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Russia: A Long Way to the National Security Doctrine 

Alexander A. Sergounin

Copenhagen Peace Research Institute

Guest Research Scholar, COPRI
Professor of Political Science
University of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia



'The Law on Security' (1992)

The Early Drafts of the Military doctrine (1992)

Kozyrev's Foreign Policy Concept (1993)

General Description
Regional Priorities

Skokov's Foreign Policy Concept (1993)

The Military Doctrine (1993)

General Description and Threat Perceptions
New Military Strategy, Armed Forces' Mission and Tasks
Economic and Military-Technical Aspects
Army and Society

In Search of a National Security Doctrine (1994-97)

'The National Security Concept of the russian Federation' (1997)

General Outline
Russian National Interests
Threat Perceptions
National Security Strategy

What's Next?


On 17 December 1997 President Boris Yeltsin signed Decree No. 1300 thus approving a new national security concept of the Russian Federation. A long-expected baby has finally been born.

Drafting of a security concept began in the late Soviet period, but its completion foundered both on rapid changes in the international environment and on the political upheavals--and the related political infighting between competing interest groups--that have been a regular feature of the Russian political scene. The long failure by the country's political elite to reach a consensus on the security concept complicated efforts to draft a series of other documents, including Russia's military doctrine, which in principle needed to follow from the concept.

Many questions have been raised in connection to the new national security concept. What is the legal and political status of this document? Will the concept actually bring coherence to Russian security policy rather than being just another empty statement of intentions? Does the new Russian doctrine correspond to the real security needs--domestic and international--of the country? What reforms in the national security system could follow in the near future? Does the concept take into account the changing nature of security in the post-Cold War era? These and related questions are addressed in the discussion below.

It is advisable to start from examining the historical background, and in particular from an analysis of documents preceding the national security concept of 1997.

`The Law on Security' (1992)

There is a distinction between the notions of `foreign policy doctrine', `military doctrine' and `national security doctrine' in the Russian post-Communist security thinking. According to Russian specialists, a foreign policy doctrine outlines a country's general political purposes and set of priorities on the international arena; a military doctrine defines external threats to the country, as well as ways and means of national defence (including armed forces organisation, modernisation, and material needs); a national security doctrine assesses both internal and external threats, and specifies functions of the governmental bodies in this domain. The national security doctrine should precede the military one and serve as guidelines for both construction and operation of the armed services. Foreign policy and national security doctrines should be co-ordinated and complimentary. The foreign policy concept should assist the security doctrine in identifying potential sources of threats and tensions, as well as put national security issues into the broader context of international relations. At the same time, similar to a military doctrine a foreign policy concept can be an instrument of national security doctrine if national interests necessitate such subordination. 1

However, the Russian political, military and intellectual elites have been unable to produce a coherent national security doctrine for six years.

On 5 March 1992 President Boris Yeltsin signed `The Law on Security' which the Supreme Soviet (the then Russian parliament) had initiated. The Law established some legal and institutional frameworks for Russia's security policy. It was a rather interesting document from both the theoretical and practical points of view. First of all, it defined the very notion of security: "Security is freedom from internal and external threats to vital interests of the individual, society and state." 2 In line with the foreign political thought the authors of the document singled out not only state and military security but also economic, social, information, and ecological aspects of security. Contrary to the Soviet legislation, which had focused on state or party interests, the above document declared priority of interests of the individual and society. It also established a national security system of the newly born Russian Federation. Along with already existing bodies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Security, Foreign Intelligence Service and Ministry of Environment, the Law recommended to set up a Security Council, Ministry of Defence, Border Guards Committee and so on.

However, this document was too abstract and vague to design a coherent national security strategy. It mainly focused on domestic issues and lacked proper legal and conceptual grounds for a number of important areas such as foreign policy and military reform. Moreover, in adopting this legislation the leadership of the Supreme Soviet was eager to use it as a tool in the power struggle with the President. With the adoption of the new Russian Constitution in December 1993, which has designed a new system of government, some provisions of the Law became outdated.

The Early Drafts of the Military Doctrine (1992)

Following the recommendations of the Law on Security the armed forces of the Russian Federation have been formed in May 1992. In the same month, the General Staff published its draft of the military doctrine in its journal Voennaya Mysl .

In the document, the sources of threat were described as purely external, whereas the possibility of internal threats had been ignored. The paper underlined that Russia does not regard any state as its enemy. However, while not actually naming the USA and NATO as the enemy, there can be no doubt that its authors meant them when it referred to "some states and coalitions" that wished to dominate the world or particular regions, and which continued to regard force as a means of resolving disputes. It was also declared that the violations of rights of Russian citizens and population in the ex-Soviet republics might be a major source of conflicts. The paper described in detail how Russia intended to cope with such a threat. In line with the Soviet tradition it was planned to design the armed forces mainly for high intensity conflict. It made a particular emphasis on the use of nuclear weapons as a political deterrent to nuclear or conventional aggression. Remarkably, Brezhnev's famous no-first-use principle has been reiterated in the draft. At the same time, the paper stated that conventional attacks on nuclear systems, early warning or C3 facilities, or on nuclear or other `dangerous' installations, could provoke a nuclear retaliation. The draft had also been based on the assumption that the CIS would soon become an integrated and cohesive military mechanism, which could be successfully used to meet security challenges. The document emphasised the need for priority to be given to the military's needs in government spending. It also called for the preservation of the defence industry and on the maintenance of a mass mobilisation capability. 3

There were also some alternative drafts stemmed from the officer corps and `national patriotic forces'. For example, in April 1992 Major-General Aleksandr Vladimirov personally presented to Yeltsin a concept of his own. The document had been based on the principle of reasonable defence sufficiency and called for integration of the CIS military structures into a global security system under the auspices of the United Nations. 4 Contrary to this liberal doctrine, the Russian National Convention, the leading organisation of the `patriotic movement' at that time, proposed a series of documents, which insisted on the preservation and further development of the defence industrial base and an active arms export policy, which in turn could strengthen Russia's military security and international positions. 5

These suggestions, however, did not affect the mainstream of Russian security thinking. According to many experts, at this stage the Russian security discourse had been dominated by traditionalists from the military agencies whose views were rather close to the General Staff's draft. 6

Kozyrev's Foreign Policy Concept (1993)

By the autumn of 1992 the centre of political activities and discussions on the formulation of the country's national security concept shifted to the legislature. Being unable to force the President to adopt a comprehensive national security doctrine the Supreme Soviet tried to accelerate conceptualisation of particular areas of security policy. It was a rather difficult task as well. Some top-ranking officials such as Andrei Kozyrev and Pavel Grachev simply lacked strategic vision and demonstrated their unwillingness to set up long-term tasks before the national security mechanism. They were proponents of the so-called `case-by-case' rather than a conceptual approach to the shaping of a national security policy. Under pressure of the legislature, the Foreign Ministry presented several versions of a foreign policy concept in 1992, which were rejected by the Supreme Soviet as `formalistic' and `declaratory'. 7 Redefining Conceptions" (Copenhagen: Centre for Peace & Conflict Research, 1993. Working Paper No. 11). Only by the end of 1992 the Foreign Ministry was able to produce a satisfactory document.

Remarkably, even at the presentation of a new foreign policy concept attended by legislators, party leaders and political scientists Kozyrev expressed his disregard to conceptualisation: "We don't aim, however, to accomplish a false task by evolving something comparable to the CPSU Programme, that is, an elaborate document aspiring to answer all questions likely to arise in life, reconcile all points of view and win approval of a governmental body, the President, the government as a whole or the Supreme Soviet. I think we should remember in discussing this document that it has an inevitable shortcoming typical of any official exposition of definite positions, which means that it is expected to be streamlined enough and take strict account of numerous facts". 8

Contrary to its earlier and rather incomplete versions, a new foreign policy doctrine received relatively warm reception in the legislature. Yevgeny Ambartsumov, the then Chairman of the Supreme Soviet's Committee on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Economic Relations, pointed out: "The important thing is that there is real evidence of a departure--in theory at least--from idealistic declarations in favour of a greater measure of Realpolitik . I was glad to hear that politics should not to be partisan and hence ideologised but should reflect national interests, the interests of the state". 9 Alexei Surkov, member of the same committee, was even more emotional: "We now have before us a substantive, impressive document that I think has been drafted very carefully (I believe we owe credit for this to the Foreign Ministry and the scholars and specialists concerned)". 10

General Description 

The new document represented a distinct departure from the concepts that had operated under the Gorbachev and early Yeltsin regimes. First, in contrast with the Gorbachevian cosmopolitan approaches such as `new political thinking' or `universal human values', it had aimed at the protection of Russian national interests and ensuring of national security. Second, the new concept set some foreign policy priorities (both functional and regional) which have been lacking in earlier versions. Finally, the authors of the document abandoned Kozyrev's idea of the so-called `economisation' of foreign policy (i.e. subordination of diplomacy and military strategy to domestic economic needs) which had been reflected in the previous variants 11 .

Several key principles of the foreign policy concept (1993) can be identified: 12

It was unusual that the foreign policy concept set some guidelines for the military (apparently because of the lack of a special military doctrine at the given moment). In the section on arms control and international security, the aims of the military policy had been depicted as follows: (a) transformation of the international relations system from a bipolar, bloc-based model to a co-operative one; facilitating arms control and disarmament process; (b) bringing the military potential into line with new pattern of challenges and threats and in accordance with the principle of reasonable defence sufficiency; c) a military reform should be conducted on the basis of a national security concept and it should take into consideration the economic and social potential of the country.

Regional Priorities

The document outlined a set of fifteen priorities ranging from the CIS and arms control to transnational organisations and environment. The main goal of Russian foreign policy, according to the concept, should be creation of "a belt of security and good neighbourliness" around the Russian borders. Among the regional problems the top priority had been given to relations with other ex-Soviet republics as Russia's immediate geopolitical environment whose character directly conditions both the destiny of reforms inside this country and the country's situation on the international scene. The document highlighted the following goals: conflict resolution and prevention; protection of the outer boundaries of the CIS; providing the Commonwealth with a proper legal basis; development of multilateral institutions; military co-operation between the CIS member states; promoting mutually beneficial economic and scientific-cultural co-operation within the CIS framework; guaranteeing the rights of Russian citizens in the former Soviet republics; and joint programmes to fight organised crime and drug trade.

The United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East were also indicated as vital regions. The Unites States had been labelled as priority no. 1 among the regional priorities in the `far abroad'. The document set up an ambitious task before Russian diplomacy to establish a U.S.-Russian `strategic partnership' in the short run and even as much as an alliance in the long run. The paper called for U.S.-Russian co-operation in economic, political and security areas including arms control, conversion, confidence-building measures and joint peacekeeping operations. In general, the concept had a very optimistic outlook on the future of U.S.-Russian relations.

Since the document had a clear pro-American bias Europe had been considered as a less important priority. The paper singled out two main tendencies in the European security environment in the post-Cold War era. On the one hand, there was a process of further European integration; on the other hand, some new challenges such as ethno-nationalism, crisis of federalism, identity crisis of major European economic and security institutions, disparities in socio-economic development of different European countries, the lack of legal frameworks of integration processes, etc. had emerged.

Three European sub-regions had been distinguished in the concept: (a) Western Europe (for some reasons, the Mediterranean area with exception of former Yugoslavia and the Nordic countries besides the three Baltic states were also included in this sub-region); (b) Eastern Europe (including the successors of former Yugoslavia and Central European countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary); and (c) the three Baltic states. It goes without saying that this categorisation has been based on geopolitical assumptions rather than on classic geography. It might be also reflect different approaches to relations with European countries.

