THE KREMLIN ENDORSED A NEW STRATEGY OF NATIONAL SECURITY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
The Kremlin endorsed a new Strategy of National Security.
Presidential Administration source said the new National Security Strategy was finally endorsed. President Dmitry Medvedev is expected to sign the decree one of these days so that the Strategy of National Security will come into force and its text will be posted on the Kremlin’s web site.
According to the same source, the document adopted at the Security Council meeting on April 24 outlined socioeconomic and defense priorities of Russia. As before, military security is to be based on the strategic nuclear forces. The military reforms under way are attributed to structural changes in the Armed Forces.
The global financial crisis was listed among threats to various aspects of national security. Considering the latest outbreaks, new types of viral diseases were mentioned as well. As for the stated objective, Russia was given five years to make the list of five world powers with the largest GDP.
Enlarged meeting of the Security Council discussed the draft concept for the last time on March 24. The consensus then was to give authors of the document another month to incorporate all necessary amendments into the text. Georgy Shpak, aide to the Presidential Administration director who used to command the Airborne Troops once, told Gazeta that all amendments were but technical. “No serious changes were introduced after the March discussion because the document we had discussed then was quite appropriate, reasonable, and optimum,” Shpak said.
Sources in the Presidential Administration meanwhile claim that the document made an emphasis on several spheres of national interests singled out as strategic – national defense (naturally), better living standards, science, environment, health care, and some others. As a matter of fact, the Strategy of National Security concurs with the Concept of Socioeconomic Development drawn for analogous period (until 2020).
Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev will update the president on implementation of the Strategy once a year. All ministries and departments are expected to draw their own strategic documents now. Security Council Secretary meeting last week gave the government three months to compile a complete list of these documents. By the March 24 meeting, ministries and departments had already compiled a list of 135 strategies, concepts, and foundations in a broad spectrum of spheres from banking to agriculture that had to be worked out within the framework of the general strategic development planning.
Part of the Strategy of National Security dealing with foreign political affairs listed the Commonwealth and the European Union as Russia’s principal allies abroad. Where the latter is concerned, Russia is supposed to develop a common economic and security zone with it. Even improvement of the relations with the United States was mentioned in the document. Russia will aspire for advancement of relations of partnership with this country on the basis of common interests. On the other hand, it is admitted in the document that installation of elements of the American ABM system in Europe will complicate things in general and jeopardize stability.
“Russia will do everything necessary to retain strategic nuclear parity with the United States even though Washington is bent on improvement of its global ballistic missile defense system and implementation of the global strike concept,” source in the Presidential Administration said. “The Strategy is plain on the issue: yes, foreign policy of Russia will be pragmatic; and no, Russia does not want to find itself dragged into another expensive arms race.”
The document assumes that attention of world powers will be mostly riveted on oil and gas fields in the Middle East, Arctic region, Caspian Sea basin, and Central Asia. As a matter of fact, some of them might resort to sheer strength of arms in the struggle for resources and that will certainly alter the parity of forces and weapons along the Russian borders.
Increasing number of sovereign states possessing nuclear weapons is listed as another potential risk.
According to Shpak, challenges that might come to haunt the international community in the course of the crisis remained unknown for the time being. He assumed, however, that the matter might concern geopolitical tremors and perhaps even alteration of the existing state borders.
Development of a new image of the Armed Forces was treated in the document as the high priority of national defense. It is to be accomplished through betterment of their organizational structure, alteration of location, increase of units and formations of permanent combat readiness, and improvement of operational and combat training.
(Victor Yesin, once Strategic Missile Forces chief-of-staff, said the Military Doctrine ought to be much more thorough than the Strategy of National Security on matters of military development.)
Better living standards and economic development are mentioned as other high priorities. The document promises affordable tenements, decent salaries, reduction of impoverishment, and a narrower gap between the wealthy and the poor. Where economic security is concerned, energy sector is regarded as the principal instrument of ensuring it. Sources say that Russia is expected to become one of the leaders in terms of the GDP five years from now. (Yevgeny Yasin of the Supreme School of Economics called this part of the document overly optimistic.)
Sources in the Kremlin meanwhile explained that the Strategy listed raw materials exporting economy and loss of control over national resources as the worst threats to economic development of the country. Other dangers to the future economic development include the global banking and financial crisis. “Uneven development of regions in the country itself is the principal factor whose negative effect in economy cannot be overestimated,” the source said.
Territorial-industrial areas will be established in the southern regions, in Trans-Volga, Siberia, Urals, and Far East to remedy this situation. “Economic parameters (say, unemployment rate and level of prices) will be foremost among all the criteria of evaluation of implementation of the Strategy,” to quote the source.