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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia new security strategy avoids arms race

RIA Novosti

24/03/2009 16:31 MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not get involved in a new arms race, the head of the Security Council said on Tuesday at a meeting dedicated to discussing Russia's national security strategy until 2020.

"We will avoid getting involved in costly confrontation and a new arms race...and try to build relations with other countries on the principles of equal rights and mutually-beneficial cooperation...," Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said.

"At the same time, Russia will conduct rational and pragmatic foreign policies to protect its national interest on the global arena," he added.

The new strategy, which updates the 1997 policy, aims to improve the quality of state administration and coordinate the activities of the government and public organizations on defending Russia's national interests and protecting society and the state.

At a meeting with Defense Ministry officials last week, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said long-term defense plans must be based on the national security strategy, taking into account modern-day realities and potential threats.

Analysts say that in the new strategy, the main threats are identified as competition for energy resources, NATO's expansion near Russia's borders, and policies by a number of states to gain nuclear superiority over Russia.

Patrushev said on Tuesday that the new strategy creates a mechanism of national security assessments through a variety of criteria aimed at improving the effectiveness of strategic planning in both the economic and military spheres.

The Security Council made the decision to spend another month making necessary amendments to the draft document, the official said.

"We are taking another month to finalize work on the document. We will not introduce any drastic changes, but make some adjustments," Patrushev said.

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