Friday 14th of June 2024

having the courage to go against the position of the US-led west....

Russian television has broadcast an interview with Syrian President Assad, which shows why Western media do not want to show an interview with Assad or Putin. Assad’s statements would probably give many people in the West pause for thought.

 

By www.1tv.ru – April 23, 2024

 

There is a program on Russian television called “Global Majority”, in which the presenter introduces the audience to personalities from the countries that make up the global majority, i.e. not from Western countries. The title of the program is well chosen, as the US-led West comprises just under 50 countries, while the remaining 140 countries in the world do not belong to the West and have the courage to vote against the position of the US-led West in more and more UN votes.

In the current episode of the program, the presenter visited and interviewed Syrian President Assad. This is the complete text of the interview.

Recently, we have been hearing the term “global majority” more and more often. But who belongs to it, which countries does it consist of and, above all, who governs these states – after all, nothing less than the future of the entire world depends on the political will of these rulers. Today I would like to introduce you to the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar al-Assad – a man who has defied the collective West and managed to preserve his state, the historical destiny and the identity of his people. We met in the Syrian presidential palace. I had invited him to talk about issues of multipolarity, national traditions and cultures.

The President of Syria is a man with a special life. Bashar was less than five years old when his father came to power in a coup d’état. Hafez al-Assad was the leader of the Baath Party, which combined socialism with Arab nationalism. He advocated partial liberalization of the economy and appreciated the West for its scientific and technological achievements, so the president allowed his son Bashar to study at the Hurriya Lyceum in Damascus. But the father did not prepare his son for government. Nor did Bashar al-Assad himself aspire to it. He graduated with honors as an ophthalmologist from the Faculty of Medicine at Damascus University, worked in a hospital and then completed an internship in the UK, where he continued his studies a year later.

Assad: All major conflicts in recent decades have been about national identity. You have to learn to protect it from external influences, because the only way to defeat someone is to destroy their identity. Of course, identity is a broad field and encompasses many aspects, including culture, the value system and one’s own traditions.

Question: And the USA is specifically trying to destroy national traditions?

Assad: Yes, that’s right. That is their way of controlling. But if you remain true to your identity, you have the power to say “no”. You can analyze the situation and maneuver to the best of your ability. But if you’ve lost your national identity, it’s all about personal gain – the money. And money is international, and with money you can control. This is how America controls all its partners, in the West and in the East. And it can control every country and every politician.

Bashar al-Assad led a modest life in England, just like in his home country. As a high school student, he went to school like all the other students. He had no bodyguards and no driver of his own, like many of his classmates from wealthy families. His teachers remember him as a hardworking and thoughtful boy.

Question: Mr. President, before we continue, I would like to ask a few off-the-record questions. War is a difficult decision. What price did the Syrian people pay for their independence, their freedom and their dignity? They refused to become a satellite of the West.

Assad: The price was very high. Many other countries would not pay it. But we live in a world of jungle, or I would even say in a world of slavery. And in a world of slavery, dignity has a very high price. There will be no rights, no independent country, not even the right to live, if you don’t pay this price. It is the price for the right to exist, for the right to be. Our war is a war for existence, that is why this price was so high.

Modern Syria has only existed for just over 70 years, but there was already a civilization here in the fourth millennium BC. The country has a population of around 17 million people, the vast majority of whom are Muslims, mostly Sunnis, and around five percent Christians. The rest are atheists or belong to other religions. Damascus is the oldest capital city in the modern world. It is the only city on our planet that has existed without interruption for thousands of years. Syria is not only the cradle of civilization. It has always been the center of all important events in the region.

Question: I have the impression that the global situation in the world is changing and that the heads of state and government of the countries that belong to the global majority are gradually taking the path of defending their national interests, while the influence of the USA in the world is declining.

Assad: Absolutely right. You learn from the mistakes of the past and we could be friends with the West, but the West doesn’t need friends. It doesn’t even need partners, it just needs vassals.

