WASHINGTON: Russia has been among the countries that could challenge U.S interests, according to the U.S. 2009 National Intelligence Strategy (NIS).

The NIS, a four-year blueprint for intelligence services, was released late on Tuesday.

Russia, China, Iran and North Korea have been listed as countries that “have the ability to challenge US interests” not only in traditional ways, such as military force and espionage, but also in “emerging” ways, in particular cyber operations.

“Russia is a U.S. partner in important initiatives such as securing fissile material and combating nuclear terrorism, but it may continue to seek avenues for reasserting power and influence in ways that complicate U.S. interests,” NIS says.

However, the U.S. intelligence does not rule out cooperation with these states.

“There also may be opportunities for cooperation with many nation-states, including those cited above, in support of common interests that include promoting rule of law, representative government, free and fair trade, energy, and redress of troublesome transnational issues,” the report says.

For the first time, enhancing cyber security was included in the list of national priorities. Though the document itself did not name any particular country that could be “a cyber threat,” Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair mentioned Russia and China in connection with the issue.

“China is very aggressive in the cyber-world, so too is Russia and others,” he said.