O. A. Belkov
Strictly speaking, the National Security Contept of the Russian Federation is not a legislative act: it
does not contain direct prescriptions of immediate application. The text of the Concept underlines that
authorities of bodies and service departments of national security, their composition, principles, and
adherence to precedents, are defined by the corresponding legislative acts of the Russian Federation.
Nevertheless, the document, approved by the President’s Edict, is very important for regulation of
relations in the sphere of security and defence of the state. It formulates the most important trends in
the state policy of the Russian Federation defining content and forms of the corresponding activity of
state power and administrative bodies.
The main thing is that the Concept adapts characteristics of Russia’s national interest and existing
threats to the same measures to provide national security with consideration of the changed national
and international economic and social conditions. In letter and intent, it makes the Russian Federation
security policy comprehensible and predictable. The document bluntly states that the importance of
military power remains considerable and the level and scale of threats in the military sphere increases
when efforts of particular countries to weaken Russian positions are stirred up.
Keeping this in mind, the Concept qualifies facilitation of military security as the most important trend
of state activity. The Concept positively rejects the prevalence of the Soviet orientation to force in the
past. The Russian Federation prefers political, diplomatic, economic and other non-military methods in
war and conflict prevention. Moreover, Russia stands for the strengthening of key mechanisms for the
multi-faceted management of world political and economic processes under the aegis of the UN
Security Council for preservation of global and regional stability. It expresses interest in effecting
measures to strengthen trust and stability and to develop new agreements in the field.
Application of military force for effectuation of its own security is strictly limited. In the case of foreign
policy, its application to repulse aggression is possible, specifically when all other measures for crisis
resolution have been exhausted. The internal application of military forces is subject to strict
compliance with Constitutional and Federal laws in the case of threats to the life of national citizens, to
the territorial integrity of the country or to the constitutional organization of the state. Such limitations
are in conformity with provisions of the Security Code related to military and political aspects of
The Concept defines authorities of various state power bodies in forming the security policy according
to the democratic principles of power division, which is of a principle importance. “Wide scale
participation of political parties and public amalgamations in realization of the Concept of National
Security of the Russian Federation” is especially underlined. Yet, mechanisms and forms of such
participation have not been stipulated. It is only mentioned that subjects of the Russian Federation
along with organs of local self-governing should perform measures to engage citizens from public
amalgamations and organizations in providing assistance for solving problems of national security
according to legislation of the Russian Federation. It is not hard to understand that the possibility of
civil control over activities of the state is quite obscure in the proposed wording.