Russia’s security strategy contemplates ‘powerful methods’

MOSCOW (AP) – A revised version of Russia’s national security strategy indicates that it may use forceful methods to respond to hostile actions by foreign countries, a senior Kremlin official said in remarks released on Monday,

Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Presidential Security Council, said the document provides that Moscow could take “symmetrical and asymmetrical measures to thwart or avoid unfriendly actions that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.”

In an interview published Monday by the government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta, it is “mainly special economic measures, but also coercive and restrictive methods if necessary”.

Patrushev said that compared to the previous version of the strategy released in December 2015, the revised version of the document also emphasized information security as one of the top priorities.

Russia’s relations with the United States and its allies were at post-Cold War lows following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea Peninusla from Ukraine in 2014, accusations of Russian interference in the elections, hacking attacks and other irritants.

The revised national security strategy comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares for a summit with US President Joe Biden scheduled for June 16 in Geneva.

Patrushev, who spoke with Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, to discuss preparations for the summit last week, noted their conversation was “constructive and productive.” He added that Moscow and Washington could find “mutually acceptable solutions for certain problems”, but did not elaborate.

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