Europe expects concrete proposals on European security from Russia

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 21/ Trend , E. Ostapenko/ Europe will not be able to responde to Russia's proposals on new European Security System until Russia defines concretely what this new system will imply. 

"Nobody knows what this new Security Structure in Europe should be like, who should be part of it, what would be the task," senior European analyst Antonio Missiroli said.

Discussions on reconsidering current European security system have become wide spread recently. It was key matter of debate in the discussions in the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). 

During the session, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko again recalled Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's proposal to reorganize European security system. Grushko called on Europe to review agreements on security in the Euro-Atlantic region. He argued that organizations created during the Cold War cannot cope with the tensions in today's multipolar world.

Missiroli says discussions on establishing new European security system are strange.

"We have heard from the President Medvedev already last summer and more recently from different ministers the need of new security architecture, but we haven't heard the details, what exactly and what for," European Policy Centre director Missiroli said to Trend in a telephone conversation from Brussels.

Senior Russian expert on security Mikhail Remizov agrees that proposals of the Russian diplomats are partially enumeration of present international law principles such as respect for territorial integrity and non-intervention, he said.

He said Russia let the world to know that in such a delicate manner that ("lets joins hands, friends") it is concerned with disarmament process and control over armament in Europe and Nato monopoly over European security.

"Therefore as it happens always in these cases for the time being we think of what we have and try to make the most of it," Missiroli said.

Missiroli confirmed presence of new threats different from "cold war", however he believes that there is no need to wipe out or delete what exists. It is difficult to get rid of international organizations. They are sort of life for their own, also practically and legally, he supposes. There is a need of adjustment or probably adaptation for current needs, Missiroli said.

"Nato was born for the Cold War and once the Cold War is gone that kind of function was overtaken by event, it is no longer there. It is true that the old NATO is no longer on the agenda, but the new one is still alive and kicking. Nobody in Central Europe today wants to get rid of NATO," Missiroli said. 

The Nato was founded with the Washington agreement in 1949to ensure security of the European countries and U.S. against the Soviet threat during the "Cold War" between democratic West and communist USSR.

The OSCE is a consequence of the Cold War. The organization was established in mid-1970s as the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). At a Budapest meeting in 1994, the organization was transformed into the OSCE and has evolved since then. Today, the OSCE is world's largest regional organization (comprises 56 states) on security issues. However, many analysts say the organization also fails to cope with the challenges of the modern world.

If one had to make a virtual ranking of European institutions in need of reform OSCE would generally feature on top. A major problem with the OSCE is that one of its supposed assets -- Russia's fully-fledged participation in it -- has turned into a liability, European expert for European security policy Fabrizio Tassinari said.

As an OSCE member Russia has often set precedents, such as recent one about extension of mandate of the OSCE observation mission in Georgia. Russia's reluctance to extend the mandate has stalled a decision on the matter.

Remizov said to take Russia as a liability for the OSCE is incorrect from a historical standpoint, because the OSCE was created as an organization aimed at removing dualism of the NATO and the Warsaw Pact. "Therefore, Russia's presence in this organization from the very beginning was related to the aims of its creation," National Strategy Institute Director Mikhail Remizov told Trend in a telephone conversation from Moscow.

If there is something to be changed, it's more by adding functions to the OSCE, it's sort of the thinking 'plus', not of 'insteadable' thinking, Missiroli said.

Senior Fellow from Danish Institute for International StudiesTassinari thinks that in today's Europe the goal of a common security architecture is primarily that of finding way of existence between Russia on the one hand and the enlarged EU and NATO on the other. Or, short of that, a forum that could provide a reasonably balanced platform for these actors to play out their disagreements, he wrote to Trend in an email.  

Remizov proposes "to speak more honestly to Europeans" so that dialogue with them will be constructive. "Even if these proposals are painful, but concrete for them, it would be more interesting or easier to talk to us," Remizov said.

E. Tariverdiyeva contributed to this article.

Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at [email protected]

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