Question: Maybe that’s why the West is now supporting and promoting politicians like Selensky, because it’s easier to deal with people like that.

Assad: Of course. These are people who say “yes” to everything – right, left, up, down – they say “yes, boss” to everything.

Question: And they don’t like independent politicians like you or, for example, the Russian president.

Assad: Yes, they like to talk about democracy, but they can’t stand it when you say “no”. Their democracy is always about saying “yes”. And “yes” has to be said to absolutely everything. That is their democracy.

I have often wondered why a young, promising ophthalmologist, who had every opportunity to stay in London forever, decided to return to his homeland and lead his people’s fight for sovereignty and independence. And today Syria, together with Russia, stands for a multipolar world. Assad also answered this question.

Assad: Multipolarity has always existed. It is the basis of global civilization. At all times there have been different forms of social organization of people. The various empires of history, which differed greatly from one another, bear witness to this. Sometimes they were hostile to each other, sometimes they worked together. But they were all very different. Multipolarity can be economic and cultural. But the point is that the world was created multipolar. The unipolarity that emerged after the collapse of the USSR is new to humanity. Unipolarity is unnatural and has led to the chaos that my country and many other countries in the world are paying for today. The problem today is the lack of clear rules for relations between states, which leads to constant conflict. As long as there are different languages and cultures, the world is multipolar. It is important that this should be legally recognized. Russia and Syria are doing their utmost to contribute to this process.

Question: From your point of view, what is Russia’s role today in this important result that you have achieved together?

Assad: I often hear that Russia has allegedly helped the president or the Syrian government. But that is a false assessment. Russia has supported the Syrian people and defended Syria’s sovereignty. In doing so, it has also defended international law, which exists on paper. Russia has taken a stand against international terrorism and it is naive to believe that today’s terrorists are local gangs. It is a global network that operates in Europe, Russia, Indonesia and other parts of the world. Today’s terrorism is ideologically united. And it is against it that Russia has thrown itself into the fight in Syria. By defending the Syrians, it also defended its country. The fact that Russia has intervened in the fight against terrorism is of great importance for the world as a whole and for the Mediterranean region in particular, as Syria occupies a very important geostrategic position.

Not everyone knows that the West attacked Syria in 2011 in order to avert the danger of an alliance between the major powers of the Middle East – Iran, Turkey and Syria.

Had this alliance come about, the Middle East would have become a powerful player on the world stage decades ago and would have been completely beyond the control of the West. Moreover, Syria was Iran’s most important ally. By destroying Syria, the collective West weakened Iran, which led to the signing of the nuclear deal. International terrorism, which had disguised itself as opposition to the government, was drawn into the fight against Syria. And of course Russia could not stay out of it, as the same forces had previously been used against Russia.

Question: I would like to ask a question about the military operation. In your opinion, the military operation will change the course of world history. How did you come to this conclusion?

Assad: I meant that the military operation will correct the course of history. Not change or rewrite it, but correct it. Russia, as a great power, opposes Western interference in the internal affairs of other countries. For me, it makes no difference whether Russia is fighting global terror in Syria or in Ukraine. The enemy is the same. Russia is strengthening stability in the world, politically and militarily. And it is doing so because it has suffered itself. The collapse of the USSR did not happen spontaneously. It was brought about by deliberately pitting small ethnic groups that had historically lived together against each other. One example is Crimea, which Khrushchev incorporated into the borders of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The Russians in this region never sought independence from Russia. But the Nazis began to declare war on everything Russian. And everyone knows that Russians, Belarusians and Ukrainians are close in terms of history, language and culture and that the majority of people living in eastern Ukraine are Russian. But the Ukrainian Nazis have a specific goal. America actively supported the aggressive nationalists even before the Second World War and fueled them during the war. And since 2004, it has been using its secret services to fight Russia. And that is not normal. I am sure that the battle will end with a Russian victory that will reunite the fraternal peoples. That is why I say that Russia is correcting what others have done.

