June 29, 2009
Answers of President of the Russian Federation D.A.Medvedev to Questions from
Russian Journalists during His Official Visit to Namibia……………………………01
Address by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov at the Opening of the
OSCE Annual Security Review Conference…………………………………………07
Answers of President of the Russian Federation D.A.Medvedev to Questions from
Russian Journalists during His Official Visit to Namibia, Windhoek, June 25,
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV:
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to begin by asking a question. Can you
believe that we are here, this far south in Africa?
And did you know that the area of Namibia is
equivalent to the area of Ukraine and Belarus
combined? Whereas population density is
equivalent to that of Mongolia.
REPLY: You’ve been doing your homework.
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Of course I have.
QUESTION: We also did some homework.
Our country has a history of relations with African
nations. Before, there had been some talk of
providing non-repayable aid. How would you
formulate Russia’s current policy in this respect?
How advantageous are these contacts? And naturally, we would be interested in
hearing about your first impressions of Africa itself.
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Thank you.
Our policy on these matters will be very friendly, but at the same time, pragmatic.
Let me remind you that the Russian Federation, like its predecessor, the Soviet
Union, has always held a very friendly position toward African nations. We have
always helped them in gaining their independence and fighting to create their own
At the same time, we do not have a painful, sombre colonial history, unlike many
European countries. We do not have such a history, and I think that, to an extent,
this also shapes African countries’ relations toward our nation.
Indeed, in recent years, there have been some changes in how things have
developed. Our foreign policy has taken shape. In the 1990s, we gave less attention
to faraway continents such as Africa and Latin America, but now, it is our
obligation to do so. These nations are kindred spirits, and we have indeed provided
them with aid. They are fast-developing nations, but at the same time, they have
many problems. It is no coincidence that Africa always comes up during talks at G8
summits (in an expanded format), G20 summits, and other platforms as an issue that
demands a rapid and adequate response from the global community and from
individual countries. This includes assistance programmes and other projects.
As for my current visit to Africa, which is not yet finished, it bears historic
overtones and carries a fairly pragmatic agenda, because we have separate, positive
commercial programmes with every country we’ve visited. I am not going to give
any names now, since there has been coverage on this matter, but I will say that
major Russian companies which are interested in investment development and
would like to do business are already present in Africa. Take a look at our major
players, which include both state and private companies: Gazprom, ALROSA,
NOVATEK, and many other companies that are currently participating in the
establishment of industries in Africa, which have contracted either factories or
deposits. And clearly, this is not charity work, but rather, the development of
businesses whose goal is to be profitable, but which are also advantageous for our
African partners. I feel that we need more projects of this kind.
There is currently a great deal of interest in Africa, and there are representatives
here from all the major international players. The People’s Republic of China, the
United States, and the European Union are working actively here. Are we any
worse? We must do the same, especially since we have many close, trusted friends
whom we have truly helped and who are ready to develop relations with us, not
through a strictly charitable agenda, but on a mutually beneficial basis. This is
something that we will certainly work on.
As for my own personal impressions, they are quite strong and powerful, since this
is my first time in Africa, and this continent can’t help but impress visitors with its
vastness and its variations in climate, cultures, and traditions. We have travelled
from Egypt in the north of Africa and the Middle East to the southern part of the
continent. We have crossed the equator and we have gone from a hot summer to a
winter that is cold by local standards – it is only 20 degrees Celsius during the day,
and temperatures drop as low as just zero degrees at night. I think that many of us
may not have been prepared for this, including myself. In the evening, I might need
to go out in my suit, but it’s cold out, zero degrees.
Clearly, though, this just goes to show the unique opportunities that exist in Africa.
But at the same time, you come to see how many problems exist here. Look at the
figures often brought up on hunger (perhaps some people have become numb to
them). They are horrifying and saddening. A child dies of hunger every five seconds
and there is an enormous amount of infectious diseases that are very difficult to
fight. And Africa awaits our support. There are many people living here, and they,
too, have the right to a normal life.
Wealthier countries are obligated to pay back their debts to Africa, not in the form
of basic aid (although that is also necessary), but rather, by developing various
institutions and creating a variety of companies. If this gets done, then Africa will
become one of the most actively-developing continents on the planet, internal
conflicts will cease, many conflicts will be resolved, and development will become
stable. We are very much counting on it.
