Russian Vital Interests and Western Security

The fall 1993 crisis in Moscow resulted in more than the forceful disbandment of the old Russian parliament. It marked Moscow’s rejection of the principle of integration with the West, ending one key stage in the debate within Boris Yeltsin’s government over the underlying principle of Russia’s security policies.

It is now clear that Yeltsin made several concessions to Russia’s military leaders during his predawn sojourn to the Ministry of Defense on October 4, 1993. In exchange for help in suppressing the parliament, military leaders apparently demanded, among other things, acceptance of their position regarding the essence of Russian security policies: that Russia’s vital interests–not cooperation with the West–must be the basis on which Moscow’s security decisions are made.

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