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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin: New Security Concept Needed




Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who held a series of top-level meetings Tuesday, said Moscow had to change its security priorities to respond to the Kosovo crisis, bombs in Russia and fighting in Chechnya.


At a meeting of the Security Council, an influential Kremlin advisory body, he said Russia's security concept had become outmoded. The council adopted a draft outlining new priorities.


The recent crises at home and abroad have made Russia "reflect on the basic concepts of national security," Russian news agencies quoted Putin as saying. "But we can take no further steps without a political understanding of the priorities for Russia's security."


Russian defense chiefs are already fine-tuning a new military doctrine.


Council official Vladimir Sherstyuk said members had adopted a 38-page draft setting down security priorities "more boldly and clearly." He said they had also discussed increasing the military budget to ensure servicemen "do not have to go begging."


Putin then held a meeting with four of his predecessors and with leaders of parliamentary parties.


The former prime ministers Putin met were Yevgeny Primakov, Sergei Stepashin and Sergei Kiriyenko - all now in opposition to the Kremlin - and Viktor Chernomyrdin. Chechnya appeared to have been at the top of their agenda.


After the meeting, Putin described their discussions as "meaningful" and said there was general agreement on the basic issues.


"Statesmen must correctly understand that the Chechen crisis cannot be used as a testing ground for personal ambitions," he said.


Kiriyenko praised the current prime minister's stance on Chechnya.


Putin "has assumed responsibility for the events in Chechnya and is not trying to distance himself from the military [leadership]," Kiriyenko said at a news conference.


He warned against "quarrels and intrigues" in dealing with the North Caucasus. Russia's future depends on "acting as a united front" there, Kiriyenko said.