Western Europe had been perceived mainly through the prism of relations with the EU and WEU. While bilateral relations with major European players such Germany, France and Great Britain were depicted in general terms, the document contained a rather concrete programme of diplomatic activities as regards the above two organisations (signing an EU-Russian agreement, political consultations, inter-parliamentary collaboration, joint conversion projects, creation of a global anti-ballistic missile defence system, etc.). In Eastern Europe, the document called for both re-defining Russian policies towards the former Soviet satellites and restoration of Moscow's economic and political positions in the sub-region. As for the Baltic states the concept set seven tasks for Russian diplomacy, such as creation of legal basis for bilateral relations; signing agreements on Russian troop withdrawal and retaining most important strategic facilities in the area; demarcation of borders and establishing customs check-points; provisions for Russia's access to transport communications and ports; protection of Russian-speaking minorities; setting multilateral institutions for co-operation on energy, communications, fishery, environment, and Kaliningrad free economic zone; use of regional institutions to put a pressure on the Balts. Remarkably, the concept mitigated the role of military force in international relations. The document did not identify the Baltic states as a source of threat. Rather, it aimed at problemsolving and co-operation with the Balts. This is not accidental; at that time Moscow nourished the hope of establishing good relations with these countries.

The paper also called for the creation of a new European security system based primarily on the OSCE as the only pan-European security organisation. Other regional and sub-regional organisations such as the EU, NATO, the Council of Baltic Sea States, Barents Sea Council, etc., should assist the OSCE in creating such a system.

The document drew up some decision-making system. Fundamental foreign policy guidelines should be formulated by the President. The Foreign Ministry should serve as their exponent and the chief co-ordinator of the country's entire foreign policy. The Supreme Soviet should exercise the parliamentary control over the executive agencies and provide a proper legal basis for international strategy. The document also foresaw regular renewal and specification of the concept in accordance with changing realities and on the basis of public consensus.


Along with the positive achievements the document contained some obvious shortcomings and conceptual ambiguities.

First, the concept had no clear vision of Russia's new status in the post-Cold War. The paper acknowledged the fact that Russia had lost its superpower status, but it still described Russia as a great power with global interests. The United States and other key players should recognise Russia's legitimate interests throughout the world and, at the same time, share responsibilities and leadership in a number of regions. However, the paper repeatedly emphasised that this `great power' could not afford `global foreign policy' and badly needed foreign assistance to complete domestic reforms. In the section on Moscow's relations with the CIS member-states Russia was described more realistically as a regional power responsible for order, security and human rights protection in the post-Soviet geopolitical space (not to mention whether Russia succeeded in this or not).

Second, the document lacked a balance of strategy and tactics. Its authors tried to combine both the fundamental principles of foreign policy and a detailed programme of forthcoming diplomatic activities in the same document. This combination is hardly possible and advisable. For instance, one can find references to some of Yeltsin's and Kozyrev's foreign trips or diplomatic initiatives which, by the way, became outdated by the moment of publication of the concept. At the same time, some really important `details' such as, for example, the Kurils dispute or bilateral relations with the CIS member-states were missing.

Third, the paper missed a clear understanding of the hierarchy of priorities and their interaction. Nearly each regional and functional priority was labelled as `most important', `crucial' or `vital'. Functional and regional priorities were mixed (arms control and international security followed relations with the CIS member-states, but preceded economic reform and relations with the United States and Europe, etc.). Some priorities had not even been indicated (for example, South Pacific region, international co-operation in Arctic and Antarctic regions, maritime issues, global problems such as demography, famine, mass diseases, etc.).

Fourth, the paper outlined some tasks and initiatives, which were hardly feasible or at least unrealistic in the near future, such as Russia's adherence to the major Western security and economic institutions, Russia's free access to the world trade markets, creation of a global anti-ballistic missile defence system, multilateral conventional arms exports control arrangements, comprehensive nuclear test ban, large-scale international programme to assist Russia in converting its defence industry and so on.

Fifth, there was a sort of egocentric or utilitarian bias in the document. Every country or international organisation was considered predominantly through the prism of its practical use for the Russian domestic reforms. Such a utilitarian approach hardly corresponded to the diplomatic character of the document. Moreover, the international actors were quite unhappy to learn that Moscow perceived them mainly as potential donors or instruments of its `Grand strategy' rather than partners with interests of their own.

Sixth, the description of the foreign policy decision-making was fairly sketchy. Moreover, it did not define the roles of the military, economic, intelligence and other executive agencies. What is particular remarkable, the Security Council had not even been mentioned in the document although this organ (not the Foreign Ministry) should be in charge of the co-ordination of national security policy in accordance with the Law on Security (1992). It was one more sign of the emerging rivalry between Kozyrev and the Secretariat of the Security Council.

Seventh, despite all its claims for de-ideologisation and pragmatism the concept was not free from some ideological stereotypes. For example, the document proclaimed market economy, liberal democracy, human rights, pro-Western orientation as fundamental Russian foreign policy values albeit the significant part of the country's population and political elite opposed (and still opposes) Western models. The pro-Western bias can also be traced in those sections of the document dealing with Russian policy towards Islamic countries. The authors of the concept both explicitly and implicitly developed a vision of Russia as an outpost of Western values or `Christian civilisation' in the East and proposed a mediator's role for Russia in dealing with Islam. However, this `civilisational approach' ignored a number of realities. Nobody--neither the West nor the Islamic East--was happy with Russia being a mediator and did not ask Moscow to play this role. Moreover, putting a particular emphasis on a European or Christian identity of Russia could complicate ethno-religious relations inside the country, which posses a sizeable Muslim population of its own. What price of mismanagement of inter-ethnic and confessional relationships could Moscow experience just a few months later when it had to deal with the self-willing Tatarstan and Bashkortostan and rebellious Chechen Republic.

Eighth, there were a number of logical inconsistencies in the text. For instance, at the beginning of the theoretical section titled `The Russian Federation in the Changing World' Gorbachev's `new political thinking' was criticised for its adherence to vague `all-mankind values'. On the contrary, national interests were proclaimed as the basis for a new Russian international strategy. However, at the end of the same section the paper said that Russia shared universal interests and values with the group of developed and `new industrial' countries.

The Third World had initially been characterised as a main source of threats to regional and global security. However, in the sections dealing with regional issues developing countries were depicted as an important resource for Russia's successful global strategy.

Finally, the style of the document has apparently been imperfect and replete with journalisms ("Asians are tired", "pathological insistence", "backyard" and so on). It goes without saying that this is not permissible in such a kind of document. It seems that that the paper had been drafted by different task forces and persons whose logic and style had sometimes been contradictory.

Despite the above shortcomings Kozyrev's foreign policy concept has mostly contributed to the Russian national security debate in a positive way. Russia's national interests and immediate foreign policy purposes have somehow been defined. The document has also encouraged other governmental agencies to take part in shaping a new national security doctrine.

Skokov's Foreign Policy Concept (1993)

In April 1993, Yeltsin had endorsed a foreign policy concept of its own. This document was drafted by an anonymous collective of authors called "a group of experts from the Defence Ministry, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the staffers of the Directorate for Strategic Security and other structures of the Security Council". 13 Some accounts suggest that the Council's Inter-Agency Foreign Policy Commission organised the final stages of discussion and preparation of this concept. 14 It has been classified as "not for press" and never been published, albeit Vladislav Chernov, deputy head of the Security Council's Directorate on Strategic Security, quoted extensively from the document in his article in Nezavisimaya Gazeta.  15

The new document, entitled `Guidelines of the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation', had been prepared under supervision of Yuri Skokov, the Security Council Secretary. The paper both listed external threats to Russian security and defined Russia's military-related national interests. From the theoretical point of view, it represented a mixture of various approaches. Contrary to some interpretations, it was not extreme, and with some adaptation, it could suit both the radical democrats, the national patriots, political scientists and officials from the foreign policy and national security agencies. However in some respects it was closer to the hard-liners' position than to the liberal one. It used rather strong language regarding Russian minorities in the Baltic states, the nuclear ambitions of Ukraine and admitted rivalry with the United States. 16 The document claimed that Russia should be responsible not only for the creation of a new World order but, in particular, for building a new security system in the post-Soviet space and assume the role of a guarantor of Eurasian stability. The authors of the document underlined that in contrast with the previous practice, the document had been drafted in co-operation with all interested foreign policy agencies. The new concept had been approved by the heads of all so-called `power structures' (including Defence Minister Pavel Grachev, Security Minister Vadim Barannikov, and Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service Yevgeny Primakov). The new concept, however, had met a negative reaction from Kozyrev and some foreign countries. Kozyrev was discontent with the document's recommendations on Russian policies towards the CIS and the United States. 17 The Baltic states expressed their concerns as to Russia's intention to protect its citizens in the `near abroad'. In a hard-hitting speech to an audience in Stuttgart, Germany, on 3 May 1993, Estonian President Lennart Meri termed the stance a `Monroe doctrine'. "The change in Russia's foreign policy places the democratic world before a choice, which has a great deal in common with the fateful pre-Munich days", he said. "I recall, for example, the use of armed forces beyond internationally recognized boundaries under the pretext of `protecting' the human rights of the Sudeten Germans". 18

In spite of the adoption of his version of the concept Skokov failed to retain his influence on the President. In May 1993, he was forced to resign due to his questionable loyalty to the President and in the course of the so-called `post-referendum purge'. Kozyrev who for a few months remained outside the `ring of power' came back to business. 19

The Military Doctrine (1993)

By autumn 1993, Yeltsin decided to proceed with the adoption of a new military doctrine. There were several reasons why a military doctrine had to be declared. The military badly needed the direction given by the state for organising, equipping and training the new armed forces. Moreover, the emerging civil society needed such a document for organising democratic control on and accountability of the armed forces. Russia's international partners also wished to know about Moscow's intentions in the military sphere. Finally, the new doctrine was one of the prizes the military had got from the President for its loyalty in October 1993.

Several drafts were pending before the legislature since 1992. However, the former Supreme Soviet refused to approve either the General Staff concept or other versions of the military doctrine. The forcible dissolution of the legislative body in October 1993 removed the obstacle and it was announced that the Security Council would approve the new military doctrine on 15 October. 20

However, the work on the draft of the military doctrine had been far from an end by that moment. The Foreign Ministry had been discontent with the lack of co-operation on the part of the Defence Ministry. The Security Council staff both under Marshal Shaposhnikov who took over the post of the Secretary after Skokov and under Oleg Lobov who succeeded Shaposhnikov in September 1993 suggested that the promulgation of a new military doctrine before the adoption of a national security doctrine was premature. As Shaposhnikov put it, "We still do not know what we are, where we are going, and what our ultimate goals are..." 21

The date of approval of a new doctrine by the Security Council was postponed to 20 October because of the above-mentioned interdepartmental disputes. Finally, the Council took a decision on the military doctrine on 2 November. It had appeared that the Security Council had not been able to exercise a veto albeit some its members opposed the draft. Misgivings in the Council were simply overridden by presidential decision. The same day Yeltsin formally approved the doctrine in Decree No. 1833. Contrary to reports that the Council accepted the draft produced by the Defence Ministry without amendments, 22 some accounts suggest that Grachev simply ignored objections in the Council and published the doctrine in its existing form, with backing from Yeltsin. 23

On 3 November the Deputy Secretary of the Security Council, General Valery Manilov, announced that the full text of the 23 page document would not be published. However, on 18 November, Izvestiya  published an abridged version, as did Krasnaya Zvezda  on the following day. The latter stated that it was a `detailed summary' of 21 of the 23 pages of the original.

