File photo of President of Russia Vladimir Putin | Wikimedia Commons
File photo of President Vladimir Putin | Wikimedia Commons
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New Delhi:  Russia has unveiled a new national security policy that looks to balance its ties with both India and China while ditching dependence on US dollar based transactions.

The Russian National Security Strategy, which was released by Russian President Vladimir Putin Saturday, comes amid the over year-long standoff between India and China. 

The new security policy aims to further expand strategic cooperation with India, while developing comprehensive partnerships with China. According to a report in the Russian news agency Sputnik, this policy seeks to create a process that ensures regional stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region, apart from different groups on a non-aligned basis.

It has also made a subtle reference to the India-China conflict. “Dangers also result from the creeping militarisation of outer space, and risks associated with armed conflicts escalating into local and regional wars involving the world’s nuclear powers,” it said. 

Also read: Putin done, Biden’s focus shifts to the dragon in the room: China’s Xi

Should reduce usage of US dollars

The policy has also recommended reducing the usage of US dollars in international transactions, saying this will accelerate Russia’s economic security.  

“The reduction in the use of dollars in Russia’s foreign trade is one of the means to securing the country’s economic security,” the policy states, adding that  Russia has demonstrated in recent years an ability to withstand foreign sanctions and pressure. 

In what appears to be a jibe at the United States, the new Russian national security strategy also suggested that “growing geopolitical instability and conflict is a result of a redistribution in global development potential, with countries that are losing their unconditional leadership said to be trying to prevent this from happening by hoping to dictate their own rules, to use unfair means of competition, to apply unilateral sanctions or to openly interfere in the internal affairs of other nations.”

The new policy also pointed out that there are efforts by armies of some countries to disable critical information infrastructure in Russia, with foreign intelligence services, said to have intensified their intelligence and other operations in the Russian information space generally.

In these conditions, the document stressed the legitimacy of using both symmetric and asymmetric means to suppress or prevent “unfriendly actions” by actors that seek to threaten Russia’s sovereignty or territorial integrity. 

Russian security document

The National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation is a strategic document outlining means by which citizens, society and the state are to be protected against external and internal threats in every sphere of national life. The first such document was created in 1997, and it has been continually updated to account for new developments.

This document sets objectives for the strengthening of national security while ensuring sustainable development over the long term. The new strategy replaces the previous version of the document, which was approved by President  Putin in late 2015.

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

Also read: India-Russia ties can grow despite differences. We don’t agree on everything with US either


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