* Military doctrine to be updated this year
* Aide says Russia is targeted of unprecedented propaganda
* 'Unacceptable' for NATO to expand any closer to Russia
(Adds quotes, context, Lavrov, Estonia)
By Mark Trevelyan
MOSCOW, Sept 2 Russia will update its military
doctrine this year to take account of new threats including the
Ukraine crisis, a Kremlin security aide said on Tuesday in
forceful comments that highlighted a deepening Cold War-style
standoff with NATO.
Mikhail Popov, deputy head of the Kremlin's advisory
Security Council, told RIA news agency that changes were being
drafted in the light of risks connected with the Arab Spring,
the Syrian civil war and the conflict between the Ukrainian
government and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.
The doctrine was last updated in 2010, when Russia
identified NATO enlargement as a national threat and reaffirmed
its right to use nuclear weapons if its existence was
Back then, Popov said, "a number of top officials accused
the leadership of our country of old thinking and declared that
NATO is not Russia's enemy and will never attack Russia.
"But is that the case? They assured us of their good
intentions, but the actions of recent years show something
In comments published two days before NATO holds a summit
that will be dominated by the Ukraine crisis, Popov said Russia
was the target of an unprecedented propaganda war.
"Russia is being deliberately painted as the enemy, and its
political course is seen as new threat to NATO," he said.
Cold War foes for more than 40 years, Russia and NATO tried
to build closer ties through a partnership programme in the thaw
that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
But relations later soured with the alliance's gradual
eastward expansion, taking in three former Soviet republics and
a clutch of countries that were once Moscow's allies in the
communist Warsaw Pact.
Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis, Russia has beefed
up its forces and stepped up exercises near the Ukrainian
border, while NATO has conducted manoeuvres in eastern Europe.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen last week
described as "hollow" Moscow's denials that it has sent troops
and weaponry into Ukraine to rescue the pro-Russian separatists
from the brink of defeat and help them open a new front.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that
Ukraine's announcement last week that it would seek NATO
membership was aimed at undermining efforts to end the conflict
in the east of the former Soviet republic.
In a further development certain to upset Moscow, the Baltic
state of Estonia, which borders Russia, said it wanted NATO to
set up permanent bases on its territory.
RIA quoted Popov as saying: "We consider that the defining
factor in relations with NATO remains the unacceptability for
Russia of plans to move the military infrastructure of the
alliance towards our borders, including via enlargement of the
He cited U.S. missile defence plans in Europe as a further
danger to Russia's security. Washington says the aim is to
defend against threats from countries like Iran, but Moscow says
a U.S. missile shield could be used to neutralise its own
missiles, upsetting the nuclear balance.
(Additional reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Andrew