I spoke to the Syrian President for more than two hours. And of course I couldn’t help but ask about China. This state plays a very important role today. And relations with China influence the foreign policy of several countries around the world.

Just half a century ago, China was a poor developing country. Today it is the second largest economic power in the world. Poverty has been overcome and the country is ahead of the USA in terms of technological development. Two to three times as many patents are registered in China as in the entire West.

Assad: After the collapse of the USSR, the illusion arose that liberalism had won the final victory and that paradise on earth would have to be politically and economically like America. It seemed that money should become the most important goal in life, to which ethics, feelings and humanism had to be sacrificed. China, however, offered a different model: a balanced combination of communist ideals and a capitalist economy. There, a centralized welfare state coexists with entrepreneurial freedom. Since 2008, we have seen China grow steadily against the backdrop of the West’s equally steady decline. In other words, China has proven that elements of capitalism are necessary for an economy. But capitalism as a form of government is doomed. This is how we see China’s strategic role in the world.

Question: What is your situation with investments? Perhaps you have major projects with China or other countries?

Assad: We have been living without foreign investment for a long time. Before the war, there was none because of the Western blockade that began in 1979. This blockade was tacit but quite harsh. That’s why we learned to develop the social sector ourselves and attract non-Western investment. During the war, there was no investment, so we only work with Syrian investors or those from the Arab world, who operate in secret for fear of US sanctions. The Chinese don’t necessarily want to invest with us either, because we already owe them money. We are trying to pay off these debts as much as possible to clear the way for investments.

Before the war, Syria was a completely economically self-sufficient country. One third of its income was generated by oil, one third by agriculture and one third by industrial production, as the country produced everything except heavy luxury goods. Even medicines were produced here. But during the war, the oil industry was not only destroyed physically, but also by sanctions. Today, the active fields are under American control. Industrial production has practically come to a standstill, the country can barely feed itself, while the US earns more money from the sale of Syrian oil than it costs to maintain US troops in Syria.

Question: Mr. President, one of the main characteristics of the Western elites is, of course, the exclusivity complex. They have no friends, they have vassals. But the fate of these vassals is always sad. Being an enemy of the US is much more honorable and reliable, because the so-called partners of the US always end up on the street. Can you comment on how negotiations go for them?

Assad: The West has long since developed a Caesar delusion. Only shock therapy can help against this. For centuries, they have enslaved and plundered other countries. And only a hard blow will bring them back down to earth. Those who have resigned themselves to their vassal status must be helped to return to reality. And perhaps we should start with those who have lost faith in themselves. And only then should we deal with the collective West. You have to learn to say “no” when you don’t like something. But that’s not easy, because pressure can take a gentle form. It is not always a direct threat. But it is basically a threat. We have learned to talk to them in their language. Formally, there is no war between us, although what they do can be described as terror. We are trying to circumvent their blockade, otherwise the war in our country will never end. But the world is changing very quickly: new alliances and alliances are emerging and new ways of putting the occupiers in their place are also emerging. These countries are actively using media and social networks to undermine the self-confidence of people in dependent countries, and this must be combated. We must learn to pursue national interests and not be afraid to do so.

Question: Mr. President, you have already gained some experience in the West. Do you see any opportunities to resume the dialog with the West, perhaps from a strategic perspective?

Assad: There is always hope. Even if we know that it probably won’t work. We have to try. Politics is the art of the possible. No matter how bad we think they are, we have to work with them and explain to them that we will not give up our rights and that we are only willing to cooperate on the basis of equality. America is currently illegally occupying part of our country, funding terrorists and supporting Israel, which is also occupying our country. But we meet with them regularly, even though these meetings do not lead to any results. But times are changing. I have lived in the West for a long time and I have respect for their scientific and cultural achievements. These achievements have made them strong. But their strength has led them to moral decay. The political class has also degenerated. Western politicians only think about their own careers. They no longer care about the interests of their countries. Their media create a virtual reality and at the same time work on the destruction of the family, the atomization of society and the isolation of the individual. All of this harbors the danger that their achievements will be destroyed in the future.

