Global Security: A Russian Perspective
Colonel-General Anatoly I. Mazurkevich
Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation
First of all, I would like to thank the organizers of this workshop, particularly the chairman and founder, Roger Weissinger-Baylon, who managed to gather so many of the brilliant politicians, military leaders, and professionals who are responsible for the security of the planet.
As you know, this 23rd workshop is dedicated to discussing how to establish global security. In checking the history of this workshop we could notice the transformation of its name from “NATO Workshop on Political-Military Decision Making” to “International Workshop on Global Security.” At this 23rd meeting we will be discussing the key issue: how to combine the potentials of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union in order to establish peace and stability around the globe.
The situation in the Balkans remains a sensitive issue for all. Ethnic conflicts in this region will continue to serve as a source of instability. And the same is true for the future status of Kosovo.
As we talk about global security, I ask you to please not forget about such global partners in the Euro-Asiatic area as Russia, where I am from; China; and India. I am confident that the world’s nations need just, equal, and multi-polar relations without any self-proclaimed hegemony and imposition of democracy. We constantly speak of the necessity to avoid double standards in the assessment of new threats and challenges including connivance with terrorists, their accomplices and sponsors. Nevertheless, we sometimes witness the fact that this continues.
RUSSIA’S GLOBAL EFFORTS
In the Black Sea region, Russia is working to solve some of problems there. We have some issues with Georgia, which we recently discussed with several distinguished Georgians. On June 15 of this year, we began withdrawing our forces from Georgia, according to the agreement between Georgia and Russia that was signed on May 31, 2006. Russia is fulfilling its obligations and will complete them as it was agreed.
Regarding Armenia and Azerbaijan, we have had great difficulty attempting to minimize the risks of the conflict between the two nations. Finally people from both sides are talking about how to sit down at the table and talk rather than fight..
Minister Tarasyuk has confirmed that there will be a new round of negotiations concerning the Black Sea fleet at the naval base in Sebastopol. Though we are at the beginning of this process, both sides are ready to solve the problems diplomatically and as quickly as possible.
Russia looks at the problems of global security somewhat differently from other countries. The changes that have taken place for at least the last 10 years, which have reshaped not only the nature of Russia but the global system, make us think that the only right way ahead is to create a collective security system, whether a new one or a modification of the present one. Such a system will require real cooperation to minimize threats while preserving the legitimate rights of all nations and all peoples. And it will need to be broad based, involving not only Europe but beyond.
Currently drug trafficking is spreading from Afghanistan through Tajikistan. Part of the dangerous cargo is going to Europe and causes fatal consequences there. The Soviet Union has been trying for 10 years to stop this danger, but unfortunately it was not supported by the international community. Currently Russia continues its cooperation with international organizations on the creation of the Afghan belt of security. Please be assured that Russia is a reliable partner who is cooperating to strengthen international security.