Russia’s strategy to reinforce self-reliance

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved an updated Russian National Security Strategy, with the focuses being to increase vigilance against security risks, limit the use of US dollar, prioritise relations with China and India, and protect the country’s cultural sovereignty.

The updated Russian National Security Strategy approved by President Vladimir Putin takes effect on July 2. (Photo: TASS)
The updated Russian National Security Strategy approved by President Vladimir Putin takes effect on July 2. (Photo: TASS)

With this strategy, Russia seeks to enhance its independence and self-reliance, and widen the gap with the West.

The updated strategy aims to replace the old one approved in late 2015. The document outlined Russia’s strategic priorities and national interests, while proposing measures to protect the people and the state from internal and external threats and setting goals to strengthen national security and ensure national development in the long term.

Analysts stated that strengthening economic independence and self-reliance, expanding strategic cooperation relations with China and India, and being wary of extreme information are the important highlights of the revised national security strategy mentioned above. Accordingly, in terms of security, Russia expressed concern about increased geopolitical uncertainty and conflict, growing interstate conflict, the incremental militarisation of outer space, cyberspace threats, and the weakened international legal principles and norms.

In economic terms, Russia will reduce the use of the US dollar in foreign trade, considering this as a measure to ensure the country’s economic security. Regarding foreign affairs, Russia’s major priority is to expand strategic cooperation with China and India in order to establish a mechanism to ensure regional security and stability on the basis of non-alignment in the Asia-Pacific region.

At the same time, Russia also showed high vigilance against the West with the new strategy stating that “Westernisation of culture increases the danger that Russia will lose its cultural sovereignty.”

Highlights from Russia’s new national security strategy have sent its tough message to the United States and its allies. The strategy argues that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) exercises on the possibility of using nuclear weapons have increased the military threats facing Russia.

Meanwhile, right before Russia’s announcement of the aforementioned strategy, NATO naval and air forces had conducted drills in the Black Sea with the goal of improving the alliance’s cooperation and further solidifying relations among its member countries.

In the context of the Russian-Western relations falling into a state of “confrontation rather than dialogue” over the past few years, tensions have recently escalated after collisions between the two sides’ warplanes and warships. Moscow’s new strategic priorities suggest that the “frozen” bilateral relationship is unlikely to improve in the near future.

It may be necessary for Russia to implement a strategy to strengthen its independence and self-reliance to avoid external damage, but the fact that Russia and the West have not yet been able to reconcile and cooperate is also a pity for the community, because they are the partners with decisive voices in many common global issues at present.