General Description and Threat Perceptions

Both the preamble to the document and top officials including Yeltsin and Grachev underlined that this doctrine was designed only for a transitional period and that it was but part of a general national security doctrine. Other elements were the foreign policy concept, already adopted in April 1993, and the economic, social and information security concepts which were to follow. "The Basic Provisions of the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation are part and parcel of the security concept of the Russian Federation and represent a document covering Russia's transitional period--the period of the establishment of statehood, implementation of democratic reform and formation of a new system of international relations. They represent a system of views officially accepted by the state on the prevention of wars and armed conflicts, on the development of the armed forces, on the country's preparations to defend itself, on the organisation of actions to ward off threats to the military security of the state, and on the use of the armed forces and other troops of the Russian Federation to defend the vital interests of Russia". 24

In contrast with the earlier versions of the military doctrine and foreign policy concept, this document clearly defined both external and internal sources of military threats. The doctrine singled out ten major external challenges to Russia's military security: (1) territorial claims of other states on the Russian Federation and its allies; (2) existing and potential seats of local wars and armed conflicts, above all in the direct proximity of the Russian borders (there was a special section on the attitude of Russia to armed conflicts); (3) the potential use (including the unsanctioned use) of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons owned by some states; (4) the proliferation of nuclear and other mass destruction weapons, their delivery vehicles and latest military technologies, coupled with the attempts of certain states, organisations and terrorist groups to achieve their military and political ambitions; (5) the potential undermining of strategic stability by violations of international agreements in the sphere of arms control and reductions, and the qualitative and quantitative arms build-up by other countries; (6) attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of and destabilise the internal political situation in Russia; (7) the suppression of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of citizens of the Russian Federation in foreign states; (8) attacks on military facilities of the Russian armed forces situated on the territory of foreign states; (9) expansion of military blocs and alliances to the detriment of the interests of Russia's military security; and (10) international terrorism.

In a separate section, the document highlighted five crucial factors facilitating the escalation of a military danger into a direct military threat to the Russian Federation: (1) the build-up of forces on the Russian borders to limits upsetting the existing balance of forces; (2) attacks on facilities and structures on the Russian border and the borders of its allies, border conflicts and armed provocation; (3) the training of armed formations and groups on the territory of other states for dispatch to the territory of the Russian Federation and its allies; (4) the actions of other countries hindering the operation of the logistics system of the Russian strategic nuclear forces and of state and military control of, above all, their space components; and (5) the deployment of foreign troops on the territory of states adjacent to the Russian Federation unless this is done to restore or maintain peace, in accordance with the decision of the UN Security Council or a regional agency of collective security, by agreement with Russia. nuclear and other mass destruction weapons owned by

Along with the external threats the new doctrine identified seven major internal threats against which the armed forces and other services may be used: (1) the illegal activity of nationalist, secessionist and other organisations, designed to destabilise the internal situation in Russia and violate its territorial integrity and carried out with the use of armed force; (2) attempts to overthrow the constitutional regime and disorganise the operation of bodies of state power and administration; (3) attacks on the facilities of nuclear engineering, chemical and biological industries, and other potentially dangerous facilities; (4) the creation of illegal armed formations; (5) the growth of organised crime and smuggling on a scale where they threaten the security of citizens and society; (6) attacks on arsenals, arms depots, enterprises producing weapons, military and specialised equipment, and organisations, establishments and structures which have weapons, with the aim of capturing them; and (7) illegal proliferation of weapons, munitions, explosives and other means used for subversion and terrorist acts on the territory of the Russian Federation, as well as illegal drug trafficking.

The section on threat perceptions had many important implications. Along with systematic description of these threats it demonstrated rather substantial changes in Russia's strategic thinking. In contrast with the General Staff draft of 1992 the new doctrine did not identify USA and NATO as a primary source of military danger. Rather, they were warned not to provoke a new confrontation by violating the strategic balance, military build-up in the regions adjacent to Russia, NATO expansion and so on. This implied that Russia also would refrain from any destabilising actions.

Instead of the traditional threat from the West, other challenges such as armed conflicts, subversive activities and territorial disputes in the post-Soviet space were seen to be a major danger. This was understandable because by the moment of the adoption of the above document all but two FSU inter-state borders were disputed and 164 different territorial-ethnic disputes were identified in this region. 25 The doctrine, however, did not specify what kinds of territorial claims and local conflicts that really threatened Russia's security and which ones might be potentially dangerous. For example, the Russo-Japanese dispute on the Kurils originates from the Second World War and Russo-Norwegian disputes on economic zones and maritime borders in the Barents and Norwegian Seas date to the 1920s. However, these conflicts do not create immediate military threats to the Russian Federation. Moreover, most of the countries being in dispute with Russia are simply unable to pose a military threat because they lack sufficient potential. On the contrary, these countries fear the potential use of military force by Russia pursuing its interests.

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and international terrorism, which have been on the periphery of the Russian strategic priorities in the previous doctrines and drafts, got a rather important status in the new concept. Above all, this brought Russia closer to the major Western countries, which also attribute these phenomena to the most dangerous international developments.

The identification of violation of the rights of Russian citizens in foreign states and attacks on Russian military facilities in foreign countries as potential sources of military threat is a rather common stance not only for the Russian but also for other great powers' security doctrines. However, from a legal point of view it was not clear who could be considered as Russian citizens in the former Soviet republics and what was the status of the Russian military bases in these countries for the time being. The Russian foreign policy concept of 1993 acknowledged that Russia was only in the very beginning of negotiating and concluding corresponding agreements with the FSU countries. In fact, the lack of the legal framework for relations with the FSU countries gave a certain number of excuses for interventions in the `near abroad'.

The most significant change in the Russian threat perceptions occurred with regard to internal threats. `The Law on Security' of 1992 only mentioned that some of these might exist. The General Staff draft of the military doctrine (1992) simply ignored the very possibility of internal threats to Russia's security and did therefore not foresee any internal mission for the armed forces. This view was a result of the military elite's belief that the armed forces should protect the country only from external enemies, not internal ones. The latter should be the business of the Ministry of Interior and security services. However, accepting reality, the military doctrine of 1993 acknowledged that there were many dangers stemming from domestic developments. This inevitably led to a commitment of the military to an internal role. As the failed coup of August 1991 and the attack on the White House in October 1993 demonstrated, the armed forces have already been involved in domestic power struggles.

New Military Strategy, Armed Forces' Mission and Tasks

The new reading of military threats has led to the new approaches to military strategy, as well as to organisation and training of the armed forces.

Since the main threat to stability and peace in the post-Cold War period comes from local wars and armed conflicts, the document called for re-targeting of the Russian armed forces from large scale war to low intensity conflicts. The main aim of the use of the armed forces and other services in armed conflicts and local wars, the doctrine said, was "to localise the seat of tensions and stop hostilities at the earliest possible stage, in the interests of creating conditions for a peaceful settlement of the conflict on conditions suiting the interests of the Russian Federation". 26 Military operation in armed conflicts and local wars should be carried out by peacetime groups of forces, deployed in the conflict area. In case of need, they might be strengthened by partial deployment and redeployment of forces from other regions.

According to the document, the priority was to develop the armed forces and other services designed to deter aggression, as well as mobile elements, which can be quickly delivered and deployed in the required area and carry out mobile operations in any region where the security of Russia might be threatened.

When faced with conventional war, the armed forces must act decisively, using both defensive and offensive methods to destroy the enemy. The armed forces should (a) repel the attacks of the enemy in the air, on land and at sea; (b) defeat the enemy and create conditions for ending hostilities at the earliest possible stage and signing a peace treaty on conditions suiting Russia; and (c) carry out military operations together with the armed forces of allied states, in accordance with international obligations of the Russian Federation.

A number of tasks has been set up by the doctrine for other services: (a) to ensure a stable operation of intelligence, control and communication systems and to seize and keep the initiative in different spheres; (b) to isolate the intruding groups of forces of the aggressor; (c) to flexibly combine firepower and manoeuvre; (d) to ensure close co-operation of the arms and services, including special services of the armed forces and to co-ordinate the plans of using the armed forces and other services in armed conflicts and wars, and in performing joint tasks; (e) to hit the facilities of the enemy's troop and weapon control systems.

This combination of defensive and offensive methods was an important distinction from the Gorbachev military concept that had been oriented only to defensive operations.

Despite the focus on local conflicts the military doctrine of 1993, however, said nothing about the need for a different force structuring, equipping and training for low intensity operations. Besides, some foreign military experts noted, the emphasis on mobile forces could be seen as preparation for intervention in the `near abroad'. 27

In the document, the requirement to deploy troops outside the Russian territory is specifically stated. This resulted both from threat perceptions and Russia's international obligations (peacekeeping operations, military bases, joint groups of forces, etc.). It was underlined that irrespective of the terms of deployment, Russian military formations deployed on the territory of other states remain a part of the armed forces and should act in accordance with the procedure established for the Russian armed forces on the basis of bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements.

The doctrine did not exclude the possibility of large-scale war. It was mentioned in the document that in certain conditions, armed conflicts and local wars can develop into an all-out war. Factors which increase the danger of the escalation of conventional war into a nuclear war can be deliberate actions of the aggressor designed to destroy or undermine the operation of strategic nuclear forces, early warning systems, nuclear and chemical facilities. The document also included a provision according to which any, including limited, use of nuclear weapons even by one of the sides can provoke a mass use of nuclear weapons, with catastrophic consequences. The doctrine clarified Russia's nuclear policy, which had not been updated since the Gorbachev period. It has been declared that the aim of the Russian Federation's nuclear policy is to avert the threat of a nuclear war by deterring aggression against Russia and its allies. Therefore, nuclear weapons were no longer regarded by the Russian strategic planners primarily as war-fighting means. Instead, their main use had been seen as a political deterrent to nuclear or conventional aggression. This marked the change in Russian strategic thinking to a Western-like concept of deterrence, compensating for conventional weakness. The most distinct departure of the new Russian nuclear doctrine from the Soviet one was Moscow's abandonment of the principle of no-first-use. At the same time, the document promised that Russia would never use its nuclear weapons against any state party to the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which does not possess nuclear weapons, unless: "(a ) such a state, which is connected by an alliance agreement with a nuclear state attacks the Russian Federation, its territory, Armed Forces and other services or its allies; (b ) such a state collaborates with a nuclear power in carrying out, or supporting, an invasion or an armed aggression against the Russian Federation, its territory, armed forces and other services or its allies". 28 In one way or another all NATO members, China and Japan as nuclear states or the allies of nuclear powers, the Baltic states and Central and East European countries should they join NATO or WEU come into these categories.

The reaction of Russia's international partners to the repeal of the no-first-use principle was rather contradictory. On the one hand, they considered this change to a Western concept of deterrence as evidence of a greater inclination towards openness and frankness in military matters on Russia's part: few in the West took the old Soviet doctrine of no-first-use serious. They understood that Russia's new nuclear doctrine reflected Moscow's intention to rely mainly upon nuclear deterrence to compensate for its conventional weakness and keep its great-power status. On the other hand, they perceived this change as a clear message to them, especially to the Baltic states and the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) that they would come into the categories of exceptions if they joined NATO or the Western European Union (WEU) or supported any Western intervention in Russia or the `near abroad', for example, by giving rights of passage or providing bases. This had also been a pressure on Ukraine, which delayed transfer of the nuclear weapons deployed on its territory in the Soviet times to Russia. 29

Along with these innovations the document confirmed Russia's long-standing interest in (a) a comprehensive nuclear weapon test ban; (b) reduction of nuclear forces to a minimum which would guarantee against a large scale war and maintain strategic stability, and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons; and (c) strengthening of the NPT regime and making it universal.

Since internal armed conflicts has also been regarded as a considerable threat to the vital interests of the country, the document described the aims of using forces and troops in this case as to localise and blockade the conflict zone, suppress armed clashes and disengage the warring sides, take measures to disarm and eliminate illegal armed forces and confiscate weapons from the population in the conflict zone, carry out operational and investigative operations in order to remove the threat to internal security, normalise the situation as soon as possible, restore law and order, ensure social security, render the requisite assistance to the population and create conditions for a political settlement of conflicts. These functions had to be fulfilled mainly by the Interior Ministry troops. However, as the document prescribed, separate elements of the armed forces and other services (the border guards and counter-intelligence) might be used to help the law-enforcement bodies and Interior Ministry troops localise and blockade the conflict zone, preclude armed clashes and disengage the warring sides, and protect strategic facilities. Having in mind the antipathy of the military to internal missions, General Manilov of the Security Council explained that the armed forces can only be used "when nationalist or separatist groups are active, using armed violence and posing a threat to Russia and its integrity, or when attempts are made to use force to overthrow the constitutional system, or when nuclear facilities are attacked, and also when illegal armed formations are being created". 30 So, the legal foundations for the use of the armed forces in internal conflicts such as Chechnya had been laid by the new doctrine. Given that fact that the Interior Troops had been manned and equipped insufficiently, the use of the armed forces in internal operations was inevitable.