QUESTION: Your trip to Africa and your speech in Cairo followed the speech by
US President Barack Obama in Cairo, which drew a very positive response. After
the G8 summit, Barack Obama will return to Africa once again.
Does your visit imply that Russia is determined to compete seriously with the
United States for Africa’s resources? And are we too late in our return to Africa?
What advantages do we have in competing with the United States and China?
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: To answer your question on being late, I can tell you
honestly that we are almost too late. We should have begun working with our
African partners earlier, especially since our ties remained continuous with many of
them, representing decades of developing friendly relations.
Yesterday, we were in Nigeria. Our diplomatic ties with that nation have existed for
nearly fifty years. We have maintained relations with Namibia’s leading political
party – SWAPO – which fought for the country’s independence, for forty years.
As for competition, I do not think that there should be any competition between
countries, but it is quite clear that there should be competition between companies.
Competitiveness is the driving force of human progress. Those who provide the best
conditions, including economic conditions, will succeed. We do not feel jealous
when we see our partners visiting Africa, but at the same time, we would also like to
promote our own interests here; we would like to advance Russian companies. This
is normal for any government. It is probably good that more attention is being given
to this continent, and it will most likely help Africa overall. I think the fact that the
President of the United States is making several visits to Africa will work to the
benefit of Africa itself.
But I want to emphasise again that we would like to see a significant share of
Russian companies in the African market. We have all the historic background and
economic conditions necessary for this.
QUESTION: I have a brief personal question. We have all seen a lot of very
different welcoming ceremonies. What did you think of today’s ceremony, with all
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: I was just about ready to join them, but in the end,
knowing that this is a state visit, I held back. I asked the President of Namibia if we
could dance. He answered “Yes,” but he himself didn’t dance, so I couldn’t quite
bring myself to do it, although the dancers’ energy was really contagious.
This may be an element of national character, and we may see it as somewhat
exotic. But at the same time, it demonstrates cultural diversity. Even in a country
with a relatively small population, such as Namibia, there are many different ethnic
groups with different, sometimes independent cultures.
As we travel through Africa, we see a variety of different cultures, beliefs, ways of
life, and different customs, all on one continent. Africa is very diverse, and that may
be the key conclusion that stems from one’s first visit here. Our perception of Africa
– created by well-known Russian children’s authors who wrote, “Children, don’t go
promenading through Africa” – is that it is a uniform continent. But in fact, it is
very different from place to place. In some places, it is very rich; in others, it is
devastatingly poor. The climate is very different, and the people are very different.
And at the same time, there exists a kind of self-awareness, a sense of identifying
oneself as an inhabitant of the African continent. In my opinion, this is a good
thing.QUESTION: Recently, there have been reports that Kyrgyzstan and the
United States signed an agreement on the use of the Manas Air Base. Could you
comment on this agreement? How do you perceive its prospects?
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Naturally, this agreement is fully within Kyrgyzstan’s
rights. At the same time, I must mention that a little while ago, the President of
Kyrgyzstan came to the Russian Federation; we met before the SCO summit and
discussed issues regarding joint anti-terrorism efforts, including issues of assisting
freight transfers. This is something that our American partners have requested. We
made our decisions a long time ago; we are helping our partners, other Central
Asian countries are helping, and Kyrgyzstan is willing to do this. That is fine, I
think this is for the common good; it helps the joint fight against terrorism.
But aside from that, my understanding of the decisions made by the President of
Kyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyz parliament was that for various reasons, their military
base would cease operations, while new operations in assisting freight transfers
would take place elsewhere, without resorting to any kind of immunity inherent to
military personnel, and without the presence of a large number of military men,
using mainly civilian personnel. Thus, this operation will be very similar to the one
we are carrying out, which also assists freight transfers to help the fight against
terrorism. That is how I understand it.
QUESTION: In the statement you made in the Hague, you said that we are ready for
a significant reduction in the number of strategic warheads and missiles. What
would you say is the maximum limit for these types of reductions?
And another question. Russia firmly monitors the coordination of strategic nuclear
forces and ballistic missile defence. The Americans have already rejected this
coordination. Do you think that you will be able to find some kind of compromise
on this issue during your meeting?
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: I would like to make just one small correction. We talked
about this issue in Amsterdam, not in the Hague; although these cities are close to
one another, they are, as you know, not the same.