I have often thought about the fact that the Western politicians I have had the privilege of talking to have in some ways become more primitive. And we didn’t realize that experienced, charismatic, effective people who could be trusted and who kept their word were being replaced by people of a much lower level. When I was on my way to meet Bashar al-Assad, I wondered which of today’s politicians or heads of government he would like to talk to.

Assad: Today there is no politician in the West who could be described as a statesman. They haven’t existed since the days of Reagan and Thatcher. Since the 1980s, the entire political environment has changed dramatically. Western politics became dominated by economic principles and capitalism began to dictate its own rules.

Countries became companies, heads of state became heads of corporations. But companies act in the interests of the economy: they merge, plunder others and go bankrupt, all in the name of profit. Modern politicians no longer think strategically, they only solve the current problems that are brought to them. They are also no longer responsible for what they say. Everything that is agreed can be reversed the very next day. For these reasons, I can safely say that there is currently not a single politician in the West with whom I would like to have a dialog or who would interest me.

Question: Mr. President, can you tell us something about your experiences in the fight against the destructive influence of NGOs? After all, the protests that took place in 2010 and 2011 were financed by the collective West through NGOs.

Assad: We have been in a state of confrontation with the West for five centuries. In the mid-70s, the West started to finance terrorism to fight us, but to no avail. But in the 90s the methods changed. The pressure was exerted through the press, satellite television, the Internet and, of course, NGOs. These organizations are probably the most dangerous because they pretend to be aid organizations. In reality, they collect information to use it against the interests of the state. We kept a close eye on them even before the war. We knew that the US and the CIA were using such organizations to control not only their opponents but also their allies. When the war started, they closed all these organizations, as well as their embassies. That was logical, because we would have kicked them out anyway. Since this instrument of influence was no longer available, the only option was direct confrontation in the form of financing terrorist gangs. These organizations, whether in Ukraine or in our country, have exactly one goal: to influence people’s opinions, gain influence on the government and bring about a change of power that serves the interests of the actual invader. If these organizations were truly humanitarian, they would support the UN. But they have never done so.

Of course, I couldn’t help but ask the Syrian President about the Arab League. This organization is and remains a milestone for the Arab world.

The League of Arab States was founded on the basis of the Alexandria Treaty, which was adopted in Alexandria in October 1944. Five Arab states – Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon – signed the agreement, which proclaimed the equality of all member states of the future organization. The Arab League was founded in 1945 on the basis of this agreement. In 2011, however, Syria’s membership was suspended under pressure from the West. It rejoined the organization in May 2023.

Assad: We were asked to return to the Arab League, and we did. The exclusion of Syria was unlawful and the fact that we were asked to return shows that the organization has regained its legitimacy. Syria was one of the founding states of the League and many have understood that without Syria, the organization no longer has the importance it once had. Syria has always been an important player in the region and the war against Syria is not only hurting Syria, but the entire Arab world. Of course I was pleased that the country has returned to the organization that founded it. But now everything depends on how influential the Arab League will be, what role the Arab Council will play. What if the whole thing turns out to be just as ineffective as the UN?

Question: Mr. President, the conflict between Palestine and Israel is one of the greatest sources of tension today. How do you see this situation, the reasons for what is happening now?

Assad: Western policy, especially American policy, is based on the principle of “divide and rule”. That is their way of controlling, a kind of blackmail. Such behavior is immoral. But it is the reality. America turns every conflict into a dangerous chronic disease like diabetes or cancer. But the warring parties have to pay the price for the conflict. And when we talk about America, we mean the entire West, because it is completely controlled by the USA. America profits from every conflict and then watches the chaos spread and waits for the moment to strike the decisive blow. They profit from every conflict.

Question: What do you think of the “Muslim Brotherhood”?

