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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia may revise use of nuclear weapons in new military doctrine

RIA Novosti

13:04 08/10/2009 NOVOSIBIRSK, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's new military doctrine will contain some changes to the situations that could trigger the use of nuclear weapons or preventive strikes against potential foes, the secretary of Russia's Security Council said on Thursday.

Russia will soon adopt a new military doctrine that aims to transform the Armed Forces into a more effective and mobile military force. Their structures will be "optimized" through the use of combined arms units performing similar tasks.

"In respect to the possibility of preventive or nuclear strikes we will formulate some provisions that will be somewhat different from those contained in the current doctrine," Nikolai Patrushev said.

The draft doctrine, called "The new face of the Russian Armed Forces until 2030," is still being developed by the General Staff and will be given, according to Patrushev, to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for consideration by the end of 2009.

The current military doctrine was adopted in 2000. It outlines the role of the Russian military in ensuring the defense of the country and, if necessary, preparing for and waging war, although it stresses that the Russian military doctrine is strictly defensive.

The doctrine lists factors that the Russian Federation perceives as potential threats, both internal and external and declares support for a multipolar world, in preference to a unipolar world dominated by a single superpower that is quick to resort to military force.

The current document also emphasizes Russia's commitment to military reform, with continued use of conscription, but a gradual shift towards a professional army.

But the Security Council believes that since 2000, drastic changes have occurred in the geopolitical and military situation in the world and in the nature of threats against national security, which makes it necessary to revise the specific tasks facing the Russian Armed Forces and related security agencies.

"We would like to make this new military doctrine transparent so that people in the country and abroad will know what we have developed and how we want to work. We will set goals and lay out how to achieve them," Patrushev said.

President Dmitry Medvedev announced last year that Russia would make the modernization of its nuclear deterrent and Armed Forces a priority in the decade up to 2020.

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