Now, getting back to the latter part of your question: for the moment, nobody has
closed any doors. And despite the fact that I made this statement, and that an
expanded version of it has been published, we are continuing to discuss these topics
with our American partners ahead of my colleague Barack Obama’s visit. This
includes discussions on coordinating issues of ballistic missile defence and limiting
strategic offensive weapons.
As for the maximum limit in reductions, this matter is still under discussion, but in
order for our colleagues and you yourselves to have a better idea of what we are
talking about, I specifically outlined some parameters. For warheads, it is lower than
what is provided for in the corresponding Moscow Treaty [the Strategic Offensive
Reductions Treaty, or SORT]. For missiles, we area ready to make a fairly decisive,
large-scale reduction, cutting them down to a fraction of what we have now.
But this matter is still under discussion, so I do not feel it right to go into detail
about it right now. Still, the comments I just made should allow you to get a sense
of the figures in question, after some simple calculations. All of the analysts have
already done so.
QUESTION: I want to come back to the situation at home, in Ingushetia. The region
has seen a number of tragic events in general of late. What role do you think the
neighbouring republics can play in stabilising the situation in Ingushetia and in the
region in general? How do you think the situation will develop there?
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: What happened in Ingushetia, including the attack on
President of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, is a continuation of terrorist activities
carried out by the remnants of bandit groups that are in part sponsored from abroad.
This sounds like a routine explanation, but this is the way it is.
Our policy in this area remains unchanged (I stated it when I was in Dagestan) – we
need to be pitiless in exterminating them [the bandits]. But this is a combat that
must be fought through a variety of means. Of course, the entire country is
interested in this combat’s success, especially the republics in this in this region that
still has its share of problems. This includes Ingushetia, Chechnya, Dagestan,
Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachayevo-Cherkesia – all the Caucasus republics. We
therefore all need to unite in order to rid ourselves of this disease for once and for
These kinds of operations are underway now. Why did these bandits attack
Yevkurov after all? Because he was taking real action – starting to build up relations
with the republic’s elite and establishing dialogue with the moderate opposition, not
with thugs, of course. He began carrying out joint operations together with
neighbouring Chechnya and its head, Ramzan Kadyrov. These operations were a big
success. I will not list all that was achieved and how many bandits were eliminated,
but the figures are impressive and are public knowledge.
It is my view, therefore, that we need to continue this work just as resolutely and
effectively as has been the case recently. But at the same time, we need to learn
from what has happened and take a new look around, analyse the situation. This
work will continue. This is a task for the whole country, of course, and in particular
for the regions of the Caucasus.
QUESTION : Mr President, many people are looking to you for new anti-
corruption initiatives. Is there a basis for these expectations and what possible steps
could we hope to see in this area?
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: This is a good question. I will not list the results achieved
so far or announce what kinds of operations are planned, because there are a lot of
details regarding planned operations that it is better not to divulge in this way. After
all, the fight against corruption is part of the fight against crime. It is not just about
dealing with individual civil servants who have failed in their duties or take bribes.
It is a fight against crime. Corruption is a serious crime, and this needs to be
uppermost in our minds.
But as far as our current plans are concerned, we have work to complete in several
areas regarding the package of anti-corruption measures that were drawn up and
approved on my initiative last year and this year.
In particular, work is underway on drafting a presidential executive order on
checking the information civil servants provide to the tax authorities on their
income, assets, means of transport and other items they have to declare. We did not
think up these rules so that people could make a report and then just keep doing
what they have always done. We know our people’s quick-witted nature and sense
of cunning, and we know that people can always find a way to hide things if they
want. This is why there has to be at least a selective check of these declarations to
make a comparison between people’s real and declared assets and income.
I think this is important work, but we need to operate within a strict legal framework
and respect human rights at the same time. Civil servants are people too and have all
the rights accorded by the Constitution. We need to work effectively and achieve
results. This is something we need to do, but this is just a part of our efforts in this
area. There will be other measures too.
QUESTION: Coming back to Africa, yesterday, during the discussion on the Trans-
Sahara gas pipeline, the Gazprom representative said that they will build the first
main gas pipeline, and we heard the words: “whoever is on the valves is the king”.
Could you comment on Russia’s plans in this respect? Is Russia perhaps looking to
control gas supplies from Nigeria to Europe, and is there not the danger of
something like the Ukrainian situation emerging in Africa?