The document also contained a general outline of the future development of the armed forces for the period of 1993-2000. The main effort should be placed on:

This was, however, far from the expected military reform. Precisely what groups of forces should be created? What were their mission and tasks? What did "improvement of the service structure of the forces" mean? Should all  Russian troops be withdrawn from foreign countries or only forces from the former Warsaw Pact countries and from the Baltic states? What about the Russian forces and military bases stationed in some CIS member-states? What should the ratio between conscripts and professionals be? Whether Russia intended to move to an all-professional armed forces in the foreseeable future or not? Some experts doubted that the mixed system of manning corresponded to the new tasks of the armed forces such as coping with local conflicts and internal threats. They saw conscripts as an unreliable element of the force in case of internal security operations against their fellow countrymen. 31

Economic and Military-Technical Aspects

A special section had been devoted to the military-technical and economic aspects of the military doctrine. According to the document, the main aim of the military-technical support of the military security of the Russian Federation was the prompt provision of the armed forces and other services with effective weapon systems, military and specialised hardware and equipment in the quantities necessary and sufficient for ensuring reliable protection of the vital interests of society and the state.

The main ways of attaining this aim were described as follows: (a) to create the best possible weapon systems, military and specialised hardware and equipment ensuring higher combat effectiveness through quality; (b) to supply the armed forces and other services with effective weapons and ensure their daily maintenance; (c) to use the latest scientific and technical achievements, advanced technologies and materials in research and development of new generations of weapons and the maximum use of mathematical simulation for assessing their combat effectiveness before starting series production; and (d) to ensure the requisite industrial and mobilisation capacities for the production of weapons, military and specialised hardware and equipment.

The doctrine insisted that priority must be given to the military in the allocation of financial and other resources. The document also called on the government to ensure mobilisation readiness of the economy and create state mobilisation reserves. Apparently, the `economic part' of the doctrine was inconsistent with the new roles of the armed forces and, by the virtue of inertia, still oriented to the concept of large-scale war.

Moreover, the above-mentioned provisions of the doctrine did not take into account the real situation in the Russian military-industrial complex (MIC). Defence spending has been cut dramatically in the early 1990s. In 1992 alone, military procurement was cut by 70 per cent. 32 According to Moscow-based economics agency Novecon estimates, defence production fell by 33.4 per cent in 1993. 33 The situation has not improved in the following years. By the end of 1994 about 400 defence enterprises stopped all production, while another 1500 defence plants were working part-time. 34 In 1996 military output fell by 39.6 per cent and the number of employees in the defence sector declined by 13.6 percent. 35 The Russian Ministry of Economics estimated that 2.5 million employees left the defence industry from 1991 to 1995. 36 According to the League of Assistance to Defence Enterprises (the leading lobbyist organisation of the Russian MIC), only 10 per cent of defence industry's capacity was used in 1996. 37 In these conditions, it was completely impossible "to guarantee a rational, balanced development" of the MIC or "to ensure mobilisation readiness" and "create state mobilisation reserves" as the document demanded.

For the same reasons, it was also impossible to carry out the document's plan to provide the armed forces with the newest weaponry and equipment. As the Secretary of the Security Council's Commission on the Defence Industry stated, cuts in procurement and research and development funds in recent years had led to an end of production of 175 different types of arms. If the current practices were followed, only 10 per cent of the equipment of the Russian military as estimated by the General Staff would be modern weapons by the year 2000. 38 In this context the document's autarkic design to organise in Russia research and development of competitive and promising technologies to replace imported ones was particularly irrelevant.

The Russian Government was often unable to pay the defence industry for weapons which it ordered. For instance, in 1993, more than 100 new MiG-29s worth USD 2 billion were parked, unclaimed and unpaid for, at a MiG assembly plant near Moscow. 39 According to Viktor Glukhikh, Chairman of the State Committee on Defence Industries, by the end of 1993 the Government owed the defence industry eight trillion roubles. 40 Unpaid debts stood at 11 trillion roubles at the end of 1995. 41

In the document, conversion of the defence industry was mentioned only once in the context of "a rational, balanced development" of the MIC albeit the `Law on Conversion' of 1992 had stipulated that the state conversion programmes should be based mainly on the military doctrine. The only impact of market reforms could be traced in the intention to introduce contract and tender systems for ordering, developing and producing military and military-oriented output. Other provisions of the doctrine were oriented to protect the defence industry from the growing market orientation of the Russian economy rather than to reform the MIC.

Given the economic decline the Russian leadership turned to arms exports in a hope to save the slowly dying defence industry. As President Yeltsin noted, "the weapons trade is essential for us to obtain the foreign currency which we urgently need, and to keep the defence industry afloat". 42 This was a distinct departure from the position of Gorbachev who decreased the Soviet arms export to please the West.

The new military doctrine reflected this shift in Russian arms transfer policies. It had a special section on military-technical co-operation where for the first time in Russian legislation the essence and aims of Moscow's military-technical strategy have been defined. Previous documents established arms export-import regulations as well as the decision-making system but did not cover political-strategic aspects of arms transfer policies.

According to the doctrine, military-technical co-operation included: (a) export-import of weapons and military hardware, military technologies and results of scientific-technical projects in the military sphere; (b) sending military advisers and specialists on official trips; (c) implementing commissioned and joint research and design projects to create new types of weapons and military hardware; (d) technical assistance in building military facilities and defence enterprises; (e) carrying out other military-technical projects and services.

The document described the aims of military-technical co-operation in quite pragmatic terms: (a) to strengthen Russia's military-political position across the world; (b) to earn hard currency reserves for state needs, for the development of conversion and defence industries, for the dismantling and salvaging of weapons, and for restructuring defence enterprises; (c) to maintain at the requisite level the export capabilities of the country as regards conventional weapons and hardware; (d) to develop the scientific-technical and experimental basis of defence industries, their research and design establishments and organisations; (e) to provide social guarantees for the staff of enterprises, establishments and organisations that develop and produce weapons, military and specialised hardware and equipment.

The doctrine put it clear that "priority will go to the restoration and expansion on a mutually advantageous basis of co-production ties with other CIS countries". 43

Taking into account the lack of state orders and funding, the proceeds from arms exports are really crucial for defence industry in terms of both survival and development of new weapon systems. For instance, in 1993 the Russian defence industry repaid 400 billion roubles (USD 220 million) in loan credits from profits from export orders. 44 According to Mr. Anatoly Belosvet, first deputy director of the MiG-MAPO (Moscow Aircraft Industrial Association) company, the USD 22 million the company would earn from the MiG-29 jet sale to Malaysia, would pay for the construction of the MiG-37, the Russian version of a stealth fighter. 45 According to Major General Alexander Kotyelkin, the former Director General of the state arms trade company Rosvooruzheniye, in 1995 alone his organisation invested more than USD 400 million in the Russian MIC, of which approximately 50 per cent was from its own funds. 46 Deputy Director Vladimir Vypryazhkin said that Rosvooruzheniye invested over USD 600 million in the defence industry in 1996. 47 Over 50 per cent of Russian arms production were funded by proceeds from arms export, according to Kotyelkin. 48 Some weapon systems' production depends solely on foreign orders. For example, the MiG-29 has not been produced for the Russian Air Force for as long as six years. MiG-MAPO has recently sold 28 aircraft to Hungary, 18 to Malaysia, 13 to Slovakia, 10 to India, five to Romania, and one to Iran. Forty MiG-29s were to be produced in 1997. 49

Some Russian politicians and industrialists claim that arms sales can finance Russian economic reforms (in particular conversion). According to Boris N. Kuzyk, Assistant to the President, Russia has concluded contracts worth USD 2,5 billion and delivered arms worth USD 3,05 billion in 1995. 50 Kotyelkin and Oleg Sidorenko, deputy director general of Rosvooruzheniye, said that Russian arms export reached the level of USD 3,5-3,6 billion in 1996. 51 These figures are comparable to annual Western assistance to Russia. There were also additional long-term contracts nearing completion worth USD 8 billion. According to Sidorenko, Rosvooruzheniye has set itself a 1997 overseas sales target of over USD 4 billion and plans to equal the US market share by the turn of the century. 52 Yeltsin's advisor, Mikhail Maley, has suggested that Russia must sell USD 5-10 billion worth of arms a year for 15 to 30 years to cover the USD150 billion estimated cost of conversion. 53

However, many Russian and foreign analysts point out that the state conversion programmes started in 1993 were completely destroyed by unwise policy of the government and general economic decline. Proceeds from arms sales disappeared in the `black hole' of the troubled Russian economy. 54 Besides, given the shrinking world defence market and growing competition from other arms dealers it is hardly possible to reach the level of USD 5-10 billion outlined by Maley.

Army and Society

It had been expected that the new military doctrine would address not only strategic, political and economic issues but also social ones. The need for creation a new army designed for the democratic society was obvious for many Russians. It was anticipated that not only would the military reform restructure and modernise the armed forces but it would also reduce the militarisation of the society, establish civilian control and transform the military from a closed stratum to `citizens in uniform'.

The document set up some principles for the democratisation of the army. It called for improvement of the mechanism for the development of military policy, with state control over the taking and implementation of military-political decisions. The paper also foresaw ensuring co-operation between military command and control bodies and state agencies, public and religious organisations. More information to servicemen should be provided and openness in relations with the public and the mass media should be developed. In ensuring the requisite strength of the forces, demography, the possibility of contract service and the use of civilian personnel and female service personnel should be taken into account. Provision of social guarantees for servicemen and their families as well as for the retired military personnel were envisaged. The document called on the government to carry out a package of state measures to raise the prestige of military service. It also recognised the need for establishing and improving a system of education of servicemen.

All this is important but certainly insufficient for the democratic transformation of the armed forces. State control (the President, Security Council and government) is not civilian control as such. In the Soviet times (even under Stalin), the army has never been a real `state within the state' because the party and state machinery controlled the military. However, this has nothing to do with civilian control of the military. The doctrine lacked at least two important elements: (1) the accountability of the armed forces to parliament; and (2) appointment of a civilian minister of defence. Andrey Kokoshin, the only high-ranking civilian official in the Defence Ministry, could by no means exemplify civilian control of the military. His influence on defence politics has been insignificant. Interestingly, quite soon after his appointment as a First Deputy Minister he was moved from designing military reform to overseeing military R&D.

The doctrine also contained some Soviet-style provisions such as creation and improvement of a system of `military-patriotic education' and pre-draft training and ensuring "the moral and psychological readiness of the citizens to defend the homeland" 55 which were rather irrelevant in the document of this sort.

To conclude, the military doctrine of 1993 was one step further to the adoption of a new Russian national security strategy. It continued a process of redefining threat perceptions in a more realistic way as well as adapting the Russian armed forces to new mission and tasks. It provided the armed forces with some guidance and laid legal and conceptual foundations for the military reform. Of course, the document was not free from some inconsistencies and old-fashioned provisions. In some cases it did not correspond to the foreign policy concept (different visions of threat perceptions and role of the military in country's national security policy). However, the document was most helpful in developing the Russian security discourse and emphasised the need for a comprehensive and coherent national security strategy.

