Military-economic activities (MEA) are an important factor in ensuring national and military security, as well as their reliability and efficiency. The role of defense and military-economic activities is particularly increasing amidst not merely a financial and economic, but a systemic crisis, and global uncertainty and instability. The situation is aggravated by the difficulties of the transitional world order, a decisive change in technical and economic structures, increased by the competition in the international arena among the leading players in global geopolitics, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. Under these circumstances, each of the players is especially interested in having a kind of «safety belt», an absolute means of deterrence in the face of military power in case of further complication of the international climate or covert attempts to promote the solution of the tasks of expansion and increasing political pressure on opponents and partners. At the same time, a separate issue, particularly for the Russian Federation (RF), is that MEA should be economical, taking into account the problems in the Russian economy, generally limited resources, external sanctions, including those concerning militarytechnical cooperation and partnership ties in the field of high technologies. In addition, defense and military-economic activities are considered to be a competitor for the finances and resources necessary to overcome the crisis and the consequences of COVID-19. Although military expenditures account for only a little more than 2% of the global gross product (slightly higher for the RF), and within the framework of MEA significant work is carried out in the interests of the civilian economy. In any case, MEA of the RF should be «asymmetric», aimed at solving only the key tasks of national security and defense, and not be tempted to participate in «mirror» arms races.
military-economic activity; military power; transitional world order; instability; national security; defense policy; strategic balance; efficiency and economy; vertical arms race; asymmetric approach; security frontiers; realism.