According to presidential national security advisor Yuri Baturin, Russia today faces no immediate external threats. Baturin said Russia should take advantage of this breathing space to pursue two domestic tasks essential to the nation’s well-being: construction of a constitutional system, and economic revival. Baturin’s views are drawn from what he described as a draft document on Russian national security from 1996 to 2000. The short time span is seen as a "transition period" following the disintegration of the Soviet Union and Russia’s presumed attempt to redefine its security interests. Baturin expects the draft document to be approved in the first half of this year following its review by the Russian Security Council. Domestic threats to security are said to include the situation in Chechnya, organized crime, corruption, economic and political dislocation, the failure to pursue military reform, and the deterioration of the defense industrial base. The document is not, however, short on external threats, listing such threats articulated regularly by Moscow over the past several years as NATO enlargement, efforts to isolate Russia politically and to exploit it economically, and violation of the rights of Russian speakers living outside the Russian Federation. (6)
Russia to Sell Weapons-Grade Uranium to Europe.