in September 2008, shortly after the conflict in South Ossetia, and was finished by the end of March this year. Some media speculated that the signing of the document was postponed until Dmitry Medvedev’s meeting with Barack Obama in April and said the ‘anti-American’ statements in it may have been changed after it.
One of the key differences of the new strategy is the list of indicators, which are to show how secure Russia is. These include the unemployment level, inflation, the disproportion of people’s incomes, national debt and others.