The Security Council also discussed the Action Plan to guarantee Russia’s strategic interests in the Caspian region.
After the meeting, the acting president said that he would sign the new Military Doctrine the same day.
A decision was also made to establish the office of a presidential envoy for Caspian problems and a coordination team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to tackle problems of the Caspian region.
As he answered questions from journalists after the Security Council meeting, President Putin called their attention to the fact that the co-ordination team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would include spokesmen not only from different government agencies but also from Russia’s largest energy and transportation companies. The rank of the future presidential envoy for the Caspian will be determined and candidates to the post selected after a new Cabinet is formed.
The Security Council instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to show more initiative in consultations with the Caspian countries. Russia is determined to cooperate with all Caspian projects participants and respects their interests, but will not overlook its own interests, Mr Putin stressed.
The acting president also discussed prospects for the settlement of the conflict in the Chechen Republic. He said Moscow was ready to start negotiations anytime, if the matter concerned practical steps. As he pointed out, it was not the negotiation process in itself but national security guarantees that were of great importance in this case. It is necessary to create conditions under which no one will ever use Chechnya as a bridgehead to attack Russia.
Although Moscow is determined to continue its practical efforts for political settlement in Chechnya, and will cooperate with all those who are ready to contribute to solving the problem, it will go on using its Armed Forces and law enforcement bodies to ensure regional security.
As Mr Putin has stressed, the conditions Russia is advancing to start political negotiations stay unchanged: immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and handing over the militants.
The acting president also answered a question about cooperating with Belarus in the military sphere. In establishing a Russian-Belarusian armed group, Moscow and Minsk proceed from the premise that although the units will coordinate their efforts in some cases, the troops of either country will be subordinate only to their own command.
Vladimir Putin summed up the results of his visits to Minsk, London and Kiev. He said that the issues of establishing a Union State, military technological partnership, and coordination of the two countries’ economic policies were the focus of his negotiations in Belarus.
European security and bilateral economic cooperation dominated the negotiations in the UK, while in Ukraine the spotlight was on energy problems and issues concerning the Black Sea Fleet.