January 20, 2016 Special Dispatch No. 6271

A New National Security Strategy For The Russian Federation

January 20, 2016
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 6271

On December 31, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to update the National Security Strategy for the Russian Federation.[1] According to Russian legislation, the documents relating to strategic planning have to be updated once every six years. The previous National Security Strategy was adopted in May 2009.

The document assumes that Russia will maintain its status as one of the world's leading nations. It confirms that Russia ÔÇ£has demonstrated its ability to maintain its sovereignty, statehood and territorial integrity, as well as to defend its citizens abroad.ÔÇØ The document mentions that there has also been an increase in Russia's role in resolving the most pressing international problems, in settling military conflicts, and in promoting legal standards in international affairs. According to the document, the prevention of military conflicts will be achieved by means of a nuclear deterrent policy.[2]

Following are excerpts from Chapters 2 and 3 of the document, describing the Russian authorities' view on the country's place in the world and its national security priorities for the next six years.[3]


"Chapter 2: Russia In The Modern World"

"7. State policy, which provides national security and socio-economic development of the Russian Federation, also facilitates the implementation of strategic national priorities as well as the defense of national interests. A stable sustainable foundation has already been created which strengthens the Russian Federation's economic, political, military and moral potential, and which increases Russia's role in the polycentric world that is now taking shape.

"8. The Russian Federation's role in resolving the most important international problems, in the settling of military conflicts, and in providing strategic stability and the rule of international law has increased.

"9. The Russian economy demonstrates the ability to maintain and to strengthen its potential in the face of international economic instability and restrictive economic measures against the Russian Federation, which have been introduced by some countries.

"10. There are positive trends in providing measures to improve the health of the Russian population. Natural population growth and the average life span have increased.


"12. Russia's growing strength has been accompanied by new threats to its national security... The Russian Federation's independent domestic and foreign policies are discouraged by the U.S.A. and its allies, who want to maintain their dominant role in international affairs. Their containment policies toward Russia imply political, economic, military and public diplomacy pressure.

"13. As the new multipolar world model takes shape, it is accompanied by the growth of global and regional instability... Competition between different countries encompasses the values and models of social development, as well as human, scientific and technological potential. Special importance is given to leadership in the development of the world's oceans and Arctic resources. To reach international prominence, countries must utilize the full spectrum of political, financial, economic and informational instruments. Special security services are greatly increasing their involvement in this process.

"14. The acceleration in development of offensive weaponry and its modernization and deployment weakens global security as well as international arms control agreements. Uniform security principles are no longer compatible with conditions in the Euro-Atlantic, Euro-Asian and Asia-Pacific regions. Militarization and armament build-ups are moving forward in the regions which neighbor Russia.

"15. Russian national security is threatened by the growing potential of the NATO force, its violation of the norms of international law on a global scale, further expansion of the [NATO] alliance, and its approach towards Russian borders. Opportunities to maintain global and regional stability are dramatically decreasing while U.S. anti-missile defense systems are deployed in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. These moves will bring about the realization of the Global Strike concept, that is, the deployment of highly precise non-nuclear arms systems, including space systems.


"17. U.S. and European support for the anti-constitutional coup in the Ukraine has led to a deep split in Ukrainian society and to armed conflict. In the long run, the growth of Ukrainian nationalistic, ultra-right wing ideology, the maintaining of Russia's image as the enemy, and a deep social and economic crisis will make the Ukraine a pocket of instability in Europe, with borders that are closed to Russia.


"19. There is a risk of increasing the number of countries possessing nuclear armaments, and of the dissemination and utilizing of chemical weapons... A network of U.S. military biological labs is expanding in the countries neighboring Russia.

"20. The physical safeguarding of dangerous objects and materials is becoming more critical, especially in politically unstable countries. This fact, along with the uncontrolled dissemination of regular weapons, makes it easier for terrorists to acquire all these weapons.

"21. Increasing confrontation in the global information area is having a growing influence on the global environment. This is caused by the frenzy of certain countries to use information and communication technologies to realize their geopolitical goals [while] manipulating collective consciousness and falsifying history.  

"22. There is evidence of the increasing influence of political factors on economics. Certain countries tend to use economic methods, including financial, trading, investing and technological policies, to realize their geopolitical goals. All these factors weaken the stability of the international economic relations system. Structural imbalances in the world economy and financial system, growing sovereign debts, and volatility in energy markets are all linked to a high probability of crises in the global economy...


"25. ...Regional trading and economic agreements have become some of the most important instruments to prevent such crises. Interest in the use of regional currencies seems to be increasing.

"26. To prevent national security threats, the Russian Federation concentrates on strengthening the internal and national unity of its society, providing social stability, religious tolerance and economic modernization, and improving its defensive capability.

"27. To defend its national interests, Russia pursues an open, rational and pragmatic foreign policy, avoiding costly confrontations (including a new arms race).

"28. The Russian Federation bases its foreign relations on the principles of international law, providing security to all countries reliably and equally, promoting mutual respect among all nations, and enabling them to maintain their cultures, traditions and interests. Russia is interested in the development of mutually beneficial and equitable trade and economic cooperation with other countries, and is a responsible party in the multilateral trading system...

"29. In regards to international security, Russia remains committed to first use all political and legal instruments, diplomacy and peace-making mechanisms. Armed force becomes possible only when all nonviolent measures have proven ineffective."

"Chapter 3: National Interests And Strategic National Priorities"

"30. Long-term national interests include:

ÔÇó  Strengthening the country's defense; firming up the constitutional system; sovereignty and independence; state and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.

ÔÇó  Maintaining national consensus; political and social stability; development of democratic institutions; enhancement of the interaction between the state and civil society.

ÔÇó  Improving living standards; promoting health; providing for the stable demographic growth of the country.

ÔÇó  Preserving and developing cultural, moral, and traditional Russian spiritual values.

ÔÇó  Improving of the competitiveness of the national economy.

ÔÇó  Keeping the status of the Russian Federation as one of the dominant powers, based on strategic stability and mutually beneficial partnership relations in a polycentric world framework.

"31. Realizing national interests depends upon the realization of the following national priorities:

ÔÇó  Defense;

ÔÇó  State and social security;

ÔÇó  Improving living standards for Russian citizens;

ÔÇó  Economic growth;

ÔÇó  Science, technology, education;

ÔÇó  Healthcare;

ÔÇó  Culture;

ÔÇó  Preserving ecological systems and rational environmental management;

ÔÇó  Strategic stability and equitable strategic partnerships."


[1], December 31, 2015.

[2] The strategy document begins with three introductory chapters: General Provisions (pp. 1-6), Russia in the Modern World (7-29), and National Interests and Strategic National Priorities (30-31). Its main section describes the current security status and Russia's goals in different areas such as the National Defense (33-41), State and Social Security (42-49), Economic Growth (55-66), and Science, Technology and Education (67-70). The document ends with basics and priorities for the Strategy's Implementation (108-114) and indicators for the evaluation of its status (115-116).

[3] For the full document in Russian, see, December 31, 2015.

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