Assad: When Britain founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt 100 years ago, they wanted to appeal to Arab identity. And many people in the Arab world took that on board. Today, belonging to the Arab world is more important to many people than citizenship of a particular country. The idea was to secure control over the region. To do this, all internal relations within the states had to be destroyed. In our country, for example, there were originally many Christians. They are not immigrants, but lived here before Islam. But the Muslim Brotherhood has distorted the faith in order to set Muslims and Christians against each other. Every political party can offer its own version of a social order, but the argument “Allah wants it this way” must not be used to persuade people to vote for the Muslim Brotherhood. They do just that by insisting that Allah himself wants to see them in power. The Muslim Brotherhood was the first religious movement to focus on aggression. Their militant slogans were adopted by AlQaeda, IS and Jebhat An-Nusra, and their aim was to destroy all the political, social, religious and national bonds that have held the entire Middle East together for centuries.

Question: Mr. President, in my opinion, the Middle East is feeling the changes, the movement towards multipolarity. The statesmen of the Middle East are coordinating their actions less and less with the Americans, with the collective West. In my opinion, this needs to be mentioned. Do you agree with this thesis?

Assad: Many countries have realized that America has no friends. And those who thought they were partners of the USA now understand that America has no partners. Even in the West. Friendship and partnership require common interests. But America only has its own interests. That is why relations with this country can be neither stable nor secure. For this reason, all countries in the world have begun to expand their relations with China, including the West and South America. And this is understandable, because America disregards the interests of its supposed partners, actively uses the dollar as a weapon and uses it to exert political pressure. They don’t care that raising the key interest rate increases inflation and unemployment in the partner countries, with whom no one talks about these measures. But this cannot go on forever.

I have often spoken to President Assad and each time I have been impressed by the remarkable calm that this man exudes, and at the same time by the unshakeable confidence of a leader who has the thousand-year history of his country and his people behind him. Of course, not everyone can hear the voice of his ancestors, but that is probably the mark of a true leader who is followed and trusted by his people. Of course, Bashar al-Assad imagined his life very differently in his youth, but something forced him to make a decision.

In 1994, Bashar al-Assad’s older brother, whom his father had designated as his successor, was killed in a car accident. This tragic event changed Bashar’s life decisively. He returned to Syria in 1995 and joined the army as a medical officer. He completed military courses in various careers and spent the next 15 years improving his military performance. On June 11, 2000, he was promoted to lieutenant general and appointed commander-in-chief of the Syrian armed forces. At the same time, Bashar alAssad was elected regional secretary of the Arab Socialist Baath Party at the party’s 9th congress in June 2000 and subsequently nominated for the office of President of Syria. He took office after taking the constitutional oath of office before the People’s Council on July 17, 2000. Bashar al-Assad thus became head of state of the Syrian Arab Republic at the age of 34.

Assad: When I was young, I had many plans and wanted to realize them all. As I got older, I realized that everything has its price and that you have to set priorities. If you can’t do that, you won’t achieve anything. I don’t miss that time because I gained a lot of experience and became much more efficient.

Question: Mr President, you use social media, perhaps you read what your fellow citizens write about your work in the comments. Is that interesting for you?

Assad: Before I became president, I headed a state organization for the development of the Internet in our country. I have been interested in new technologies since my youth and believe in the future of information technologies. However, I am aware that with the help of the Internet and social networks, it is easy to interfere in the internal life of a country from the outside. That’s why, in my work on social networks, I don’t forget about real contacts with people. Social networks can be deceptive, because you never know whether the comments are real, whether the opinions are genuine you have to compare everything with what you observe in person.

Public opinion on the internet does not reflect the opinion of the majority. These are only fragments that could also be falsified. That’s why you shouldn’t rely on social media to make decisions. When I was actively involved in internet technology in Syria, I knew that there are also disadvantages and that you have to be aware of the potential dangers.

