NATO and the United States are Russia’s main maritime threats, according to an updated naval doctrine signed by President Vladimir Putin on July 31.
The Russian president signed the doctrine during Navy Day celebrations in St. Petersburg where he also said Russia’s navy will soon be equipped with powerful “Zircon” hypersonic cruise missiles.
Upon signing the new decree, Putin vowed to protect Russia’s borders “firmly and by all means.”
According to the doctrine, America’s “course towards dominance in the World Ocean” and NATO’s movement closer toward Russia’s borders are major security threats to Russia.
Navy ‘Constantly Being Improved’Elsewhere on Sunday, Putin stressed that the navy’s ability to respond to threats with “lightning speed” was key to protecting Russia’s sovereignty and freedom, adding that the country’s naval capabilities are “constantly being improved.”
The president also vowed that Russia’s navy would receive “Zircon” hypersonic missile systems within the next few months and the frigate Admiral Gorshkov will be the first to be fitted with the weapons.
Hypersonic weapons can travel at nine times the speed of sound. Russian officials have confirmed that the nation’s navy has conducted a number of test-launches of the Zircon from warships and submarines over the past year.
The location of their deployment would depend on the “interests of ensuring the security of Russia,” Putin said.
Elsewhere, the doctrine states that Russia’s priority is to develop strategic and naval cooperation with India as well as wider cooperation with Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and other states in the region.
It also acknowledges that Russia currently does not have enough navy bases globally.
The new doctrine is effective immediately.
During his speech on Sunday, Putin did not mention Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, although the newly-signed doctrine does envisage a “comprehensive strengthening of Russia’s geopolitical position” in the Black and Azov seas.