Friday, December 26, 2014

THEATRE OF WAR & ECONOMICS: Putin Maneuvers Against European And American Aggression - Russia's New Military Doctrine Lists NATO And The U.S. As MAJOR FOREIGN THREATS, Counteract NATO's Boosted Presence In The Black Sea; Ruble Sees A Full Week Of Recovery!

AFP Photo / Natalia Kolesnikova

December 26, 2014 - RUSSIA
- Russia has adopted an updated version of its military doctrine, which reflects the emergence of new threats against its national security. NATO military buildup and American Prompt Global Strike concept are listed among them.

The new doctrine was approved on Friday by President Vladimir Putin. Its core remains unchanged from the previous version. The Russian military remains a defensive tool which the country pledges to use only as a last resort.

Also unchanged are the principles of the use of nuclear weapons which Russia adheres to. Their primary goal is to deter potential enemies from attacking Russia, but it would use them to protect itself from a military attack – either nuclear or conventional – threatening its existence.

The new sections of the doctrine outline the threat Russia sees in NATO’s expansion and military buildup and the fact that the alliance is taking upon itself “global functions realized with violation of international law.”

The doctrine lists among major foreign military threats “the creation and deployment of global strategic antiballistic missile systems that undermines the established global stability and balance of power in nuclear missile capabilities, the implementation of the ‘prompt strike’ concept, intent to deploy weapons in space and deployment of strategic conventional precision weapons.”

The Yury Dolgoruky nuclear-powered submarine.(RIA Novosti / Pavel Kononov)

Another new point in the doctrine is that one of the Russian military’s goals is to protect national interests in the Arctic region.

The document also points to the threat of destabilization countries bordering Russia or its allies and deployment of foreign troops such nations as a threat to national security.

Domestically, Russia faces threats of “actions aimed at violent change of the Russian constitutional order, destabilization of the political and social environment, disorganization of the functioning of governmental bodies, crucial civilian and military facilities and informational infrastructure of Russia,” the doctrine says.

Moscow sees international cooperation with countries sharing its effort to increase security, particularly members of BRICS, the OSCE, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and others as the key to preventing military conflicts, the doctrine states.

Traditional threats that Russia must deal with mentioned in the doctrine include extremism and terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and rocket technology and actions of foreign intelligence services.

The document notes that modern threats are increasingly drifting from a military nature to informational, and states that the likelihood of anyone launching a fully-fledged war against Russia is decreasing.

Russia to counteract NATO's boosted presence in Black Sea – envoy

The USS Destroyer Donald Cook. (AFP Photo / Petrut Calinescu)

Moscow is being forced to come up with countermeasures in response to NATO's increased presence in the Black Sea, Russia’s envoy to the alliance said following an announcement on the arrival of another US warship in the area.

“Unfortunately, the Black Sea is becoming a place where non-regional powers have a permanent presence. What they are doing there is unclear,” Aleksandr Grushko said.

“Of course, we will take the necessary countermeasures,” he continued.

Grushko also criticized the North Atlantic Alliance for stationing high alert forces near Russia's borders by holding frequent military drills with counties including Poland and the Baltic states.

Russia’s new military doctrine, adopted on December 26, stresses that the country’s army remains a defensive tool, but lists NATO's military buildup and the United States' Prompt Global Strike concept as main security threats.

USS Donald Cook.(Reuters / Bogdan Cristel)

The USS Donald Cook is scheduled to boost NATO's fleet in the Black Sea on Friday.

“Donald Cook's presence in the Black Sea is meant to reassure and at the same time demonstrate our commitment to work closely with NATO allies in order to enhance maritime security," Cmdr. Charles Hampton, the ship's commanding officer, said in a statement.

This is the second time the USS Donald Cook has entered the Black Sea since the start of the Ukraine crisis which began in spring 2014.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer was previously stationed in the area in April.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) reviews ships of Russian Black Sea fleet during a visit to the Crimean port of Sevastopol on May 9, 2014.
(AFP Photo / Alexey Druzhinin)

NATO sent additional ships to the Black Sea after Russia’s reunification with the Republic of Crimea in March.

The USS Vella Gulf, USS Ross, USS Truxton, and the USS Taylor – as well as warships from other NATO member states – were spotted in the area.

In July, NATO deployed a total of nine vessels to the Back Sea, setting a record in the post-Soviet period.

Despite the Montreux Convention of 1936 allowing warships of non-Black Sea states to stay in the area for no more than 21 days, the alliance has managed to secure its presence by constantly rotating vessels.

Ruble recovers, as big exporters ordered to behave

AFP Photo / Alexander Nemenov

The ruble has seen a full week of recovery after its drastic 20 percent drop on December 16 dubbed as ‘Black Tuesaday.’ This was triggered by the call from the Russian government for businessmen to sell currency earnings.

The Russian ruble closed Friday session at 54 against the US dollar, which compares to the average of 56 on Monday.

“We are now seeing how the ruble is strengthening. It is now approaching, in my view has already approached, the area of a balanced rate, which is also called a fundamental one,” Russia’s Economy Minister Aleksey Ulyukaev said Friday in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV.

A drastic drop in the ruble’s exchange rate has triggered some of Russia’s biggest exporters in agriculture and energy to either accumulate foreign currency earnings or increase sales overseas.

In agriculture, increased exports of grain have caused a shortage within Russia which also pushed prices up.

To balance the market, the Russian government ordered the introduction Thursday of a 15 percent plus €7.5 export duty on wheat from February 1, 2015. The duty was calculated so the price is no less than €35 per ton.

As for oil companies, they started hoarding foreign currency earnings from selling crude which also poses risks to the domestic economy, as the supply was low compared to the increased demand.

After the CBR and a number of businesses raised concerns over the currency risks, President Putin ordered the Government Issue guidelines for all exporting companies to sell their currency earnings.

On December 23 the government urged the five largest state-owned exporting companies including Rosneft and Gazprom to bring the amount of their net foreign currency assets to an amount not exceeding the level of October 1, 2014.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Thursday the weakening period of the ruble has stopped and the national currency is seeing a strengthening trend.- RT News.

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