Obviously, the security climate in Euro-Atlantic area depends heavily on Russia-NATO relations, and the foundation which they were built on. Today, this foundation gives a crack due to Alliance's return to the policy of 'deterrence'. It is not Russia’s choice. The situation could be improved, if NATO reduced its military activities and deployments near the Russian borders, withdrew military forces and equipment back to their permanent locations. These steps would allow to avoid a new arms race and create conditions for a constructive dialogue.
I am convinced that the policy of confrontation with Russia is doomed to failure. It will not bring any dividends in terms of military stability, because it contains serious risks for regional and European security and to NATO countries themselves. European security can’t be built without Russia or against Russia. Only with Russia. Increasing number of politicians and experts acknowledge that. Sooner or later, NATO will have to revise fundamentally its approaches.
NATO expansion has created a level of tension in Europe unseen in the last thirty years. Yet this year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Russia-NATO Founding Act in Paris, and 15 years since the Rome Declaration on a new quality of Russia-NATO relations was adopted. These documents’ basic premise was that Russia and the West took on a joint commitment to guarantee security on the basis of respect for each other’s interests, to strengthen mutual trust, prevent a Euro-Atlantic split and erase dividing lines. This did not happen, above all because NATO remained a Cold War institution. It is said that wars start in people’s heads, but according to this logic, it is also in people’s heads that they should end. This is not the case yet with the Cold War. Some statements by politicians in Europe and the United States seem to confirm this particularly clearly, including statements made here yesterday and today during this conference.
We categorically reject the allegations of those who accuse Russia and the new centres of global influence of attempting to undermine the so-called ‘liberal world order’. This global model was pre-programmed for crisis right from the time when this vision of economic and political globalisation was conceived primarily as an instrument for ensuring the growth of an elite club of countries and its domination over everyone else. It is clear that such a system could not last forever. Leaders with a sense of responsibility must now make their choice. I hope that this choice will be made in favour of building a democratic and fair world order, a post-West world order, if you will, in which each country develops its own sovereignty within the framework of international law, and will strive to balance their own national interests with those of their partners, with respect for each country’s cultural, historical and civilisational identity.
Of course, we are monitoring statements and first steps of the new US Administration, which I must confess give us some hope for changes in the NRC as well. However, it is impossible to ignore huge anti-Russian sentiments that have accumulated in the US elite in the recent years and will continue to poison Russia-NATO relations.
After the end of the Cold War the Alliance failed to adapt to the new reality. All unilateral interventions in defiance of the UN Security Council have led to extremely negative consequences. That is why NATO started to talk about the need to return to its original purpose - the defense against the "big enemy". The conflict in Ukraine, with Western countries holding their hand in its origins, was later used as an ideological justification for such a shift. Recent statements by the Alliance in connection with the aggravation of the situation in the Donbass indicate that NATO is not abandoning its attempts to use the conflict for geopolitical purposes.
At the Warsaw summit, NATO embarked on the path of political and military "deterrence" of Russia. Now the confrontational policy takes the shape of concrete military preparations at the Russian borders. It is clear that investments in infrastructure, marches of tanks and other columns will continue to demand an ideological and political justification.