A leading Russian newspaper is citing a top security official as saying Russia is reserving the right to carry out pre-emptive nuclear strikes to safeguard the country in the modern age.

Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev says in Wednesday's Izvestia interview that a sweeping document on military policy will be handed to President Dmitry Medvedev before year-end.

Military analysts say Patrushev is muscle-flexing because what he reveals about the proposed new doctrine suggests it differs little from the current one.

Patrushev says the new rules will allow a "flexible and timely" reaction to conflict situations.

In the same interview he singles out NATO and the United States as threats, and names Russia's troubled North Caucasus region as an internal danger.