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: This is a good question. As far as the words you quoted
go, every point of view has its right to exist, no doubt, but I think these words are
not entirely correct, because even our recent experience with Ukraine shows that
whoever controls the bolt is still a long way from controlling the whole situation.
There are obligations and international reputation to keep in mind, and there is
money too, whether in the form of payments made or of debts unsettled. And so I
would say these words send out a one-sided and even primitive sort of message.
But as far as big projects go, including the Trans-Sahara gas pipeline, yes, this is an
area in which the Russian Federation is interested. We are interested in these
projects not because we want to control the bolts and valves and run the show, so to
speak. We have enough affairs of our own to manage at home. Africa has its own
specific situation, and we have great respect for the sovereignty African countries
have achieved. We helped them in every way we could to achieve this sovereignty,
and they do not need us to sort out their affairs. We are ready to help them in the
United Nations, help them in reforming the UN itself, and we are ready to work on a
But this is an area of natural interest to Russia because we are the world’s biggest
gas producer. We have the longest gas pipeline network, the longest pipelines, and
the greatest experience in building and operating gas pipelines. Therefore, when we
offer our services this is not a means of political domination - it is business as usual.
We will continue to work in this way, and not just in Africa. This is an area we are
familiar with, and an area of interest to our country.
Thank you. I wish you all a good rest. Take care not to catch cold, because the
temperature drops quickly here, and be careful with animals. All the best!
June 25, 2009
* * *
Address by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov at the Opening of
the OSCE Annual Security Review Conference, Vienna, June 23, 2009
Hard security challenges in the Euro-Atlantic region. The role of the OSCE in
creating a sustainable and effective security system
Honorable Madam Chairperson,
Honorable Mister Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank you for the invitation to address the present Conference, which we see as the
chief OSCE review event in the domain of the “first basket” – the hard security
Of course, we remember that this Conference was established on US initiative at a
critical moment in our common history – after the tragic events of September 11, 2001
when the world came face to face with the threat of international terrorism.
Today we are faced with no less dangerous global challenges that require truly
collective responses, but in order to provide the basis for seeking those responses we
will have to cope with the systemic drawbacks of Euro-Atlantic security.
After the end of the Cold War and the crumbling of the bipolar system that divided
EU/NATO nations and Comecon/Warsaw Pact states, a sustainable and effective
system which would embrace states of the West and East never came to fruition.
The chief systemic drawback consists in that over the 20 years we’ve been unable to
devise guarantees of the observance of the principle of indivisible security. Today
we’re witnessing the infringement of a basic principle of relations between states that
was laid down in the 1999 Charter for European Security and in the documents of the
Russia-NATO Council – the commitment to not secure oneself at others’ expense.
This principle has deep historical, philosophical and moral roots.
230 years ago, in 1781, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant called this principle
the Categorical Imperative. He urged that we should always treat others in the way we
expect them to treat us. On June 4 in Cairo US President Barack Obama reminded us
of this biblical wisdom.
The same principle was laid down in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the
Citizen of the times of the Great French Revolution of 1789. Article 4 of this
Declaration reads: La liberte consiste a pouvoir faire tout ce qui ne nuit pas a autrui
(Liberty consists in being able to do anything that does not harm others).
The chief meaning of all these formulas consists in the second part of the sentence
from Article 4 of the Declaration of the times of the Great French Revolution. No
person must act in a way that causes harm to others. Universal security and harmony
can only be achieved through the observance of this principle. This is applicable both
to relations between people and to relations between states.
President Dmitry Medvedev, putting forth the initiative for a European Security
Treaty, pointed out that we proceed from our principled stand on the need to ensure
unity of the whole Euro-Atlantic space. With the end of the Cold War the reasons for
its continued division fell away. In principle all our European partners represented
here, the United States and Canada are supportive of this. But, as usual, “the devil is in
the details.” We disagree on how to ensure a unity of Europe that it did not know
practically throughout the entire 20th century.
The problem could have been easily solved and not necessarily through the liquidation
of NATO following dissolution of the Warsaw Treaty Organization. It would have
been enough to consecutively institutionalize and transform the OSCE into a full-
fledged regional organization within the meaning of Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
That is the OSCE would be dealing with the full spectrum of Euro-Atlantic issues and,
above all, ensuring in the region – based on legal commitments – an open collective
security system. Unfortunately, our western partners took a different path not merely
preserving but expanding NATO, which, in George Kennan’s words, was the Western
world’s “biggest mistake” in the last 50 years. These words are often being quoted
today, and not without reason.
