Building European Security Globally
Russian Vice Foreign Minister Nikolai Afanassievsky



Today, the implementation of the Budapest Summit decision regarding a global and comprehensive security model for Europe is at the center of political discussions. It was one of the main results of the Moscow meeting on May 10 between the President of Russia and the President of the U.S.A. At its session in Noordwijk on May 30, the NATO Council for the first time explicitly expressed its support for the Russian initiative to set up the model and the intention of NATO member countries to actively participate in its elaboration.

I believe it is also very important that, after the Russian-American Summit in Moscow, this work was jointly viewed as one of the main streams of future Russian-American political cooperation. With the launching of the Russian Individual Partnership Program (IPP) and the document on broad, enhanced dialogue and cooperation, the agenda for cooperative efforts between Russia and NATO has now been defined: to work out a security model and to shape special relations in line with the place and role of Russia in European and world affairs. The elaboration of the security model has already begun and proved to be constructive. At the OSCE Senior Council meeting in Prague on March 30-31, the Russian delegation outlined our vision of the model. We are convinced that reliable security in Europe can be assured only through common efforts and the use of all existing institutions and structures. The first results of the exchange of views in Prague and in Vienna indicate that there is general agreement on the need to create a security system that would not divide Europe but would increase cooperation and the coordination of efforts by all countries in the Euro-Atlantic region.

Threats to Security

Security today is most often threatened by manifestations of aggressive nationalism, separatism, and other forms of extremism; by social and economic disproportions, technological disparities, and criminal activities; and by contradictions between the interests of economic development and the growing burden on the environment. The problems of ecology are regarded as "highly sensitive" from a security viewpoint. There are violations of human rights and basic freedoms, ethnic and religious conflicts, and contradictions between principles of territorial integrity and freedom of self-determination.

Strengthening Security

One of the key ways to improve security is to strengthen democracy in all OSCE member-states. It is also necessary to bring obligations and agreements in the field of disarmament and arms control in line with the new requirements resulting from the new European military and political realities (the CFE Treaty is not the only example). The security model should synthesize several processes: integration with the CIS and the European Union; transformation of NATO; strengthening and streamlining of the OSCE role; and collective efforts to prevent and settle crises and conflicts within the framework of the U.N.

Several countries have presented highly interesting suggestions concerning the model. The United States, for example, suggests that the model should realign rather than dismantle the existing effective security mechanisms, eliminating the origins of ongoing and future challenges to security. We agree with this suggestion. Another very interesting proposal has been made by the European Union concerning the "typology" of security risks--their classification as military, political, economic, security, or other threats. We believe that it is necessary to provide OSCE with a legal basis and appropriate conflict-prevention and crisis-management instruments.

The OSCE Chairman's report on the model, which will be submitted to the Budapest meeting of Foreign Ministers, will promote a common vision of the future European architecture among participating OSCE states. This vision will make it easier to determine the organizational parameters for further work on the model prior to the Lisbon Summit.

On July 17-18, the Russian Foreign Ministry, together with our academic Institute of Europe, will hold a scientific conference called "20 Years of the Helsinki Final Act--Towards a New Model of European Security." We have invited representatives of the Foreign Ministry, other governmental agencies, and socio-political and scientific circles of the OSCE member-states. Andrei Kozyrev will address the opening session of the conference. We count on active participation from all those who wish to make a meaningful contribution to the development of the model.


The Partnership for Peace program can also play a part in shaping the new European security model. But to do so, it must become an instrument for promoting wide cooperation between former enemies in both Eastern and Western Europe and the mutual rapprochement of equal partners. The evolution of NATO will play an important role in PFP's ability to succeed in this regard. For me and other observers, it is evident that preserving the Alliance as a purely military one and restricting its transformation only to enlargement would lead to new lines of division on the continent.


Several participants continue to try to convince us that NATO expansion would suit the interests of Russia. But if we have to respect the security concerns of other partners, they have to respect ours, which leads me to observe that the enlargement of the Alliance does not respond to the interests of Russian national security nor to the interests of European security in general. If NATO really wants to become part of the all-European security system, it should transform itself into a political organization of security; NATO as an institution and its basic documents should be appropriately reformed and revised. In fact, NATO Secretary General Willy Claes's statements in Copenhagen in June appeared to be going in this direction.

All of us have to be sure that NATO's involvement in peacekeeping efforts meets the common goals and decisions of the U.N. and the OSCE. We also must be sure that such involvement is not an expansion of any major NATO country's military and political presence beyond the traditional zone of Alliance responsibility. Russia is interested in taking part in the dialogue on NATO's transformation and in organizing special relations with NATO and its members. The shaping of new relations between Russia and the reformed Alliance will be an important element of European policy.

The partnership between Russia, Central and Eastern European countries, and NATO countries is just in the initial stage. We must give this partnership the chance to realize itself. Through mutual rapprochement and cooperation, we may be able to find answers to many questions that are of concern to Europeans today.


We believe that it is necessary to strengthen the political functions of NACC and to build a real partnership throughout all of Europe. To do this we propose:


After cooperative programs between Russia and NATO have been launched, new opportunities will open to make our relationship substantial and meaningful. One such opportunity, a priority in our view, is to set up regular political consultation mechanisms, including a permanent Russia-NATO consultative body. This would help to avoid surprises and imbalances such as the recent aggravation of the situation in Bosnia.

A political and military consultation mechanism in the "16 + 1" format, operating at various levels, would help to harmonize positions on issues of mutual interest. These would include various aspects of NATO's transformation and a wide range of political, military, and technological issues, such as prevention and settlement of crises, peacemaking, disarmament and arms control, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, actions against terrorism, cooperation in the field of the environment, and conversion. The consultation mechanism could also be actively used for the elaboration of the future European security model.

More specifically, some of the promising areas of cooperation between Russia and NATO are:

The development of an efficient partnership between states, using the Partnership for Peace in particular, can effectively contribute to our common cause--ensuring reliable security and stability in Europe.

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