In Search of a National Security Doctrine (1994-97)

Following the October `mini-civil war' in Moscow a new Russian Constitution was adopted in December 1993. Under the new constitutional system the presidency has been given enormous powers both in domestic and foreign affairs and it should take a lead in shaping of the country's national security strategy. However, having in mind his confrontation with the parliament and former vice-president Boris Yeltsin avoided (and, by the way, still avoids) establishing stable ground rules and clear decision-making procedures. He preferred to have free hands rather than to follow certain rules. Moreover, the President felt comfortable in a position of mediator reconciling different political groups and favourites clashing each other. In other words, this atmosphere was not conducive to the formulation of an efficient national security strategy.

As late as in July 1994, a Commission was set up in the Security Council to compile a national security concept. 56 By the autumn of 1994 the Council was also working on a new `Law on National Security'. 57

Given the reluctance of the executive power to propose a security concept, the Parliament (State Duma) tried to take the initiative in this area (similar to the discussions in 1992). By autumn 1995 the Duma's Committee on National Security produced a draft of a `Law on National Security of the Russian Federation'. 58 This was a quite interesting document. Compared to `The Law on Security' of 1992 the draft went further in definition of national security as a combination of `hard' and `soft' security issues. The document characterised in length different types of security: not only military, political, economic, social, ecological and information (which have just been mentioned in the Law of 1992) but also cultural, religious, technological, and scientific ones. In fact, the document encompassed all fields of human activity examining them through the prism of security. The draft also stressed the need for redefinition of threat perceptions. According to the document, the main security threats emanate from critical domestic conditions rather than from the outer world.

The disadvantages of the document were the continuation of its advantages. The broad understanding of the notion of security led to securitization of all spheres of Russia's social activities. Instead of highlighting priorities, the document set before the national security mechanism an enormous task to cope with all security threats and challenges. Given domestic troubles in Russia this was completely impossible. This is hardly possible even for a healthy and stable society. The `theoretical flavour' of the draft has been widely criticised in the Duma and by experts.

Surprisingly, the document survived the parliamentary election campaign of 1995 and re-emerged in the new Duma (mainly because its authors have been re-elected). The draft passed two rounds of hearings at the Duma's plenary sessions but was bogged down in a partisan tug-of-war during the presidential election campaign of 1996.

The national security policies of the executive power were rather inconsistent in 1996-97. The President was unable to choose priorities: whether first to adopt a national security concept which should serve as a conceptual framework for concrete areas of security policies or proceed with the military reform which could not be delayed any longer. At first, the President decided to complete the work on a national security doctrine. In May 1996, Yeltsin ordered the Security Council staff to draft a new concept. The work was slowed down by the drastic reform of the Security Council under its new Secretary Alexander Lebed. Moreover, Lebed was preoccupied with stopping the war in Chechnya and the military reform. Yeltsin's illness did not facilitate the work on the draft as well.

The drafting of a new concept was completed by Lebed's successor Ivan Rybkin. According to some reports, the Security Council approved an outline of the national security concept at its session in early May 1997. As Yeltsin emphasised, the country "needs coherent political document which should consolidate the society on the basis of fundamental national interests and values". 59 He praised the Security Council staff for the high quality of the document. This document, however, had to wait another seven months for the final approval and publication.

In the meantime, the attention of the Russian national security mechanism had been diverted from the national security concept to the related but different issue of a military reform. Being disappointed with the reluctance of the ex-Defence Minister Igor Rodionov to conduct a military reform Yeltsin instructed the new Minister Igor Sergeyev to start reform as soon as possible.

In early June 1997, Sergeyev sent a report on a military reform concept to the President. According to Sergeyev, this report, which consisted of only a few pages, contained comprehensive conclusions that had been based on a systems analysis of the current situation, its possible subsequent development, operational-strategic and tactical-economic estimates. Sergeyev described the main aim of the military reform as follows: "This country must receive well-equipped, combat-ready, compact and mobile Armed Forces that would possess a sufficiently high deterrence potential, up-to-date professional and moral-psychological training levels". 60

Six priorities had been identified: (1) an optimisation of the Russian Armed Forces' organisation, combat elements and numerical strength; (2) a qualitative improvement in the composition of the officer corps, training and logistics-support levels; (3) ensuring a more effective and top-quality level of operational-training, combat-training and troop-education, strengthening of law and order, as well as troop discipline; (4) a radical improvement of the quality of combat-hardware and weaponry stocks; (6) the creation of economical and rational recruitment, personnel-training, military-education, military-science and military-infrastructure systems; and (6) the provision of adequate legal protection and social security to servicemen (retired officers included) and their family members.

The report was initially approved by all Deputy Defence Ministers, commanders of armed services and Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin and submitted to the President for consideration later on. Yeltsin has endorsed the concept on 9 June. It was declared that the military reform was approaching the end.

"But as the fanfare has faded away", notes Pavel Felgenhauer, an authoritative Russian journalist, "observers are again puzzling over whether, after all the pomp, any military reform is indeed happening". 61 Eduard Vorobyev, a State Duma deputy and member of the Duma Defence Committee, said at the press conference that the government had finally woken up to the fact that military reform was necessary, but unfortunately they had yet to actually do something concrete. Vorobyev, a retired general who refused to take part in the war in Chechnya, also said that the reform of the Russian military was already taking place, but it was a process occurring by itself, and not due to government efforts. This was happening from the bottom up, as the difficult situation that soldiers and officers lived in was forcing them to adapt to the new reality. 62

Sergeyev acknowledged that the military reform concept of June 1997 had been too general and schematic. In late June he told a reporter that the Defence Ministry and General Staff were focusing on optimisation of the force structure. He estimated that the number of services could be reduced to four or even three. Speaking of the composition of the armed forces, Sergeyev pointed out that the Defence Ministry have already started forming the relevant organisational "nucleus" of a new-generation of full-strength and combat-ready units and elements that would be able to perform effectively in the course of multilevel armed conflicts. Such units and elements have been created in line with the so-called modular principle, i.e. the number of relatively independent modules, e.g. units and squads, should vary in accordance with specific combat missions. At the same time, the Minister said, all duplicating, parallel structures would be eliminated. 63 Two commissions on the military reform have been created in the Defence Council. The first one chaired by Prime Minister Chernomyrdin was supposed to finalise the entire military-reform concept. Another commission headed by First Vice-Prime Minister Anatoli Chubais had to tackle financial and economic issues.

In November 1997, after five months of hard work, the Defence Ministry had put together a comprehensive reform plan termed a `concept of military building' that should solve the major problems of the military. This concept outlined plans for reform not only of Defence Ministry divisions, but also of other armed forces such as the Interior Ministry troops, Federal Border Service, Emergency Situations Ministry forces and others. One of the main features of the draft was an attempt to subordinate all other forces to the Defence Ministry. The document not only contained guidelines on how to reform other so-called power ministries and security agencies, but also proposed the creation of united interdepartmental control, planning and logistics departments inside the Defence Ministry. Other armed forces will have permanent representatives in the General Staff of the Defence Ministry, so that the General Staff can exercise daily operational control over all of Russia's uniformed military in peacetime as well as wartime. 64 The document also suggested that regional collegiate bodies made up of the heads of the local governments, the commanders of military districts and other troops, military formations and agencies should be created. These collective bodies would enable civilian officials and heads of non-army services to participate in operations command both in the centre and in the regions. 65 In accordance with the new structure, military districts would be granted the status of operational-strategic (operational-territorial) commands.

The document proposed a reduction of military academies from 103 to 57 with the aim to save 3 trillion roubles. The reform was also directed to affect not only the force structure, but also the material and technical basis of the armed forces as well as the defence industry. A military-technical programme for the transitional period up to 2005 was designed. As First Deputy Chief of the General Staff Valery Manilov suggested, Russia should probably close down four out of every five (and in some spheres all five) defence enterprises. A committee on military-technical policy to assess the armed forces' needs for new weapons should be created. The General Staff should supervise its work. Manilov also noted that the military reform would have many social implications and the main task both of the military and the government was to provide servicemen and retired officers with social protection. 66

Felgenhauer wrote that the document looked well on paper as it described a uniform structure for all power ministries, with a single system of rear, medical and technical services. However, it would not likely be confirmed in the near future. 67

Russia's other armed forces were up in arms over such a usurpation of overall power by the defence chiefs. The rallying point of resistance for all the various forces has become the Defence Council. The Defence Council Secretary, Andrei Kokoshin, had been first deputy defence minister since 1992. But in September 1997 he was pushed out of the Defence Ministry by its new chiefs, Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev and General Chief of Staff Anatoly Kvashnin. Many observers believed that, as Defence Council secretary and chief of the new state military inspectorate, Kokoshin would be no more than a figurehead, with no real control of day-to-day military matters. Defence Ministry insiders also presumed that Kokoshin had been effectively side-stepped and neutralised. 68 However, Kokoshin tried to do his best to prove them wrong. Being a civilian, he has found support from many generals who thought that head of the General Headquarters, Anatoly Kvashnin, was conducting military reform in the same manner that he did in the Chechen war--loudly, with much blood, but with little effect. 69

The Defence Ministry draft actually said that "the concept of military building is prepared by the Defence Council and signed into law by the president." But in fact the concept was fully prepared by the Defence Ministry's General Staff, leaving the Defence Council high and dry. The military's open insubordination to the Defence Council added insult to injury. So when the Defence Ministry tried to push its concept through, high-ranking Defence Council officials effectively stalled it, calling it an "unbalanced and badly prepared document". Kokoshin told the reporter that the General Staff already had vast powers and there was no need to augment them. He also underlined that the key principle of the military reform was to make the force structure efficient and co-ordinate the activities of the power ministries rather than subordinate them to the single military body. 70

Being unable to reach progress with the military reform the President turned to the national security doctrine again. On 14 November 1997 Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Yuri Deryabin told the Interfax-AiF weekly that in the near future President Boris Yeltsin would sign a decree to endorse guidelines systematising threats to national security. The guidelines concerned not only external military threats but also internal dangers, including economic, social and criminal problems, and problems regarding health care, Deryabin said. The demographic, physical and spiritual health of the nation was singled out as a separate block in the guidelines, he said. Commenting on foreign policy threats, he pointed out the danger of Russia being pushed into the backyard of international development and attempts to push the country aside regarding decisions on major European and Asian problems. Deryabin also emphasised the importance of handling threats such as violation of the rights of ethnic Russians in the former Soviet republics. 71 "The chief threats to Russia's national security emanate from amidst our own society," Security Council secretary Ivan Rybkin said when addressing the teaching staff of the Federal Security Service Academy in November 1997. Terrorism, organised crime, political extremism and separatism produce destructive impact on Russia's evolution, said Rybkin. Resistance to these threats, above all in the Northern Caucasus, is the task of all branches of authority, law-enforcement and security bodies, he said. 72

`The National Security Concept of the Russian Federation' (1997)

On 17 December 1997, Yeltsin signed Decree No. 1300, which included four main provisions:

  1. Endorsement of the national security concept of the Russian Federation.

  2. The federal bodies of state authority and the bodies of state authority of the constituent members of the Russian Federation shall guide themselves by the provisions of this concept in their practical activities and during the elaboration of documents which have to do with ensuring the national interest of the Russian Federation.

  3. The Secretary of the Security Council has been instructed: (a) to prepare for the President documents containing an analysis, evaluation and forecast of Russia's military-political and international situation; and (b) to elaborate the directives of the President for top state officials and the federal bodies of the executive branch concerning the fulfilment of the national security concept.

