Russia to Update Military Doctrine in View of ‘New Military Dangers’

World | September 2, 2014, Tuesday // 16:56|  views

Russian Foreign Minister SergeY Lavrov addresses students of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) in Moscow, Russia, 01 September 2014. Photo EPA/BGNES

Russia plans to update its military doctrine in response to the emergence of “new military dangers  and military threats”,  a senior Russian military official has said.

Mikhail Popov, deputy secretary of Russia’s military Security Council  has described NATO’s eastward expansion as “one of the external military dangers for the Russian Federation.”

The update to Moscow’s military doctrine has been called for by foreign policy factors, Popov said in an interview with the Russian news agency RIA Novosti on Tuesday, pointing to NATO’s expansion, the creation and deployment of strategic anti-missile defence systems, deployment of arms in space, and the Ukraine crisis.

Referring to NATO’s plans to decide at the alliance’s summit in Wales to create new military bases in eastern Europe to secure the long-term presence of its forces in the region close to Russia’s borders, Popov highlighted  that “…the defining factor in our relationship with NATO remains the unacceptability for Russia of plans to move military infrastructures of the alliance to our borders, including by means of expanding the bloc.”

Popov also said NATO has already planned to deploy heavy armaments, including tanks and armoured personnel carriers, in Estonia.

According to Popov, “all these facts testify” that the US and NATO are aiming to continue creating tensions in their relationship with Russia.

He added work on updating Russia’s current military doctrine adopted in 2010 could be expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Moscow has always looked at NATO’s eastward expansion as a key challenge to its national security. Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday said the Ukrainian government’s recent initiative to abandon the country’s non-aligned status and join NATO could derail efforts to negotiate a peace deal between Kiev and the pro-Moscow rebels in southeast Ukraine.

“There is one very interesting fact: that this initiative appeared right after the meeting in Minsk where agreements on the process of the Contact Group were trying to find a commonly acceptable decision on the current domestic crisis in Ukraine,” Lavrov said during a live televised joint press conference with Tunisian Foreign Minister Mongi Hamdi.

According to Lavrov, the “peace party” in Kiev is trying to develop a negotiation-based and political solution to the crisis in Ukraine, whereas the “war party” is taking steps “targeted at undermining these efforts.”

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Tags: Russia, Ukraine, Mikhail Popov, Sergey Lavrov, NATO, summit, Wales, NATO expansion, non-aligned


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