By Vinay Shukla
Russia’s new long-term National Security Strategy signed by President Vladimir Putin on July 2 to tide over the disruptive trends in the global order has identified India and China as Moscow’s key partners in ensuring stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
The new national security doctrine adopted by the Kremlin states the goal of Russia’s foreign policy is to maintain peace, strategic stability and security, prevention of use of military force and upholding the centrality of the United Nations.
“Developing inclusive partnerships and strategic interaction with the People’s Republic of China, special privileged strategic partnership with the Republic of India, including for the purpose of creating reliable mechanisms for ensuring regional stability and security on a non-blocs basis in the Asia-Pacific region; deepening multidisciplinary cooperation with foreign states in the formats of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS, strengthening the functional and institutional foundations of interaction within the RIC (Russia, India, China)” are prescribed as the tools for achieving this in the 44 page national security strategy available for download in pdf format from the Russian version of the Kremlin website.
The Executive Order signed by President Putin states the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation is the fundamental strategic planning document, which identifies national interests and strategic national priorities of the Russian Federation, objectives and tasks of state policy on ensuring national security and sustainable development of the Russian Federation in the long term.
The new version of the National Security Strategy approved by Putin will replace earlier strategy adopted in 2015 when the US-led Western sanctions against Russia were still symbolic and were expected to be lifted over short period. However, in the present scenario when Russia staged a comeback and rapidly building its military capabilities the West has left no room for rapprochement and withdrawal of sanctions any time soon.
The new strategy states that Russia has demonstrated in recent years its ability to withstand the pressure of foreign sanctions, and notes that work to reduce dependence on imports in key sectors of the economy is to continue. Economic security is to be ensured by increasing competitiveness and resilience to both internal and external threats, and through the creation of suitable conditions for economic growth at rates higher than the global average, according to the strategy.
Besides economic security the new document, as comprehensive as the programme speeches of General Secretaries of the Communist Party in the Soviet days, in detail lays out national priorities in defence, cyber security, and disruptive nature of westernisation on the traditional values of the multi-ethnic Russian people. It has identified the disturbing censorship activities of multinational IT corporations to influence the public opinion in the country by ignoring the law of the land, similar to Twitter row with the Government of India. New document provides for rapid innovative developments of public health, education and science for the social and economic welfare of the common Russian by creating more jobs and increasing wages.
Ditching US dollar in Russia’s foreign trade is seen as one of the means to ensure economic security. Moscow will encourage trade in the national currencies of the partners, which could mean revival of Rupee-Rouble trade with India, albeit in new market oriented avatar. It would also create a firewall against the sanctions like CAATSA which delayed the finalisation of deal because India could not make payment on time and an alternative route was devised to avoid payment in US dollars.
India as a chosen partner must use the opportunities opening up in Russia in course of implementation of the National Security Strategy as some of the challenges are common for India also and the two countries can closely interact in the spirit of their ‘special, privileged strategic partnership.’
– The writer is a Moscow-based independent analyst. Views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of Raksha Anirveda