Medvedev: Russia to use troops abroad only in "extreme emergency"

China View (Link) (November 5, 2009)

Russia may decide to use military forces abroad only in exceptional circumstances to protect its citizens, said President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday.

"Such decisions are absolutely extraordinary and will be made only in case of extreme emergency," Medvedev was quoted by news agencies as telling the board of the Federation Council, the upper house of the parliament.

"Our citizens should be protected in any part of the globe and feel the state's protection," he said.

Such decisions should have a legal basis, he added.

Russia's State Duma, the lower house, in late October voted unanimously to pass a bill which the Kremlin said would lay the legal foundation for using troops abroad to prevent aggression by other states and to protect Russian citizens on foreign soil.

The bill is expected to be approved soon by the Federation Council, before it's signed by Medvedev and then becomes law.

Russia's existing law only allows the president to send armed forces to fight terrorism on foreign territories.