Essentially it is about the myopic policy of “nipping off” pieces of former Warsaw
Pact territory with the simultaneous eastward movement; that is to the Russian borders,
the previous dividing line. Not to mention that this process entails elements of
destabilization of the situation in the countries concerned because the drawing into the
alliance now divides society, now encourages ruling regimes to embark on an
irresponsible policy and military adventures. As a result all participants of this process
– on its either side – turn out to be its hostages.
A general security space can’t be built by excluding individual parts from it. Not only
the entire contemporary world, but also the Euro-Atlantic space are multipolar, and
hence we should work as equals, respecting the lawful interests of each other.
Let us be realists: security can be either general or illusory. We will encounter the
ineffectiveness of security systems over and over again if each builds these systems
“only for himself,” proceeding from political expediency and ignoring others’
Herein lies the paradox: The principle of the indivisibility of security is being
professed both on a European level (in the OSCE framework) and within regional
organizations (in NATO documents, for example).
When in Vienna, the representatives of NATO countries readily talk about the
indivisibility of security across the entire space from Vancouver to Vladivostok. In
Brussels, however, the representatives of the same states fix in NATO documents that
the boundaries of indivisible security extend from Vancouver, yet not to Vladivostok
on the Pacific Ocean, but to Bielostock on the Poland-Belarus border.
The collision between pan-European and intra-bloc approaches leads to a
fragmentation of the pan-European space occurring in practice.
Two logical questions arise in this connection:
The first: What are those countries whose territories and populations are artificially
being squeezed out from the indivisible security space by NATO-centric policy to do?
And the second question: To what extent do the commitments to indivisible security
within individual blocs match the commitments to indivisible security across the wider
From the point of view of elementary logic, there can be no reliable first- or second-
rate security. But whereas in the OSCE the principle of indivisible security is a
political commitment, in NATO the same principle has legal force.
An exit from this paradoxical situation suggests itself. Pan-European commitments
should be reinforced by moving them from a political to a legal plane along with
laying the fulfillment of these commitments upon not only individual states but the
international organizations in the Euro-Atlantic area, of which all these states are
Another systemic drawback of the current security system appears to be the gap
between the global character of emerging threats and the narrow group approach to
Such threats abound. They can be tentatively divided into three categories.
Firstly, these are interstate risks stemming from a lack of trust between countries and
from a worsening of the overall atmosphere of international relations.
Secondly, intrastate risks fraught with an escalation of conflicts on national and
religious grounds and with the development of so called frozen conflicts into a hot
stage, as was the case in August 2008 when one of the OSCE participating states
undertook an attempt to solve one of such conflicts by force in violation of its
international obligations to the same OSCE, let alone the United Nations Organization.
And thirdly, non-state risks, the new challenges and threats, the problems of
transfrontier organized crime, including the challenges of international terrorism, illicit
drug trafficking, illegal migration and the trade in humans.
Unfortunately, the international community does not manage to counter any of these
A great number of sub-regional organizations are active in the OSCE space. Their
agendas often overlap and duplicate each other. There is no proper level of
coordination between them. On certain issues the various organizations not only do not
cooperate, but even compete with each other. The result is resource dissipation and the
defocusing of efforts in counteraction against emerging security threats.
This problem was to be solved by the Platform for Cooperative Security, which
speakers before me have already mentioned today. It was adopted at the OSCE summit
in Istanbul in 1999 at the EU countries’ initiative. Unfortunately, the potential of this
document is being insufficiently used. I think the time has come to think of how it can
be made into a tool for the effective coordination of efforts by diverse international
entities working in the field of security in the Euro-Atlantic space.
It is equally regrettable that an inconstancy of priorities often manifests itself in
relations between countries as well as organizations. For many years we have been
watching those priorities form not on the basis of international obligations, joint
assessments and pan-European security interests, but proceeding from a momentary
conjuncture and the so called group “political expediency.”
One example in this regard is the evolution of the attitude of some countries to arms
control instruments, primarily the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.