  4. The Secretary of the Security Council shall supervise the fulfilment of the directives of the President mentioned in Paragraph 3 of this Decree. 73

General Outline

The `National Security Concept of the Russian Federation' is a lengthy document intended to orient Russian policy-makers under the new conditions of the post-Cold War period. It outlines Russian national interests, the major threats to the country's security and establishes a set of domestic and foreign policy goals aimed at strengthening Russia's statehood and geopolitical position. As it is emphasised in the document, the concept is "a political document reflecting the officially accepted views of the goals and state strategy in ensuring the security of the individual, society and the state against external and internal threats of a political, economic, social, military, technogenic, ecological, information and other character with account to available resources and opportunities". 74 Similar to `The Law on Security' (1992) and the Duma draft of the national security concept (1995), the new doctrine departs from the broad understanding of security and focuses not only on the interests of the state but also on the interests of the individual and society. According to one of the authors of the concept, Deputy Secretary of the Security Council Leonid Mayorov, this document, which had been developed in the course of several years, comprehensively reflects, for the first time in Russian history, the system of views on the security of the individual, society and the state. 75

In fact, the concept is a sort of guideline, a theoretical base, which can be used to develop such requisite programme documents as the military doctrine and the economic security doctrine. This is also the base for military reform. At least it makes it possible to understand better what armed forces Russia must have and which conflicts they should be prepared for. It is specified in the preamble that "the Concept is the basis for the development of concrete programmes and organisational documents related to the national security of the Russian Federation". 76

The paper begins from a--for Russian (and Soviet) political documents--rather traditional analysis of the global situation and Russia's place in the world. Similar to the foreign policy concept of 1993, the paper describes the rise of a multipolar world as the most important characteristics of contemporary world dynamics. According to the doctrine, Russia should find its own `niche' in this complex world structure and even become one of the `poles'.

Despite the fact that the document mentions a couple of times, en passant,  the need for retaining Russia's great power status it does not insist on Russia's global responsibilities and interests (as some previous doctrines did). On the contrary, the paper acknowledges that Moscow's capacity to influence the solution of cardinal issues of international life has greatly diminished.

The document singles out both positive and negative factors affecting the country's positions in the world system. Interestingly, the paper points out the changing nature of world power in the post-Cold War period. "While military force remains a significant factor in international relations, economic, political, scientific-technical, ecological and information factors play a growing role". 77 The document notes that some prerequisites have been created for the demilitarisation of international relations, strengthening the role of law in the conflict resolution, and that the danger of a direct aggression against Russia has diminished. There are some prospects of greater integration of Russia into the world economy, including some Western economic and financial institutions. Russia shares common security interests with many states in areas such as nuclear non-proliferation, conflict resolution, combating international terrorism, environmental problems and so on. At this point, the paper arrives at an important conclusion that nowadays Russia's national security may be ensured by non-military means.

At the same time, a number of international and especially domestic processes undermines Russia's international positions. The shift of world power from military-strategic parameters to economic, technological and information ones has intensified international competition for natural, financial, technological and information resources as well as for markets. Some states do not accept a multipolar world model. In some regions, traditions of the `bloc politics' are still strong and attempts to isolate Russia could be identified (the document refers to NATO enlargement and Asia Pacific). The document says that the Russian domestic environment is not very helpful for developing an active foreign policy. Russia has yet to develop a unifying national idea that would determine not only the view of the world but also transform the society. The country's economic, scientific and demographic potentials are shrinking. The former defence system has been disrupted and the new one has yet to be created.

However, the concept is quite optimistic with regard to the country's prospects. It states that Russia has all the prerequisites for maintaining and strengthening its position in the world. Russia possesses a sizeable economic and scientific-technical potential as well as natural resources. It occupies a unique strategic position in Eurasia. The country has created a democratic system of government and mixed economy. The paper also mentions Russia's century-old history, culture and traditions, which can be an important spiritual resource for rebuilding the country. Given the real policies of the Yeltsin regime which to this date has not cared much for the preservation and efficient use of the above resources, this sounds a bit strange but promising. Perhaps this marked a shift in the ruling elite's thinking on the implementation of reforms towards a more realistic position.

Russian National Interests

For the first time in the recent Russian history the document outlines a system of Russian national interests.

The doctrine singles out three levels of national interests: the individual, society and the state. The interests of the individual  now boil down to the observance of constitutional rights and freedoms, personal safety, more impressive living standards and quality of life, as well as physical, spiritual and intellectual development. The interests of society  comprise consolidated democracy, the attainment and maintenance of public accord, the population's greater creative activity and Russia's spiritual revival. The interests of the state  consist of the protection of Russia's constitutional system, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Apart from that, it is in the state's interests to establish political, economic and social stability, to unfailingly observe laws, to maintain law and order and to expand international co-operation based on partnership. A combination of the main interests of the individual, society and the state determines Russia's national interests in the field of economics, domestic political, international and defence spheres, as well as those in the field of information, the social sphere, spiritual life and culture. The concept, however, failed to include protection of the individual rights and freedoms into the list of the most important state interests (as the Constitution of the Russian Federation requires).

The paper also does not specify what the term `national' means. Does it imply the `public interest' as a combination of the interests of the individual, society and the state? Or does it mean the interest of a dominant nation?

The paper identifies a number of functional interests. In accordance with the classical Marxist tradition, it departs from the economic  interests: ensuring `extended reproduction' (one more term borrowed from the Marxist political economy), growth of innovative and investment activities, control over the country's strategic resources, preservation of a scientific potential and environment, sustainable development, Russia's access to international markets and making Russian products more competitive. Russia's national interests in domestic policy  include ensuring civil peace, national accord, territorial integrity, a common legal space, rule of law, stable system of government, combating organised crime, drug-trade and terrorism. Russian spiritual, cultural and scientific  interests first of all consist of intellectual and moral revival of the Russian society, preservation and development of national and multinational values and traditions.

The Russian Federation's national interests in the foreign policy  sphere require the implementation of an active foreign policy aimed at consolidating Russia's position as a great power and as one of the emerging multipolar world's influential centres. According to the document, such a line should include the following main components: (a) voluntary integration of CIS member-states; (b) expanding relations of equitable partnership with other great powers and centres of economic and military power; (c) promoting international co-operation to combat transnational crime and terrorism; and (d) strengthening mechanisms for the collective management of global political and economic processes, where Russia plays an important role, the UN Security Council, first and foremost. Compared to the foreign policy concept of 1993 Russia's international priorities are described rather sketchy. It is impossible to understand whether they changed since 1993 or remained intact.

Russian national interests in the defence  sphere boil down to protecting the individuals, society and the state from a foreign military aggression. Society and the state must concentrate their efforts on planned and systematic military development, thereby ensuring security in the defence sphere. However, the document recognises the fact that the present-day military organisation is burdensome for the state and should be reformed.

Russia's national interests in the information  sphere include the respect for the constitutional rights of citizens such as access to and exchange of information, protection of national spiritual values, propagation of the national cultural heritage, and moral norms (a reminiscence of the Soviet-like stance), and development of modern telecommunications systems. At the same time, the document says that it is impermissible to use information for manipulating public opinion. It is also necessary to protect state information resources from leaks of important political, economic, scientific-technical and military information.

The doctrine underlines that Russia's national interests are of a long-term character, which determine the country's historic development as well as strategic and current tasks of the state's domestic and foreign policy. Remarkably, the section on the national interests is concluded with the statement that these interests should be realised through the state administration system. It remains unclear whether the individual and society are allowed to pursue and protect their interests or not. The document says nothing about the role of the non-governmental, horizontal structures of civil society in ensuring both individual and societal security. The doctrine does not explain how Russia's national interests correlate with global interests and values. Probably this is a result of overreaction to Gorbachev's `new political thinking' and `all-humankind values'.

Threat Perceptions

The new national security concept asserts that Russia faces no immediate danger of large-scale aggression, and that, because the country is beset with a myriad of debilitating domestic problems, the greatest threat to Russia's security is now an internal one. The document says: "An analysis of the threats to the national security of the Russian Federation shows that the main threats at present and in the foreseeable future will not be military, but predominantly internal in character and will focus in the internal political, economic, social, ecological, information and spiritual spheres". 78 This is a distinct departure from previous doctrines. Even the military doctrine of 1993 was based on the assumption that the main threat to Russia's security was posed by external factors such as local conflicts or territorial claims.

As some analysts emphasise, no less important is the fact that for the first time it has been substantiated at such a high official level (the President, Security Council, and Parliament) that there is no external military threat to Russia. 79 The concept clearly suggests that today's relatively benign international climate affords Russia the opportunity to direct resources away from the defence sector and toward the rebuilding of the Russian economy. "The development of a qualitatively new pattern of relations with the leading world states and the political absence of the threat of a large-scale aggression against Russia, while it preserves its nuclear deterrent, makes it possible to redistribute the resources of the state and society to address priority internal problems". 80 In general, it places this rebuilding effort in the context of continued democratisation and creation of market structures.

The document focuses in particular on the dangers posed by Russia's economic  woes, which are described frankly and at length. It is underlined in the paper that "the state of crisis in the economy is the main cause from which threats to the national security of the Russian Federation arise". 81 The concept highlights a number of major threats to economic security such as a substantial drop of production and investments; destruction of the scientific and technical potential; disarray in the financial and monetary systems; shrinkage of the federal revenues; growing national debt; Russia's excessive dependence on export of raw materials and import of equipment, consumer goods and foodstuff; `brain drain', and uncontrolled flight of capital.

The document also points to internal social, political, ethnic, and cultural  tensions that threaten to undermine both the viability and the territorial integrity of the Russian state. Among these social polarisation, demographic problems (in particular, the reduction of the birth rate, average life expectancy and population), corruption, organised crime, drug-trade, terrorism, virulent nationalism, separatism, deterioration of the health system, ecological catastrophes and disintegration of the `common spiritual space' are singled out.

Along with the internal major threats to Russia's security, the document identifies a number of dangers stemming from the international  dynamics. The doctrine highlights the following sources of external threat: territorial claims; attempts of foreign countries to use Russia's domestic problems for weakening its international positions or challenging its territorial integrity; local conflicts and military build-up in the country's vicinity; mass migration from the troubled CIS countries; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; international terrorism and drug-trafficking, and growing activities of foreign intelligence services. These, however, are of less significance than internal threats.

In general, this shift in Russia's threat perceptions could be assessed positively. Looking at the bright side of the document, three main advantages can be distinguished. First, this is a step to a more realistic estimation of Russia's domestic and international problems. Second, given Russia's limited resources this doctrine helps in setting a proper system of political priorities. Finally, it almost dismisses xenophobia in regards to Russia's relations with the West and, thus, lays foundations for more intense international co-operation.

From the critical point of view, two minor comments can be made. First, some threats (environmental, information, spiritual, etc.) have just been mentioned but not substantiated. Some of them, however, are described implicitly in the section on the national security strategy. Second, there are some grounds for concern that `securitization' of Russian domestic politics, i.e. identification of main security threats inside rather than outside the country, under certain circumstances may result in a sort of `witch-hunt'. To prevent this individuals and civil society should serve as a check on the state and should not allow the state to be the sole agency in national security matters.

National Security Strategy

Along with explaining Russia's national interests and threat perceptions, the doctrine determines ways and means of the country's security policy. According to the document, "The chief purpose  of ensuring national security of the Russian Federation is to create and maintain such an economic, political, international and military-strategic position of the country which would provide favourable conditions for the development of the individual, society and the state and preclude a danger of weakening the role and significance of the Russian Federation as a subject of international law and of undermining the capability of the state to meet its national interests on the international scene". 82

The document sets up a number of particular tasks  to ensure national security of the Russian Federation: (a) to develop the country's economy and pursue an independent and socially-oriented economic course; (b) to further improve the legislation and strengthen law and order and social-political stability of society, Russian statehood, federalism and local self-administration; (c) to shape harmonious inter-ethnic relations; (d) to ensure Russia's international security by establishing equal partnership with the major states of the world; (e) to strengthen state security in the defence and information spheres; (f) to ensure the vital activity of the population in a technogenically safe and environmentally clean world.