Question: Do you have any hobbies or tools, how do you distract yourself, how do you relax so that you can work more efficiently afterwards and concentrate on the essentials?

Assad: When I was young, I wasn’t interested in movies or television. Even as a child, I preferred reading and sports. But as I got older, I discovered talk shows, and when I have time, I also like to watch documentaries on the Internet. When I’m doing sport, I listen to or watch the news. I also like music, but I only listen to it when I’m in the right mood.

Question: Mr. President, you are the father of three children. Tell me about your experience, about the difficult path you have taken. Do you want your children to work in the civil service, which is so complicated and sometimes so controversial?

Assad: When I was working on developing the internet in Syria during my father’s lifetime, I couldn’t imagine that I would have a career in the government. I didn’t have a job in the government and my father never talked to me about my future. I believe that everyone decides these questions for themselves, depending on how they see their place in the world, and I don’t know what future my children will choose. We are all citizens of our country and will serve it. And everyone must decide for themselves in what form. You can be a politician and not serve your country. It depends on the person as they are. And it is not the job of parents to decide for their children what they should be. Parents can only raise them to love their country, to respect the country’s history and to be willing to serve the country. My children are not studying politics. One wants to be a programmer, the other an engineer. And anyway, politics is not work. It is service. The most important thing is that you qualify yourself in a certain area. And then you think about what you can do for the country. My children lived through the war and often ask me: “Why did the war start?” If their peers can resist the onslaught of liberalism and understand why the war was inevitable, they will be a very successful generation.

Once, when I was very young, my grandmother and I saw Muammar Gaddafi on television. At the Arab League summit, he spoke about the truly unenviable fate of Saddam Hussein. Gaddafi literally shouted to the Arab heads of state: “Don’t believe the West, any one of you could be next!” Of course, this speech went down in history, but in 2008 few people understood what Muammar al-Gaddafi meant. When Bashar al-Assad suddenly appeared on the screen, Grandma literally shouted, “He will be next, he is the one the collective West is trying to destroy.

 

Unfortunately, the West did indeed try, but Bashar al-Assad managed to defend his country together and side by side with his people. That’s why my grandmother calls him nothing less than the “Knight of the Middle East”, and he is. With that, we bid you farewell and look forward to new encounters with intelligent representatives of the global majority, because the world is big and diverse, and it should always stay that way.

Linkhttps://www.1tv.ru/shows/globalnoe-bolshinstvo/

 

https://www.theinteldrop.org/2024/04/23/recommended-syrian-president-assad-in-an-interview-about-the-reasons-for-the-conflict-with-the-west/#comment-10083

 

 

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fourteen points....

 

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The Russian 2009 “Fourteen Points” for European Security: Why the Proposal Was Rejected?

The Russian 2009 “Fourteen Point” security program represented at that time, the first positive foreign policy initiative by Moscow since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

 

In 2009, Russian President Medvedev (President from May 7th, 2008 to May 7th, 2012) called for a new European security policy known as “Fourteen Points” as a new security treaty to be accepted to maintain European security as the ability of states and societies to maintain their independent identity and functional integrity. This Russian draft European security treaty was originally posted on the President’s website on November 29th, 2009. This treaty proposal was passed to the leaders of the Euro-Atlantic States and the executive heads of the relevant international organizations such as NATO, EU, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and the Organization of Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In this proposal, Russia stressed that it is open to any democratic proposal concerning continental security and is counting on a positive response from Russia’s “Western” partners.

However, not so surprisingly, D. Medvedev’s call for a new European security framework, based on mutual respect and equal rights, became interpreted particularly in the USA in the fashion of the Cold War 1.0, in fact, as a plot to pry Europe from its strategic partner – the USA. Nevertheless, this program in the form of a proposal was the most significant initiative in international relations (IR) by Russia since the end of the USSR in 1991. From the present perspective, this proposal could save Ukrainian territorial integrity but it was rejected primarily due to Washington’s Russophobic attitude.