In the late 1980s and 1990s, when a reduction in conventional arms was being sought
from the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact nations and then Russia, this Treaty was
called the “cornerstone” of European security. The fulfillment of the Treaty and its
adaptation to the changing military-political conditions was the first item of the
But when the task of reducing the heavy weapons of Russia had been solved, and most
Warsaw Pact nations had joined the NATO fold, breaking the system of initial CFE
balances, this theme was pushed to the periphery. Ratification of the Agreement on
Adaptation of the CFE Treaty has been delayed for ten years now under farfetched
pretexts totally unrelated to the Treaty itself.
The stagnation of confidence-building measures is increasing. The Vienna Document
1999 of the Negotiations on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures, which the
OSCE had renewed four times during the 1990s, has undergone no change in the last
ten years, despite many initiatives, including those of the Russian side. It is indicative
that only about half of the provisions of the Vienna Document are really working at
present, and even of this half not all are being fulfilled in good faith.
Another example of inconstant political priorities and “double standards” involves
approaches to conflict settlement. In one case an ethnic conflict is the basis for
recognizing the independence of a territory, moreover a territory which no one
threatened in the last ten years, and in another – the territories whose population in
recent years repeatedly became victim of an armed attack and provocations, are being
denied this right.
We will never be able to create a sustainable security system unless we take into
account the interests of all its participants.
President Medvedev has put forth an initiative to devise a new legally binding
European Security Treaty with a view to removing the systemic drawbacks of the
European architecture and creating an integral security space in the Euro-Atlantic
region, creating a clearly defined coordinate system here, which not only states but all
organizations active in this zone would follow.
We see four principal semantic building blocks of that Treaty.
The first of them would confirm the basic principles of relations between states. It is
about good faith abidance by existing international obligations – respect for the
sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of states, noninterference in internal
affairs, equality and the right of peoples to dispose of their destiny. An important
element is guarantees of a uniform interpretation and observance of these principles.
The Treaty should confirm the inadmissibility of the use or threat of force both against
the integrity or political independence of any Treaty participant and in some other way
incompatible with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
States and international organizations should also confirm – but now in a legally
binding form – the obligations previously assumed in the OSCE and the Russia-NATO
- avoid securing themselves at others’ expense,
- prevent within military alliances and coalitions actions weakening the unity of the
common security space, particularly prevent the use of their territory to the detriment
of other states’ security, to the detriment of peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic
- prevent the development of military alliances from harming the security of other
- respect the right of any state to neutrality.
And lastly, the Treaty would confirm – again in a legally binding form – the provision
of the Charter for European Security that no state or international organization can
have the exclusive rights to maintain peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region.
I am just quoting the documents which we have jointly adopted at the highest level.
In the second block we suggest expounding the basic principles for the development of
arms control regimes, the reinforcement of confidence, restraint and reasonable
sufficiency in military building. This includes the principles of non-offensive defense
and the renunciation of any additional permanent stationing of substantial combat
forces outside of national territory. And we by the way should at last clearly define
what specifically we understand by “substantial combat forces.” We also suggest
reaffirming adherence to a continued arms control process on the basis of negotiations,
and fixing the possibility of adaptation of the arms control and confidence building
The third block in our mind should be on the principles of conflict settlement. The
Treaty is to enshrine the clear-cut principles to be uniformly applied to all crisis
situations along with unity in approach to their prevention and peaceful settlement
through negotiation. It should lay down procedures and mechanisms for settlement in
accordance with the principles of the UN Charter.
First of all, it is the inadmissibility of the use of force to reach solutions. Parties should
come to an agreement themselves. Everyone should be obliged to respect the
negotiation and peacekeeping formats as agreed upon by the parties. Settlement should
be gradual: obligations not to use force; confidence-building measures; fostering a
dialogue between parties. An absolute condition is the protection of the civilian
population in conflict zones, the prevention of its isolation and the fulfillment of its
humanitarian and socioeconomic needs. Categorically inadmissible are any
provocations against peacekeepers operating under a mandate agreed with the parties.
We consider that the legal enshrinement of these principles will help avoid the use of
“double standards” in conflict settlement and will not allow things to reach the point of
exercising the right to self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter.
And lastly, the fourth block of a future Treaty is seen by us as a block dedicated to
mechanisms of interaction by states and organizations in countering the new threats
and challenges, including the spread of weapons of mass destruction, international
terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and other types of transfrontier organized crime.
