President Vladimir Putin has signed the country’s national security strategy for 2016 with color revolutions and biological weapons named as primary threats to Russia. Here are nine key points you want to know about the document.
Listed among threats to national security are “color revolutions” and their instigation, the undermining of traditional values, and corruption.
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Who could be engaged in such activities? According to the document, “radical social groups which use nationalist and religious extremist ideologies, foreign and international NGOs, and also private citizens” who work to undermine Russia’s territorial integrity and destabilize political processes.
The activities of foreign intelligence services, terrorist and extremist organizations, and criminal groups are also classified as threats.
2. US complicates things with bio weapons threat
The growing number of countries in possession of nuclear weapons has also increased certain risks, the decree says. Indeed the risk of countries gaining possession of and using chemical weapons, as well as biological weapons, has risen as well, it elaborates.
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“The network of US biological military labs is expanding on the territories of countries neighboring Russia,” it said. “Russia’s independent foreign and domestic policy has been met with counteraction by the US and its allies, seeking to maintain its dominance in world affairs.”
3. NATO expansion goes overboard
The North Atlantic alliance advance towards Russia’s borders is a threat to national security, according to the document. Processes of militarization and arms build-ups are unfolding in regions neighboring Russia, it says, adding that “the principles of equal and indivisible security” are not being respected in the Euro-Atlantic, Eurasian and Asia-Pacific regions.
Nonetheless, Russia is still interested in a fair dialogue and good relations with NATO, the US and the EU, the strategy says. Under the partnership, it’s important to enhance mechanisms “provided by international treaties on arms control, confidence-building measures, issues related to non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the expansion of cooperation in the fight against terrorism, the settlement of regional conflicts,” it says.
4. Ukraine figures
US and EU support of the coup in Ukraine has led to a deep split in Ukrainian society and prompted an armed conflict, the decree stated. The rise of far-right nationalist ideology and the intentionally-created image of Russia as an “enemy” in Ukraine have made it a “long-term source of instability in Europe and directly at the Russian border.”
5. No to nukes?
Russia may be ready to discuss curbing its nuclear potential, but only based on mutual agreements and multi-lateral talks, the document states. Curtailing Russia’s nuclear potential will only occur if it were also to “contribute to the creation of appropriate conditions that will enable a reduction of nuclear weapons, without damaging international security and strategic stability.”
At the same time, Russia plans to prevent any military conflicts by maintaining its nuclear capabilities as a deterent, but would resort to the military option only if all other non-military options had failed.
6. Info warfare
Secret services have become increasingly active in using their capabilities in the struggle for international influence, the document highlighted.
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“An entire spectrum of political, financial, economic and information instruments has been brought into struggle for influence in the international arena.”
7. When to use military force
The strategy allows the use of military force only in cases when other measures to “protect the national interests” are ineffective.
8. Money matters
Russia’s economic stability is in danger mainly because of its low level of competitiveness and its resource-dependent economy.
Among other threats is “a lag in the development of advanced technologies, the vulnerability of the financial system, the imbalance of the budgetary system, the economy going offshore, the exhaustion of the raw materials base, the strength of the shadow economy, conditions leading to corruption and criminal activities, and uneven development of regions.”
The fact that Russia is dependent on the external economic environment doesn’t help matters, the document reads. Economic restrictions, global and regional crises, as well as the misuse use of the law, among other things, will have a negative impact on the economy, and in the future could lead to a deficit of mineral, water, and biological resources.
“The growing influence of political factors on economic processes, as well as attempts by individual states to use economic methods, tools of financial, trade, investment and technology policies to solve their geopolitical problems, weakens the stability of the system of international economic relations.”
9. What’s next for the economy?
Understanding the problems faced by the country’s economy, the Russian government plans to take measures to deal with them. To ensure economic security, the country will need to balance its budget, prevent capital outflows, and reduce inflation, the document states.
“To resist the hazards to economic security, the government… will carry out a national social and economic policy involving … strengthening of the financial system, ensuring its sovereignty and the stability of the national currency”.
Russia also considers developing relations with China, India, Latin America and Africa as highly important.