As a matter of fact, Moscow since 1991, and particularly since 2000, viewed NATO as a Cold War 1.0 remnant and the EU as no more but only as a common economic-financial market with many crisis management practices. Nevertheless, Medvedev’s 2009 “Fourteen Points” was announced on November 29th, 2009, Russia published a draft of a European Security Treaty. Medvedev’s program resembles the program drawn up by US President Woodrow Wilson, issued on January 8th, 1918, which had emancipated peace aims in its well-known “Fourteen Points”. These two programs have two things in common: 1) Both documents advocate multilateralism in the security area and devotion to international law; and 2) They are very idealistic in terms of the tools needed for their implementation.

The Russian proposal from 2009 is founded on existing norms of international security law according to the UN Charter, Declaration on Principles of International Law (1970), and the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (1975) followed by the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes (1982) and the Charter for European Security (1999).

The 2009 Russian proposal on European Security coming ten years after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, can be summarized in the following six points:

  • Parties should cooperate on the foundation of the principles of indivisible, equal, and unrelieved security;
  • A Party to the Treaty shall not undertake, participate in, or support any actions or activities significantly detrimental to the security of any other party or parties to the treaty;
  • A Party to the treaty which is a member of military alliances, coalitions, or organizations shall work to ensure that such alliances, coalitions, or organizations observe principles of the UN Charter, the Declaration of Principles of International Law, the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter for European Security followed by certain documents adopted by the OSCE;
  • A Party to the treaty shall not allow the use of its territory and shall not use the territory of any other party to prepare or carry out an armed attack against any other party or parties to the treaty or any other actions affecting significantly the security of any other party or parties to the treaty;
  • A clear mechanism is established to address issues related to the substance of this treaty and to settle differences or disputes that might arise between the parties in connection with its interpretation or application;
  • The treaty will be open for signature by all states of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian space followed by several international organizations: the EU, the OSCE, the CSTO; NATO, and the CIS.

Russia, in fact, understood the treaty as a reaffirmation of the principles guiding security relations between states but above all respect for independence, territorial integrity, sovereignty within nation-state borders, and the policy not to use force or the threat of its use in IR. Actually, the security issue in Europe became a strategic agenda for Russia from 2000 onward. During its whole post-Soviet history, Russia felt very uncomfortable as put on the margins of the process of the creation of a new (US/NATO-run) security order in Europe based on the NATO enlargement toward the borders of Russia.

It has to be remembered that Moscow at that time proposed to Washington and Brussels three conditions that, if accepted by NATO, might make enlargement acceptable to Russia:

  • A prohibition against stationing nuclear weaponry on the territory of new NATO members;
  • 2) A requirement for joint decision-making between NATO and Russia on any issue of European security especially where the use of military force was involved; and
  • Codification of these and other restrictions on NATO and rights of Russia in a legally binding treaty.

However, none of these proposed conditions of NATO-Russia security cooperation in Europe was accepted.

After this failure, a new military doctrine of the Russian Federation from 2010 accepted the reality that the existing international security architecture including its legal mechanism does not provide equal security for all states a phenomenon of the so-called “asymmetric security”. The same doctrine clearly stressed that NATO’s ambitions to become a supreme global actor and to expand its military presence toward Russia’s borders became a focal external military threat for Russia. Surely, from 2010, it became clear to Moscow that NATO has not accepted the Russian proposal to create a common European security framework functioning on the principle of “symmetric” relations including certain duties and rights equal for both sides.

Nevertheless, the time when Moscow suggested a new security initiative was very appropriate for the matter of the declination of both soft and hard power of the Collective West (USA/EU/NATO) as a result of the second war against Iraq and the global economic meltdown. Since the disasters of Iraq, Guantánamo, and Abu Ghraib, Washington and its Western allies lost any moral credibility and authority to claim global leadership. In addition, Western support for Georgian aggression and the corrupted regime of Mikheil Saakashvili revealed once more the Atlanticist disregard for real democracy and justice. Simultaneously, the global economic and financial crisis spelled the end of the neoliberal fiction of globalization confirming at the same time Western unsuccess in regulating global finance. Consequently, the unipolar IR around the Collective West ceased to shape and direct both global geopolitics and geoeconomics.

