ST PETERSBURG (Russia) - The United States' quest to dominate the oceans and NATO's expansion are the biggest threats facing Russia, according to a new Russian naval doctrine signed by President Vladimir Putin on Sunday.
The 55-page document said the "main challenges and threats" to national security and development were Washington's "strategic objective to dominate the world's oceans" and NATO military infrastructure moving towards Russia's borders.
"Russia's independent internal and external policy faces counter-measures from the United States and its allies, who aim to preserve their dominance in the world, including its oceans," said the doctrine, signed on Russian Navy Day.
Moscow views the Western military alliance -- the Soviet Union's enemy during the Cold War -- as an existential threat, using Ukraine's membership hopes to justify its offensive on February 24.
The doctrine said Moscow will seek to strengthen its leading position in exploring the Arctic and its mineral resources and maintain "strategic stability" there by bolstering the potential of the northern and Pacific fleets.
It also mentioned Russia's desire to develop a "safe and competitive" sea route from Europe to Asia, known as the Northeast Passage, via the country's Arctic coastline and ensure it worked throughout the year.
"Today's Russia cannot exist without a strong fleet... and will defend its interests in the world's oceans firmly and with resolution," the doctrine added.