Global News Journal

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Russia’s security proposals – about much more than security


medvedevWestern responses to President Dmitry Medvedev’s proposal for a new European-Atlantic security body that stretches from Vancouver to Vladivostok have ranged from dismissive to lukewarm. None have been enthusiastic.

But some inside and outside Russia argue it would be unwise for Europe and the United States to reject the proposal out of hand, not least because, as one Russian official put it, this is one of the few occasions where Russia isn’t disagreeing but coming up with something constructive.

Yes Moscow’s draft treaty has gaps, they concede, yes it is almost entirely focused on security in the military sense and yes it doesn’t give much weight to liberal democracy and human rights as envisioned in modern perceptions of security – but it is a starting point for discussion.

Shutting Russia out plays in to the hands of those in Moscow, Washington and other capitals who prefer the simplicity of the Cold War’s zero sum game. It does no favours to modernisers in Russia who want to build cordial international relations, promote democratic society and build Russia’s economy away from its over-reliance on natural resources.