The Russian (in fact, President Dmitry Medvedev’s) proposal for a new security agreement with NATO was a serious test of the honesty of the Collective West versus Russia. Simply, the proposal called for a new treaty to implement already accepted previous declarations since the end of the Cold War 1.0 that the West and Russia are friends, security is indivisible, and nobody’s security can be enhanced at the cost of others. Basically, the new security treaty should be founded on a multilateral system, rather than a system based on hegemony or bipolarity. Behind the proposal was the rejection of a hegemonic role for the USA. However, the crucial question was: Do we want the USA to participate in multilateral efforts to address issues of both European and global security challenges? Nonetheless, very soon it became clear that this Russian agenda for a new European security concept was seen by Western policymakers as an attempt to undermine NATO and its eastward expansionistic policy. In other words, President D. Medvedev’s proposal for the new security design in Europe was understood by the Westerners as perfidy to change the terms of the debate on the future of the European security system without the participation from NATO to the direction of the new body that includes Russia as a founding member and, therefore, as a pillar of a new security framework of the Old Continent. Therefore, his proposal, as such, was unacceptable to the Collective West.

It has to be stressed that the most difficult step in the rapprochement between Russian and Western competing European security agendas after the Cold War 1.0 was and still is the politicized attitude by the pro-Western part of Europe (EU/NATO) that Russia is posing security danger to the continent. However, on the opposite side, Russia’s security fears come primarily at least from the policy of NATO’s eastward enlargement if not from the question of NATO’s existence after 1991 in general.

After all, it appears that, in fact, the focal problem was not about keeping the status quo in terms of the European security framework, but, however, what a new security system was going to be. In other words:

  • Should it be a NATO-centric structure as it has been since 1991? In this case, NATO will be turned into a forum for consultation on both European and global security questions; or
  • Should it be a new institutional framework founded on a legally framed treaty that guarantees equality and indivisibility of security of all political subjects (states)?

The Russian 2009 “Fourteen Point” security program represented at that time, the first positive foreign policy initiative by Moscow since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This Dimitri Medvedev’s initiative had both real geopolitical meaning and many diplomatic symbolic features. The initiative’s crucial value was that:

  • It advocated the formation of a new European security framework founded on new and democratic principles of the indivisibility of international security and the inclusiveness of all interested and relevant actors; and
  • The focal objectives of the initiative were to upgrade the already existing but ineffective European security system and to expand it into the region of Asia-Pacific for the sake of creating a common security area from Alaska to Siberia.

It was, however, obvious that the creation of such a security system would preserve primarily Russian national interests in both regions primarily in Europe but in Asia-Pacific as well. In addition, the proposal will pave the way for integrating a rising China and other countries of Asia into a complex network of the European security framework. Nonetheless, the proposal was rejected in the name of further NATO eastward expansion which was in many Western eyes the most fateful error of the US policy during the whole period of the post-Cold War 1.0 era.

Such NATO policy, in fact, inflamed nationalistic, anti-Western, and militaristic feelings in Russia, and finally restored the policy of Cold War 1.0 into Cold War 2.0, a renewed East-West security competition in Europe, keeping in mind the fact that in Russia, there exists strong belief, based on accounts by Mikhail Gorbachev, Evgenii Primakov, and other Russian influential policymakers, that Washington has broken its commitment not to expand NATO as a precondition for German reunification in 1989−1990.

 

Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

Ex-University Professor

Vilnius, Lithuania

Research Fellow at the Center for Geostrategic Studies

Belgrade, Serbia

 

https://theduran.com/the-russian-2009-fourteen-points-for-european-security-why-the-proposal-was-rejected/

 

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