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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 43, January - February 2000

New Russian National Security Concept

"National Security Concept", approved by Presidential Decree 1300 of December 17, 1999; issued in Presidential Decree 24 of January 10, 2000.

Note: see News Review for comment and developments. A full English text of the new Security Concept is available on the Acronym Institute's regularly updated website, "Special Feature on the US-Russia Arms Control Relationship", http://www.acronym.org.uk/usrussia.htm

"The national security concept of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as the Concept) constitutes a system of views on ensuring the security of the individual, society and the state from external and internal threats in all spheres of life in the Russian Federation. The Concept formulated the key directions of the state policy of the Russian Federation.

The national security of the Russian Federation is interpreted as the security of its multinational people as the bearer of sovereignty and the only source of power in the Russian Federation.

I. Russia in the World Community

The situation in the world is noted for a dynamic transformation of the system of international relations. Two mutually excluding trends dominate them now that the age of bipolar confrontation is over.

The first trend is seen in the strengthening of economic and political positions of a considerable number of states and their integration associations, and in the improvement of the mechanisms of multilateral guidance of international processes. Economic, political, research-technical, ecological and information factors are coming to play an ever greater role. Russia will facilitate the development of an ideology of the creation of a multipolar world on this basis.

The second trend is seen in the attempt to create a structure of international relations based on the domination of developed Western countries, led by the USA, in the international community and providing for unilateral solution of the key problems of global politics, above all with the use of military force, in violation of the fundamental norms of international law.

The development of international relations is accompanied with competition and the striving of some countries to reinforce their influence on world politics, in particular by creating mass destruction weapons. The significance of military force in international relations remains considerable. …

Objectively, there is a community of the interests of Russia and the interests of other states on many problems of international security, including resistance to the proliferation of mass destruction weapons, prevention and settlement of regional conflicts, struggle with international terrorism and drug trafficking, the solution of acute global ecological problems, including problems of ensuring nuclear and radiation safety.

At the same time, some states have stepped up their efforts to weaken Russia's positions in the political, economic, military and other spheres. The attempts to ignore the interests of Russia when tackling major problems of international relations, including conflict situations, can undermine international security and stability and slow down the ongoing positive changes in international relations. …

II. The National Interests of Russia

… The national interests of Russia in the international sphere boil down to ensuring the sovereignty and reinforcing the position of Russia as a great power and one of the influential centres of the multipolar world, developing equitable and mutually beneficial relations with all countries and integration associations, above all the countries members of the Commonwealth of Independent States and Russia's traditional partners, all-round respect for human rights and freedoms and inadmissibility of double standards in this sphere. …

The national interests of Russia in the military sphere boil down to the protection of its independence, sovereignty, state and territorial integrity, the prevention of a military aggression against Russia and its allies, and the creation of conditions for a peaceful, democratic development of the state. …

III. Threats to the National Security of Russia

The current situation in the Russian economy, the inadequate organisation of state power and the civic society, the socio-political polarisation of Russian society and the spread to crime to social relations, the growth of organised crime and terrorism, the aggravation of national and deterioration of international relations create a wide range of internal and external threats to the national security of the country. …

The main threats in the international sphere are determined by the following factors:

  • the striving of individual states and inter-state associations to lower the role of the existing mechanisms of ensuring international security, above all the UN and the OSCE;
  • the danger of weakening the political, economic and military influence of Russia in the world;
  • the strengthening of military-political blocs and unions, above all the eastward enlargement of NATO;
  • the possible appearance of foreign military bases and large military contingents in direct proximity to the Russian borders;
  • the proliferation of mass destruction weapons and their delivery vehicles;
  • the weakening of the integration processes in the Commonwealth of Independent States;
  • the appearance and escalation of conflicts close to the state borders of the Russian Federation and the external borders of countries members of the Commonwealth of Independent States;
  • claims to the territory of the Russian Federation.
Threats to the national security of the Russian Federation in the international sphere can be seen in the attempts of other states to hinder the strengthening of Russia as a centre of influence in the multipolar world, prevent the implementation of its national interests and weaken its positions in Europe, the Middle East, the Transcaucasus, Central Asia and Asia Pacific. …

The level and scales of military threats have been growing.

The transition of NATO to the use of force (military force) beyond the zone of its responsibility and without the sanction of the UN Security Council, which has been elevated to the level of a strategic doctrine, is fraught with the destabilisation of the strategic situation in the world.

The growing technological surge of some leading powers and their growing possibilities to create new-generation weapons and military hardware are creating prerequisites for a qualitatively new stage in the arms race and a dramatic change in the forms and methods of waging hostilities. …

The growth of negative trends in the military sphere is facilitated by the drawn-out reform of the military organisation and defence industries of the Russian Federation, the insufficient financing of national defences and the inadequate normative legal base. This can be seen now in the critically low standard of operational and combat training of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, other troops, military formations and agencies, inadmissible fall in the provision of modern weapons, military and specialised hardware to the troops (forces), and extremely acute social problems, which negatively affects the military security of the Russian Federation as a whole. …

IV. The Ensurance of the National Security of the Russian Federation

The basic tasks in ensuring the national security of the Russian Federation are:

  • prompt forecasting and exposure of external and internal threats to the national security of the Russian Federation;
  • operational and long-term measures designed to prevent and neutralise internal and external threats;
  • the ensurance of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation and the safety of its border space; …
  • the revival of the country's military potential and its maintenance at a sufficiently high level;
  • the strengthening of the regime of the non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons and their delivery vehicles;
  • effective measures to reveal, prevent and terminate the intelligence and subversive operation of foreign states directed against the Russian Federation;
  • a dramatic improvement of the ecological situation in the country. …
The priority tasks of the state in the ecological sphere include: …
  • to ensure an ecologically safe storage and utilisation of scrapped weapons, above all nuclear submarines, surface ships and vessels with nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons, liquid missile fuel, and the fuel of nuclear power stations. …
The foreign policy of the Russian Federation should be spearheaded at:
  • pursuing an active foreign policy;
  • reinforcing the key mechanisms of multilateral guidance of global political and economic processes, above all under the auspices of the UN Security Council; …
  • ensuring progress in the sphere of nuclear arms control and maintaining strategic stability in the world on the basis of the fulfilment by states of their international obligations in this sphere;
  • fulfilling mutual obligations in the sphere of the reduction and liquidation of mass destruction and conventional weapons, taking confidence- and stability-building measures, and ensuring international control of the export of commodities and technologies, as well as of the provision of services of military and dual nature;
  • adjusting the existing agreements on arms control and disarmament to new conditions in international relations, as well as drafting, in case of need, new agreements, above all on confidence- and security-building measures;
  • assisting in the creation of zones free from mass destruction weapons;
  • developing international cooperation in the sphere of combating transnational crime and terrorism.
The ensurance of military security of Russia is a priority sphere of the country's operation. The main goal in this sphere is to ensure the possibility of an adequate reaction to threats that can arise in the 21st century, with rational spending on national defences.

The Russian Federation prefers political, diplomatic, economic and other non-military measures in the sphere of preventing wars and armed conflicts. But the national interests of the Russian Federation call for maintaining a military organisation that would be sufficient for the defence of the country. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation play the key part in ensuring its military security.

The main task of the Russian Federation is to deter aggressions of any scale against it and its allies, including with the use of nuclear weapons. The Russian Federation must have nuclear forces capable of delivering specified damage to any aggressor state or a coalition of states in any situation.

The peacetime combat composition of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation must suffice to ensure a reliable protection of the country from a possible air attack, to fulfil, acting jointly with other troops, military formations and agencies, the tasks of repelling an aggression in a local war (armed conflict), and to ensure a strategic deployment of troops for the fulfilment of tasks in an all-out war. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation must ensure the peacekeeping efforts of the Russian Federation. …

The Russian Federation proceeds from the following principles when regarding the possibility of using military force for ensuring its national security:

  • the use of all available means and forces, including nuclear weapons, in case of the need to repel an armed aggression when all other means of settling the crisis situation have been exhausted or proved ineffective;
  • the use of military force within the country is possible only in strict compliance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and federal laws and only in case of threat to the life of citizens and to the territorial integrity of the country, or in case of threat of a violent change of the constitutional regime.
The defence industries play a major part in ensuring the national interests of Russia. The restructuring and conversion of the defence industries should not come into conflict with the creation of new technologies and research-technical possibilities, the modernisation of weapons, military and specialised hardware, and the strengthening of positions of Russian producers on the world market of weapons.

We must create requisite conditions for organising priority fundamental, forecasted and free research that would ensure the priority and promising research-technical achievements in the interests of defence and national security. …

The policy of ensuring the national security of the Russian Federation is formulated and implemented by:

  • the President of the Russian Federation, who acts in the framework of his constitutional powers to guide the agencies and forces that ensure the national security of the Russian Federation; sanctions the actions designed to ensure national security; acts in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation to form, reform and liquidate the agencies and forces that ensure national security and are subordinate to him; issues statements, addresses and directives on problems of national security; amends the individual provisions of the National Security Concept of the Russian Federation in his annual addresses to the Federal Assembly and determines the directions of the current domestic and foreign policy of the country;
  • the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, which acts on the basis of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and upon recommendations of the President of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation to form the legislative base in the sphere of ensuring the national security of the Russian Federation;
  • the Government of the Russian Federation, which acts in the framework of its jurisdiction and with due consideration for the national security priorities formulated in the annual addresses of the President of the Russian Federation to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to coordinate the operation of the federal bodies of executive power and the bodies of executive power of members of the Russian Federation, and to formulate, in accordance with the established procedure, the items of the federal budget necessary for the implementation of practical targeted programmes in this sphere;
  • the Security Council of the Russian Federation, which acts to ensure pre-emptive determination and evaluation of threats to the national security of the Russian Federation, to promptly draft decisions on preventing them for the President of the Russian Federation, to draft proposals in the sphere of ensuring the national security of the Russian Federation, as well as proposals on specifying individual provisions of the National Security Concept of the Russian Federation, to coordinate the operation of the agencies and forces that ensure national security, and to control the implementation of decisions in this sphere by federal bodies of executive power and the bodies of executive power of members of the Russian Federation;
  • federal bodies of executive power, which ensure the implementation of the legislation of the Russian Federation, decisions of the President of the Russian Federation and the government of the Russian Federation in the sphere of the national security of the Russian Federation; act in the framework of their jurisdiction to draft normative legal acts in this sphere and submit them to the President of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation;
  • bodies of executive power of members of the Russian Federation, which act jointly with the federal bodies of executive power on questions of the fulfilment of the legislation of the Russian Federation, decisions of the President of the Russian Federation and the government of the Russian Federation in the sphere of the national security of the Russian Federation, as well as federal programmes, plans and directives issued by the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the sphere of military security of the Russian Federation; act jointly with local self-governments to hold measures designed to involve citizens, public associations and organisations in the solution of problems of national security in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation; submit to the federal bodies of executive power proposals on the improvement of the system of ensuring the national security of the Russian Federation.
The Russian Federation intends to firmly and resolutely ensure its national security. The existing legal democratic institutes, the structure of the bodies of state power of the Russian Federation, and the broad involvement of political parties and public associations in the implementation of the National Security Concept of the Russian Federation are the most earnest of dynamic developments in Russia in the 21st century."

Source: English translation, full text, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, January 18.

© 2000 The Acronym Institute.

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