We are not trying to impose anything on anyone. We are simply inviting everyone to
join in a discourse about how the obligations are being fulfilled, and why there are
problems in this. There is no reason to fear our ideas, to see some hidden dirty tricks in
them. The Caucasus crisis had to burst out for everyone to realize that something is
wrong in Europe, and that the political commitments alone that we have all assumed
on different occasions and in different kinds of documents are not enough.
In principle we suggest nothing but a collective and honest discussion of common
problems. The product of the discussion, of course, can only be a result of consensus.
At this critical stage of world development we should all conclusively figure out for a
start what kind of world we live in. And if we managed to do so within the pan-
European process during the Cold War, this is all the more possible now when no
principled ideological disagreements divide us.
We are gratified that the dialogue is actively picking up speed on the political level, via
diplomatic channels and through contacts of experts and political scientists. This theme
has taken a priority place in the Euro-Atlantic agenda. It is being discussed in the
OSCE structures created for examining military-political issues. Its deliberation is
under way within the Russia-NATO Council, in the dialogue between Russia and the
European Union and in bilateral formats. We note the concrete reaction to our
initiative from a whole array of countries, in particular, Germany, France and Finland.
The debate that has begun, particularly in the expert community, shows that few are
satisfied with the present state of affairs and hence the need for a serious conversation
that we propose.
Naturally, like any large initiative, the furtherance of the Euro-Atlantic Security Treaty
idea entails a rather complicated process of comprehension and the overcoming of
And I want to once again stress that the Russian proposal does not aim to undermine
NATO or any other organizations active in the security sphere. On the contrary, we
advocate stronger coordination and synergy between existing international structures.
We advocate that not one state or organization in the Euro-Atlantic area should act
against each other, but that they should act together against common threats. Europe
had already passed through an epoch of “holy alliances,” and to return to the “you are
either with us or against us” principle would be perilous and reckless. Those who
today try to revive this principle and to provoke the creation of new dividing lines and
walls in Europe should realize their responsibility.
In development of the EST dialogue we propose to convene a meeting of leaders of
key international organizations, OSCE, NATO, EU, CIS and CSTO, on the basis of the
Platform for Cooperative Security that we have all endorsed within the OSCE
framework. The subject matter of that meeting could be comparing the security
strategies that each of these entities has. This would be an important step towards
devising uniform approaches to the creation of a truly unified and indivisible security
space in the Euro-Atlantic region. Well, the significance of this step for confidence
building is difficult to overestimate.
The Russian side has put forward the idea of concluding an EST because it believes
that a critical number of irritants have accumulated precisely in the field of hard
security. We will be promoting this initiative in all the formats that are obliged to be
concerned with hard security issues, including the OSCE Forum for Security
Cooperation and this Conference.
We also note the fact that our initiative has awakened interest in the activities of the
OSCE as a whole – now from the point of view of a comprehensive approach to pan-
European security in all its dimensions. We welcome this and hope that this awakened
interest will help move the process of reformation of the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe off dead center at last with a view to its transformation into a
full-fledged international organization capable of tackling tasks on a mutually
acceptable basis, using coherent, clear-cut, generally coordinated and universally
applicable rules. The proposals made by Russia and other countries to this end have
long since been on the negotiation table.
In this sense we support the initiative of the Greek chairmanship in the person of
Madam Dora Bakoyannis to hold an informal meeting on Corfu. We hope that a
substantive discussion of long-ripe ideas and issues commences there that will help
make our Organization general and effective.
Naturally, we will talk in detail about the OSCE’s pile of systemic problems on Corfu.
This should help foster an honest and open dialogue on the destinies of our
Returning to the theme of the present discourse – Russia’s initiative for a European
Security Treaty – I would like to say the following. At issue is a fundamental concept
of security based on cooperation for the entire Euro-Atlantic region. It has long since
been proclaimed by all of us, but has not been realized up to this day. The idea of a
new Treaty gives it one more chance. If the political will for that is again unavailable,
we are threatened with the prospect of a full-scale renationalization – or privatization –
of military-political security with all the ensuing undesirable consequences.
The next year will be an anniversary year for the OSCE, marking 35 years of the
Helsinki Final Act, whose significance continues in full measure. We hope that it will
bring positive results in surmounting the systemic problems of European security and
in constructing a new, sustainable and effective architecture of cooperation among
states and international organizations in the region. We have a real chance to start
building that architecture.
I wish everyone success.
And thank you for your attention.
June 23, 2009
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Links to web-sites:
Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN Office and other International
Organizations in Geneva
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
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