The main principles  of maintaining Russia's national security include: (a) observance of the Constitution and legislation of the Russian Federation; (b) indivisibility of security, interconnection and balance of its different types; (c) priority of political, economic and information measures of ensuring national security; (d) feasibility of the tasks set (taking into account available resources, forces and means); (e) observance of the norms of international law and Russian legislation when carrying out coercive measures (including the use of military force); (f) combination of centralised control of the forces and means of ensuring security with delegating some powers in this sphere to the subjects of the Russian Federation and local governments. The latter is especially important because for the first time in Russian post-Communist history the federal centre recognises the growing role of the regions in shaping national security policies. However, the document sends a strong message to separatists by stating that "it is the prime aim of the protection of Russian federalism to prevent a transformation of federative relations into confederative ones". 83 The paper lists a number of measures targeted at strengthening of Russian federalism.

Economic Security.  The document emphasises that ensuring security and protection of the Russian national interests in the economic sphere constitute the main content of the state policy aiming at achieving economic growth and pursuing an independent and socially oriented economic course. Among the measures proposed, further development of economic legislation and scientific-technical potential, concentration of resources on priority issues, growth of production, raising the people's living standards, assistance to depressed regions, and prevention of technogenic catastrophes are listed.

In the foreign economic sphere, the document calls for encouraging Russian industrialists' and other businessmen's export activities and elimination of discriminatory restrictions on Russian goods on some national and regional markets. At the same time, the document recommends to impose certain limitations on the activities of foreign banks and insurance companies and on handing over to foreign enterprises the deposits of irreplaceable natural resources, telecommunications, and transport and commodity carrying networks. According to the paper, foreign companies must not be allowed to establish control over strategically important sections of the economy, the defence industry and so-called `natural monopolies'. Apparently, this provision reflects the Russian debate on the parameters of co-operation with foreign capital during which the liberals have proposed to provide foreign investors with a maximum of freedom and conservatives and moderates have insisted on limitations. The wording of the document is closer to the conservative/moderate stance.

Military Strategy.  With regard to military policy, the national security concept serves as a post-facto justification for the down-sizing of Russia's armed forces that has occurred since the Soviet Union's dissolution, and for the continued restructuring envisioned in the Kremlin's still evolving military reform programme. By emphasising domestic rather than foreign threats to Russia's security, it would seem also to justify the rapid strengthening of the country's internal security forces relative to the regular army over the past ten years, even if current defence reform plans aim to moderate that policy somewhat. In a related fashion, the document describes an alleged threat to Russian economic interests posed by foreign competitors, and underscores the importance of the role played by Russia's intelligence services in countering it.

The document also emphasises the overriding importance of Russia's strategic forces to the country's security and again disavows the no first-use principle. With regard to conventional weapons, the concept proclaims a policy of `realistic deterrence' in discarding officially any effort to maintain parity with the armed forces of the world's leading states. The concept highlights the importance of Russian participation in international peacekeeping missions as a means of maintaining Moscow's influence abroad.

The document declares that in preventing war and armed conflicts Russia prefers political, economic and other non-military means. However, as far as the non-use of force has not yet become a norm of international relations, the national interests of the Russian Federation require sufficient military might for its defence. The document says that Russia might use military force for ensuring its national security, proceeding from the following principles:

  1. Russia reserves the right to use all the forces and systems at its disposal, including nuclear weapons, if the unleashing of armed aggression results in a threat to the actual existence of the Russian Federation as an independent sovereign state;

  2. the armed forces of the Russian Federation should be used resolutely, consistently up to the point when conditions for making peace which are favourable to the Russian Federation have been created;

  3. the armed forces should be used on a legal basis and only when all other non-military possibilities of settling a crisis situation have been exhausted or proved to be ineffective;

  4. the use of the armed forces against peaceful civilians or for attaining domestic political aims shall not be permitted. However, it is permitted to use individual units of the armed forces for joint operation with other services against illegal armed formations that present a threat to the national interests of the Russian Federation;

  5. participation of the Russian armed forces in wars and armed conflicts of different intensity and scope shall be aimed at accomplishing the priority military-political and military-strategic tasks meeting Russia's national interests and its allied obligations.

The concept indicated military-technical co-operation with foreign countries as an important priority of Russia's security policy. A general plan on restructuring the defence industry with the aim of its substantial reduction and modernisation has been outlined as well.

Diplomacy.  The doctrine underlines that Russia has no intention of entering into confrontation with any state or alliance of state, nor does it pursue hegemonic or expansionist objectives. Russia will maintain relations of partnership with all the interested countries of the world community.

The concept does not set any particular system of foreign policy priorities but it is clear from the context of the document that good relations with the CIS member-states and gradual integration of the Commonwealth still remain Moscow's principal aim.

The concept reiterates Moscow's opposition to NATO enlargement and its call for multilateral organisations such as the UN and the OSCE to play a greater role in the ensuring of international security. The paper calls on the international community to create a new Euro-Atlantic security system on the basis of the OSCE as well as to strengthen (with Russian participation) multilateralism in theAsia-Pacific region.

In more purely diplomatic terms, the national security concept states formally what has long been a cornerstone of Russian foreign policy: i.e., that the rebuilding of Russia is best served not by a passive diplomatic posture, but rather by an aggressive and multifaceted diplomacy aiming at winning membership, or increasing Moscow's influence, in various international organisations, while simultaneously striving to make Russia a player of importance around the globe.

Institutional Framework.  In institutional terms, the national security doctrine and the decree accompanying it appear to signify the re-emergence of the Russian Security Council as the country's premier agency in the formulation and implementation of national security policies, and a parallel rise in the political authority of its secretary, Ivan Rybkin. 84 If so, the change would bring to a close an approximately 18-month period--which began with a Kremlin move to limit the power of then Security Council secretary Aleksandr Lebed-- during which the Council found itself relegated primarily to dealing with Kremlin policy toward Chechnya. According to the concept, the Security Council must analyse domestic and international developments through the prism of Russia's national interests; prepare security policy recommendations for the President; draft national security legislation; make proposals for decision-making in emergency situations; co-ordinate the activities of the national security agencies; and control implementation of the Security Council's decisions by the executive bodies. What remains unclear, however, is whether Rybkin possesses the political clout to exercise the many political prerogatives now assigned to him or he will simply play the role as co-ordinator and intermediary between other competing power agencies.

The document also demonstrates the executive power's willingness to co-operate with the legislature, which repeatedly complains about its isolation from national security affairs. According to the doctrine, the Federation Council and the State Duma shall shape the legislative framework for national security policy; participate in taking decisions on the use of military force; review, ratify and denounce international treaties related to Russia's national security. If implemented, this may be an important step to establishing a parliamentary control over national security strategy and a coherent security policymaking mechanism.

What's Next?

With the adoption of the national security concept, the need for reforms in the key areas of Russia's security policies has become even more evident.

Military Reform.  The Defense Council has continued its work on the concept of military development for a period of up to 2005. According to Kokoshin, this document should define more clearly the character of military threats to Russia as well as the character of potential wars that may break out in the foreseeable future. The concept should specify Russian military strategy in low-intensity conflicts because the latter call for the need of having special systems and methods of troop management. The nuclear deterrence policy also needs to be further developed. 85

This time the concept was drafted not only by the General Staff but also by representatives of other national security agencies under the general supervision of the Defence Council. According to Defence Minister Sergeyev, a new concept of military development and military reform should be prepared by mid-March 1998. 86

The military reform envisages two major stages. During the first stage (1997-2000), the tasks of the armed forces will be specified, their structure and composition streamlined and parallel, duplicating structures liquidated.

The reform of the force structure and management has already been started. In 1997, the Strategic Missile Force, the Military Space Command and the Missile Defence Force were integrated into one service (the Strategic Missile Force). This reduced the managerial structure and created conditions for fully manning the units doing combat duty. The economic effect of the integration will add up to some 1.115 trillion roubles. Preparations for the second major integration, of the Air Force and the Air Defence Force, were also completed in 1997. The structure of the Land Force will be overhauled as well. In accordance with Yeltsin's Stockholm initiative, Russia will unilaterally reduce by 40 per cent its land and naval groups in the North West of Russia. Only units not exceeding division and brigade levels will be stationed in the Kaliningrad Region and the Leningrad Military Districts. 87 As for the Navy, Sergeyev noted that "we are not undertaking deep changes there". Four fleets and one flotilla will remain in the foreseeable future. The task in the navy is to raise the control standards of the fleets and make their structures more effective. Russia does not plan to build aircraft carriers in the near future. The minister said that this class of ships "does not have the effectiveness necessary in modern conditions". 88 In sum, a four-branch structure of the armed forces should be created (the Strategic Missile Force, Land Forces, Air Forces and Navy). The armed forces personnel will be reduced from 1.800.000 to 1.200.00.

Other `power agencies' are also to be restructured. In accordance with the President's decree of 8 December 1997, the border troops of the Federal Border Service have been transformed into border guards. 89 In January 1998, Yeltsin decided to transfer the Federal Border Guard to the Federal Security Service. This decision raised many questions and concerns as to the possibility of restoring a powerful KGB machinery which included, along with the counter-intelligence service, border guards, foreign intelligence service, bodyguard directorate and so on. 90 The territorial organization of the `power structures' is to be reformed as well. The military districts and the regional centres of other services should be unified; logistic and material-technical support systems should be integrated as well. 91

According to the Defence Minister, the main aim of the second stage of the military reform (2000-2005) is to supply the army and the navy with the latest weapons and hardware, and to carry on the streamlining of their structures.

Science.  In line with the national security concept, the Russian government has turned to security threats stemming from the critical state of Russian science. `The brain drain' is the most immediate threat to Russia's national security in this area. According to Vice-Premier Vladimir Bulgak, 15,200 Russian scientists have adopted foreign citizenship and another 5,000 work in foreign countries on a contract basis. 92 The government's debts to research institutions run into 2,000 billion rubles. The research personnel is growing old: the average age of doctors of science is 55 years. The continuity of generations may be broken.

In January 1998, the government has adopted a concept of science reform aiming at supporting the best schools and individual scholars, optimisation of the administrative and budget system, stimulation of private investments and enhancing international co-operation. However, the future of this reform remains unclear because the government does not plan to increase the science budget, and getting private and foreign assistance will definitely take time. The bright side of this initiative is that the Russian leadership recognises the existence of not only military but also social security problems and is willing to cope with the given security threat.


Eight conclusions emerge from the above. First,  Russia has finally got a coherent national security doctrine. Some provisions of the document are disputable but on the whole it can be assessed positively. Second,  the new national security concept defines both national interests and security threats quite realistically. It is based on the assumption that internal rather than external challenges pose threats to Russia's security. Logically, Russian security concerns have shifted from the `hard' to the `soft' security domain. Third,  the new Russian national security doctrine is based on a broader understanding of the notion of security in which the non-military issues such as economy, social problems, environment, demography, information, culture and religion are included. Fourth,  in line with the democratic principles, the concept acknowledges the need for ensuring national security at three levels (the individual, society and the state) albeit the state `bias' still remains (particularly in the field of implementation of national security strategy). Fifth,  the doctrine has outlined the national security system (including its institutional and decision-making aspects). Now it is designed better, its co-ordination is improved, and elements of parliamentary control are established. Of course, it does not preclude the national security agencies and the legislature from rivalry, but a more solid legal and conceptual base for developing the national security apparatus has been provided. Sixth,  with the adoption of a non-aggressive military strategy and clarification of Russia's national security interests, Moscow becomes a more attractive and predictable international partner. Seventh,  the doctrine has stimulated fruitful discussions on the military and science reforms which yet to be conducted. However, other security challenges are not addressed. The country needs special concepts covering economic, social, environmental, energy and information security. Eighth,  it appears that the national security debate has been a rather effective way of nation building and constructing a new Russian identity. The national security concept claims that it is based on national values and traditions and aims at the search for a national consensus and a unifying national idea.

