National Security

Russia Targets NATO in New Military Doctrine

Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin / AP

A new Russian military doctrine signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin calls for a more aggressive stance toward NATO, Defense News reports.

Russia will also boost its presence in the Arctic and increase cooperation with India and China.

Analysts say the sanctions imposed on Russia following its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula are a major factor in Russia’s more aggressive stance.

The new doctrine brings significant changes to the country's defense strategy in a number of fields, and names the expansion of NATO in Russia's neighborhood as one of the principal threat factors.

In response to efforts by NATO to extend air and anti-missile defense coverage over Europe, the document enables the joint setting up of missile defense systems by Russia and allied countries, which was not possible under the previous doctrine. The document says these efforts by NATO states are "undermining global stability and violating the balance of power in the nuclear-missile sphere."

Referring to the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine, where Moscow is backing pro-Russian rebels in the country's east against the government in Kiev, the document explicitly identifies "the expansion of NATO's military potential on the Russian border" as a security threat. As a response, the doctrine calls for developing cooperation with other BRICS countries, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The document points to this as one of the "main tasks of the Russian Federation to contain and prevent armed conflicts."