Russian National Security Concept and Nuclear Policy
Updated July 21, 2000
Presidential decree N 24, signed on 10-th January 2000, approved the new Concept on National Security. The new concept broadens the possible scenarios in which Russia would use nuclear weapons. A 1997 national security document (in Russian) had used a vague formulation that called for the use of nuclear weapons "in case of a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation as a sovereign state". The new document says nuclear weapons can be used "in the case of the need to repulse an armed aggression, if all other methods of resolving the crisis situation are exhausted or have been ineffective".
Appearence of the new document caused a broad discussion. In particular, Alexander Pikayev, an analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace here, said in an interview to The Washington Post, that "The scenarios of the possible use of nuclear weapons are considerably broadened...It (National Security Concept - E.M.)was vague in 1997, and even more vague in 1993...During the Kosovo crisis, some Russian officials were arguing for language allowing for "early first use" of nuclear weapons in a crisis...Fortunately, this was not included...It's not the worst case..."
Bruce G. Blair, an expert on Russian and American nuclear forces at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said the change was "a codification of something that's really already been pretty well cemented in the Russian psyche, at least among their security planners." In Mr. Blair's view, the new security policy may increase the chances of potentially catastrophic lapses in a Russian military hobbled by financial problems and lapsed military discipline.
However, the United States played down a new national security concept published by Russia, saying it did not represent a significant shift that would make it more likely Moscow would use nuclear weapons. "We ... do not believe that it represents a significant, major departure from Russia's concept issued in 1997 or that it makes the use of nuclear weapons more likely," State Department spokesman James Rubin said: "...both the 1997 and 2000 national security concepts assert the right to use available forces and assets, including nuclear if all other measures of resolving the crisis situation have been exhausted and have proven ineffective..."
Discussion continues, thus this page will be likely updated soon.
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- Russia Demands Security Guarantees From The West, - in Russian, (by Gisbert Mrozek, InoPressa, March 7, 2000)
- The Doctrine Exist - Hopefully, There Will Be No War, - in Russian, (Rossiiskaya Gazeta, February 23, 2000, p. 6)
- A briefing of Sergei Ivanov, the head of Russia's national security council before foreign ambassadors, February 15, 2000 (in Russian)
- Sergeyev's Doctrine Is Not Firmer Than The Previous One, - in Russian, (by Sergei Sokut, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, February 19, 2000, p. 6)
- Defense Dossier: Nuke Strategy Is Not News, (by Pavel Felgenhauer, The Moscow Times, February 10, 2000).
- The Concept Of National Security: The Nuclear Factor, (PIR Arms Control Letters, January 31, 2000)
- Russia's Nuclear Addiction, (The Washington Times, January 30, 2000, p. B2)
- Russian National Security Policy in 2000, (by Celeste A. Wallander, PONARS Policy Memo Series, Memo N 102, January, 2000)
- What is Driving Russia's New Strategic Concept?, (by Mark Kramer, PONARS Policy Memo Series, Memo N 103, January, 2000)
- Russia's Nukes, (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, January 20, 2000)
- Russia's New National Security Concept: The Nuclear Angle, (by Dr. Nikolai Sokov, Senior Research Associate, Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies, January 19, 2000)
- Russian Strategy Puts Up The West On Its Guard, - in Russian, (by Vadim Solovyov, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, January 19, 2000, p. 6)
- The United States Study the Moscow's Doctrine, - in Russian, (by Vladislav Dunayev, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, January 19, 2000, p. 6)
- "Putin's Doctrine"? (by Vissarion Sisnyov, Trud, January 18, 2000, p.5)
- New Russian Security Plan Criticizes West. Doctrine Broadens Nuclear Use Policy, (by David Hoffman, The Washington Post, Saturday, January 15, 2000; Page A01)
- Moscow Issues New Policy Emphasizing Nuclear Arms, (by Michael Wines, The New York Times, January 15, 2000)
- New Guiding Lines of the Military Security - in Russian, (by Valeri Alexin and Sergei Sokut, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, January 13, 2000, p. 1)
- The Foreign Policy Concept Of the Russian Federation, June 28, 2000
- Russia's Military Doctrine, April 21, 2000
- Concept on National Security of the Russian Federation, (the edition of 2000), see also the text in Russian
- Concept on National Security of the Russian Federation, - in Russian, (the edition of 1997)
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