It should be noted that with the adoption of the doctrine the Russian national security problems have not disappeared. It is impossible in principle. However, the concept could be a good starting point for reforming the national security system and opening up new horizons for the post-Communist Russian security discourse. The main task to be set up before the Russian decision-makers is to implement the national security doctrine, make the bright ideas and good principles real. It is also important to conduct the national security reform in line with and in the context of further democratisation of the Russian political system as well as creation of a civil society in the country.

Note 1: See, for example, an introduction to the Russian military doctrine of 1993 in Krasnaya Zvesda,  19 November 1993, or its English translation in Jane's Intelligence Review,  Special Report (January 1994), p. 6. Marshal of the Air Force Yevgeny Shaposhnikov stressed that: "The blueprint for national security should follow from the blueprint for the development of the Russian state... We have to say: these are our interests, these are the possible dangers and threats to our interests--and from this you get a blueprint, a doctrine--including an economic doctrine, an ecological doctrine, a foreign policy doctrine, a federal doctrine dealing with internal matters, a military doctrine and so on. A doctrine in turn generates strategy. The former is a system of views, the latter is a line of conduct" (cited in: Charles Dick, `The Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', Jane's Intelligence Review,  Special Report (January 1994), p. 5). Back.

Note 2: `Zakon Rossiyskoy Federatsii o Besopasnosti' [The Law on Security of the Russian Federation], Rossiyskaya Gazeta,  6 May 1992, p. 5. Back.

Note 3: `Osnovy Voennoy Doktriny Rossii' [Basic Provisions of the Military Doctrine of Russia], Voennaya Mysl  (May 1992), pp. 4-7. See also discussions on this draft published in Voennaya Mysl , special issue (July 1992). Back.

Note 4: Aleksandr Vladimirov, `Eta Systema Mogucha i Dostatochno Zla' [This System is Powerful and Angry Enough], Rossiyskaya Gazeta,  22 September 1992. Back.

Note 5: S. Modestov, `Voennaya Politika Russkogo Natsionalnogo Sobora', Nezavisimaya Gazeta,  27 August 1992. Back.

Note 6: Neil Malcolm, Alex Pravda, Roy Allison and Margot Light, Internal Factors in Russian Foreign Policy  (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 254-256. Back.

Note 7: On the history of the Russian foreign policy concept see: Alexander A. Sergounin, "Russian Foreign Policy Thinking: Redefining Conceptions" (Copenhagen: Centre for Peace & Conflict Research, 1993. Working Paper No. 11). Back.

Note 8: International Affairs  (Moscow, February 1993), p. 3. Back.

Note 9: Ibid. , p. 6. Back.

Note 10: Ibid.,  p. 11. Back.

Note 11: See, for example: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Konzeptsiya Vneshney Politiki Rossiyskoy Federatsii  [Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation], (Moscow: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation), 1992 (paper circulated among the deputies of the Supreme Soviet). Back.

Note 12: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, `Konzeptsiya vneshney politiki Rossiyskoy Federatsii' [Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation], Special issue of Diplomaticheskiy Vestnik  (January 1993), pp. 3-23. Back.

Note 13: Vladimir Orlov, `Head of Security Council Forces to Resign', Moscow News , 14 May 1993, p. 9. Back.

Note 14: Diplomaticheskiy Vestnik,  1993, no. 7-8, pp. 67-68; Malcolm et al., Internal Factors in Russian Foreign Policy , p. 114. Back.

Note 15: Nezavisimaya Gazeta , 29 April 1993. Back.

Note 16: Orlov, `Head of Security Council Forces to Resign', p. 9. Back.

Note 17: Ibid.  Back.

Note 18: The Baltic Independent,  14-20 May, 1993, p. 3. Back.

Note 19: For more detailed report on these power struggle see Malcolm et al., Internal Factors in Russian Foreign Policy,  pp. 111, 135-136; Pavel Baev, `The Russian Debate about the Near Abroad', in Jakub M. Godzimirski (ed.), Russia and Europe  (Oslo: NUPI, 1996), p. 45 (NUPI Report No. 210, 1996). Back.

Note 20: Dick, `The Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', p. 1. Back.

Note 21: Cited in Dick, `The Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', p. 5. Back.

Note 22: Segodnya,  9 October 1993. Back.

Note 23: Malcolm et al., Internal Factors in Russian Foreign Policy,  p. 156. Back.

Note 24: `The Basic Provisions of the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', Jane's Intelligence Review,  Special Report (January 1994), p. 6. Back.

Note 25: Dick, `The Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', p. 3. Back.

Note 26: `The Basic Provisions of the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', p. 9. Back.

Note 27: Dick, `The Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', p. 4. Back.

Note 28: `The Basic Provisions of the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', p. 6. Back.

Note 29: Dick, `The Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', p. 2; and D. Lockwood, `Nuclear arms control', in SIPRI Yearbook 1994  (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), p. 648. Back.

Note 30: Cited in Dick, `The Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', p. 4. Back.

Note 31: Dick, `The Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', p. 4. Back.

Note 32: BICC, Chancen und Probleme der Rustungs-Konversion in der GUS  (Bonn: Bonn International Center for Conversion, 1995), p. 4. Back.

Note 33: Paul Beaver, 'Russian Industry Feels the Cold', Jane's Defence Weekly,  7 May 1994, p. 30. Back.

Note 34: Segodnya,  18 October 1994. Back.

Note 35: Krasnaya Zvezda,  3 August 1996, p. 3. Back.

Note 36: A. Hull and D. Markov, `A Changing Market in the Arms Bazaar', Jane's Intelligence Review  (March 1997), p. 140. Back.

Note 37: Yakov Pappe, `Otraslevye Lobbi v Pravitelstve Rossii' Sectorial Lobbies in the Russian government, Pro et Contra  (Autumn 1996), p. 69; Rossiyskaya Gazeta,  28 April 1997, p. 1. Back.

Note 38: Nezavisimaya Gazeta,  15 April 1995; and Igor Khripunov, 'Conventional Weapons Transfers: U.S.-Russian Cooperation or Rivalry', Comparative Strategy,  vol. 14, 1995, p. 456. Back.

Note 39: Evgeny Kogan, `The Russian Defence Industry: Trends, Difficulties and Obstacles', Asian Defence Journal  (October 1994), pp. 43-44 Back.

Note 40: Komsomolskaya Pravda,  27 April 1994. Back.

Note 41: R. Menon, `The Strategic Convergence Between Russia and China', Survival,  vol. 39, no. 2 (Summer 1997), p. 110. Back.

Note 42: Izvestia,  22 February 1992. Back.

Note 43: `The Basic Provisions of the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', p. 12. Back.

Note 44: Beaver, `Russian Industry Feels the Cold', p. 30. Back.

Note 45: Asian Defence Journal,  December 1995, p. 131. Back.

Note 46: Alexander Kotyelkin, `Russia and the World Arms Market', International Affairs  (Moscow), vol. 42, no. 4, p. 33. Back.

Note 47: J. Perera, `Rosvooruzheniye Sets 1997 Targets', Jane's Sentinel Pointer  (June 1997), p. 3. Back.

Note 48: Izvestiya,  20 September 1996; Pappe, `Otraslevye Lobbi v Pravitelstve Rossii', p. 69. Back.

Note 49: P. Butowski, `Thrust-Vectoring Will Drive MiG-29 Exports', Jane's Defence Weekly,  21 May 1997, p. 28. Back.

Note 50: Rossiyskaya Gazeta,  17 October 1995; Nezavisimaya Gazeta,  25 April 1996. Back.

Note 51: Kotelkin, `Russia and the World Arms Market', p. 38; J. Perera, `Russia's Arms Sales Increasing', Jane's Sentinel Pointer  (January 1997), p. 2. Back.

Note 52: Perera, `Rosvooruzheniye Sets 1997 Targets', p. 3. Back.

Note 53: Asian Defence Journal,  no. 3, 1994, p. 74. Back.

Note 54: Julian Cooper, The Soviet Defence Industry: Conversion and Economic Reforms  (New York: The Royal Institute of International Affairs/Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1991), pp. 65-66; Izvestia,  7 February 1990; and Vsevolod Avduevsky, `Conversion and Economic Reforms: Experience of Russia', Peace and the Sciences  (March 1992), pp. 7-10. Back.

Note 55: `The Basic Provisions of the Military Doctrine of the Russian Federation', p. 8. Back.

Note 56: Moscow News,  1994, no. 48, p. 3. Back.

Note 57: Krasnaya Zvezda,  29 October 1994. Back.

Note 58: Zakon o Natsionalnoy Bezopasnosty Rossiyskoi Federatsii: Proekt  [The Law on National Security of the Russian Federation: Draft] (Moscow: Committee on National Security, State Duma, 1995). Back.

Note 59: Rossiyskaya Gazeta,  8 May 1997, p. 2. Back.

Note 60: Krasnaya Zvezda,  27 June 1997. Back.

Note 61: Pavel Felgenhauer, `Military Reform Under Fire', St. Petersburg Times,  17-23 November 1997. Back.

Note 62: Smena  (St. Petersburg), 3 December 1997. Back.

Note 63: Krasnaya Zvezda,  27 June 1997. Back.

Note 64: Felgenhauer, `Military Reform Under Fire'. Back.

Note 65: Argumenty i Fakty,  1997, No. 48. Back.

Note 66: Argumenty i Fakty,  1997, No. 48. Back.

Note 67: Segodnya,  14 November 1997. Back.

Note 68: Felgenhauer, `Military Reform Under Fire'. Back.

Note 69: Segodnya,  14 November 1997. Back.

Note 70: Obshaya Gazeta,  1997, No. 50. Back.

Note 71: Interfax  (Moscow), 15 November 1997. Back.

Note 72: RIA Novosti , 12 November 1997. Back.

Note 73: Rossiyskiye Vesti, December 25. Back.

Note 74: `Konzeptsiya Natsionalnoy Bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii' [The National Security Concept of the Russian Federation], Rossiyskaya Gazeta,  26 December 1997, p. 4. Back.

Note 75: Sergei Chugayev, `Sostoyanie economiki i obshestva - glavnaya ugroza dlya Rossii, govoritsya v rossiyskoi kontseptsii natsionalnoi bezopasnosti' [State of the Economy and Society Main Threat for Russia Says the Russian National Security Concept], Izvestia,  19 December 1997. Back.

Note 76: `Konzeptsiya Natsionalnoy Bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii', p. 4. Back.

Note 77: Ibid.  Back.

Note 78: Ibid. , p. 4. Back.

Note 79: Sergey Chugayev, `State of the Economy and Society Main Threat for Russia'; The Jamestown Foundation Prism  (a bi-weekly on the post-Soviet states), Vol. IV, No. 1, Part 1, 9 January 1998. Back.

Note 80: `Konzeptsiya Natsionalnoy Bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii', p. 4. Back.

Note 81: Ibid. , p. 4. Back.

Note 82: Ibid. , p. 4. Back.

Note 83: Ibid. , p. 5. Back.

Note 84: The Jamestown Foundation Prism  (a bi-weekly on the post-Soviet states), Vol. IV, No. 1, Part 1, 9 January 1998. Back.

Note 85: Obshaya Gazeta,  1997, No. 50. Back.

Note 86: RIA Novosti  (Moscow), 13 January 1998. Back.

Note 87: Address by Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation at the OSCE Seminar on Defence Policy and Military Doctrines, Vienna, 26-28 January 1998. Back.

Note 88: Krasnaya Zvezda,  24 January 1998. Back.

Note 89: Rossiyskaya Gazeta,  17 December 1997. Back.

Note 90: Vadim Solovyev, `Kontrrazvedka Pogloshayet Pogranichnuyu Sluzhbu' [Counter-Intelligence Absorbs Border Guards], Nezavisimaya Gazeta , 28 January 1998.Back.

Note 91: Obshaya Gazeta , 1997, No. 50 Back.

Note 92: Rossiyskaya Gazeta , 10 January 1998 Back.