The Secretary of the Security Council of Russia has provided his views on a number of national security issues, including the importance of preserving Russia’s nuclear arsenal against potential adversaries.
Nikolay Patrushev, commenting on how atomic weapons play more of a political role than a military one, said the consequences of even a “limited nuclear intervention” are so catastrophic that it makes the usage of such weapons absolutely impossible.
Nuclear arsenals therefore continue to serve as an effective deterrent against any possible large-scale war, Patrushev told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper in an interview.
Patrushev spoke candidly on the nature and source of threats to Russian security, and what those challenges mean for the country.
“We…understand that the atomic weapons of leading western counties are aimed mainly against Russia,” he said. “In these conditions – and given the insufficient strength of Russia’s conventional armed forces – the preservation of the nuclear potential is a priority task.”
While ruling out the possibility of total nuclear disarmament, Patrushev nevertheless explained that a new generation of weapon systems – including anti-ballistic missiles – is changing the nuclear calculus.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin spoke on the threat of mobile, naval-based elements of the US missile defense system “suddenly appearing” on Russia’s coastline. Such an event would trigger “the harshest reaction from Russia," he warned.
Rogozin said that Russia is now taking definite steps to counter US warships “equipped with the Aegis integrated naval weapons system.”
Moscow has frequently warned of “another arms race” unless a bilateral agreement is reached on NATO’s plans for missile defense near the Russian border.
Patrushev continued that theme in his interview, underlining the technological advances that have changed the face of war.
Not long ago, any state that possessed nuclear weapons was undoubtedly a “dominating force” in the international arena, he noted. However, in a clear reference to US plans for a naval-based missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, Patrushev mentioned that a new generation of weapons is being developed, and that “the United States has proven successful in this field of research.”
Patrushev explained that Russia, which has seen success in developing state-of-the-art technology, had not given enough attention to that field of research. As new weaponry appears, the US appears to be reconsidering the role of strategic nuclear arms in the fulfillment of a “geopolitical idea of world supremacy,” the security official added.
Unfortunately, as political events over the last year have proven, challenges to Russia from the West are not limited to the realm of military technologies.
“Last fall, Russia became (the target of) informational, organizational and other external leverages of interference into its internal affairs,” the Security Chief noted.
Patrushev talked about the mass protests that followed parliamentary elections last December and the presidential elections in March this year. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets amid allegations from the political opposition that the election results were fraudulent.
While acknowledging the “constitutional right” of the demonstrators to assemble and protest, the Security Chief said that such actions should be carried out within the framework of the law. Unfortunately, this was not always the case.
Some members of the opposition and radical groups attempted to use the street movement as an opportunity to “provoke mass disorder,” he noted.
In response to these activities both at home and abroad, the state was forced to take measures to maintain order and stability.
The Russian government adopted amendments to the legal code and “halted activities of a number of NGOs, some of which were directly financed by the US Department of State,” Patrushev said.
In September, for example, Russian officials informed USAID that their services were no longer required.
According to the Foreign Ministry, USAID was attempting to manipulate the political winds inside the country.
“The character of the agency's work…did not always comply with the declared aims of cooperation in bilateral humanitarian cooperation,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website. “We are talking about issuing grants in an attempt to affect the course of the political processes in the country, including elections at different levels and institutions in civil society."
Steps undertaken by the Russian government to offset the damage “proved to be efficient” and the law enforcement officials managed – in a legal manner – to provide for the safety of the population, he added.
Patrushev indicated the leaders of the protests and their foreign supporters will continue in their efforts to wreak havoc on the Russian people.
“The situation is absolutely clear,” he said. “The ‘directors’ and sponsors of the anti-government rallies are known and they are not going to drop their plans.”
Despite their efforts, there are no preconditions for a color revolution in Russia, Patrushev assured. National security “will remain stable” in 2013.