Russia Invites NATO To Take Part In Moscow Security Conference

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Andrei Akulov of The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Russia and NATO balancing on the brink of military conflict has been a hot topic ever since 2014 when the bilateral ties were frozen as a result of the events in Ukraine. Heightened tensions, arms control erosion and a plethora of divisive issues negatively affect the bilateral relationship, with misunderstanding and frustration hindering any attempts to turn the tide.

War preparations are on the way. Last year, NATO rejected Russia’s initiatives to ease tensions in Europe. Some moves of NATO members aimed at boosting first strike capability go almost unnoticed by media, for instance, the acquisition by Poland of air-to-surface long-range cruise missiles. The US-initiated B-61-12 life extension program (LEP) puts into question the prospects for arms control in Europe.

Incidents caused by dangerous maneuvering and provocative exercises have become frequent. Last year, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, then Germany’s Foreign Minister, accused the alliance of «warmongering» against Russia. He spoke out against NATO military exercises in Poland and the Baltic States, describing them as «saber-rattling». «The one thing we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation with loud saber-rattling and warmongering», the foreign minister told Bild am Sonntag newspaper. «Anyone who thinks a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is wrong», he noted.

The Vienna Document is the only security mechanism in place to control military activities in Europe at present, but it’s certainly not enough to curb the rising tensions. OSCE’s Treaty on Open Skies, too, is limited in application. Over twenty years of cooperation have never translated into the type of strategic relationship that NATO and Russia had hoped for.

Two major Russia-US arms control treaties are jeopardized. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) has recently become a bone of contention with mutual accusations of non-compliance. The New START Treaty has been recently decried by the United States administration. The entire system of arms control and non-proliferation is eroding right in front of our eyes with dim prospects for stemming the process. Russia and the US have not had meaningful negotiations on this issue for almost three years, much like it was in the days of the Cold War when there were no contacts to discuss it in the period from 1983 to 1985.

The meetings of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) convened last year.

But while it’s all doom and gloom today. There are some signs the situation may take a turn for the better.

On January 4, the Russian Foreign Ministry spoke out in favor of restoring relations with NATO. «We need to build normal relations with NATO and renew what we had before», Andrei Kelin, the Foreign Ministry’s head of the Department of European Cooperation. The emphasis on the need to restore the previous relationship made the statement acquire special importance.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported on March 3 that NATO Military Committee General Petr Pavel held a phone conversation with Chief of Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov – the first high-level official Russia-NATO contact since 2014. The sides discussed the prospects of restoring military contacts and working out steps to decrease tensions in Europe.

On February 28, General Sir Gordon Kenneth Messenger, UK’s Vice Chief of the Defence Staff met General Alexander Zhuravlev, Deputy Chief of Russia's General Staff. 

Russia has invited NATO to take part in the Moscow Security Conference scheduled to take place on April 26-27, 2017, reaffirming its persistent pursuit of open dialogue.

«Despite suspended cooperation in the military sphere, invitations to the forum have been sent to all member countries of the North Atlantic alliance and the European Union, as well as to the NATO leadership», said Deputy Defense Minister Aleksander Fomin. The conference is an annual event held since 2011 to provide a unique opportunity for international defense officials and organizations, as well as non-governmental experts and journalists to address key security issues.

Over 700 guests, including around 500 representatives of foreign countries, are expected to attend the event, including defense chiefs and delegations from 84 countries, over 130 foreign security experts and the heads of nine international organizations. The agenda comprises: «Global Security: Challenges of the 21st Century», «European Security: Prospects and Trends», «Asia-Pacific Region: A Balance of Interests or Military Confrontation?» and «Defense Ministries’ Interaction: Regional Aspects». Four workshops will focus on the struggle against terrorism and radicalism in the Middle East, information space security, the problems of anti-missile defense and the provision of security in Central Asia. The conference will be highlighted by more than 200 Russian and foreign journalists.

The Moscow security conference is the first important international event to offer an opportunity to discuss the proposal recently put forward by Germany. Last August, Mr. Steinmeier, then foreign chief who was elected German president last month, put forward a security initiative to start discussions on a European arms control treaty to include regional caps on armaments, transparency measures, rules covering new military technology such as drones, and the ability to control arms even in disputed territories.

The proposal calls for taking into account new military capabilities, such as drones. It puts focus on reliable system of verification and inclusion of regions «whose territorial status is controversial». The minister suggested that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) could be the forum for talks. In late 2016, the idea to start talks on a new security agreement received support of 15 European nations, including France and Italy.

It should be noted here that the initiative to relaunch the negotiation process does not belong to the West. In March 2015, Russia expressed its readiness for negotiations concerning a new treaty regarding the control of conventional weapons in Europe. And Moscow has never rejected further talk on Conventional Arms Control in Europe (CACE).

The security arrangements should take into consideration new realities. Any agreement on arms control arms control treaty should be expanded to new or emerging technologies, comprising long range conventional precision guided weapons, armed unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), offensive cyber capabilities, robots, and the weapons based on new physical principles. In the past it was a mistake to exclude naval forces from the process. This time sea-based weapons and carrier-based aircraft should become part of the arms control agenda.

The confidence-building and security measures (CBSMs) contained in the Vienna Document should be expanded to prevent dangerous military activities and excessive build-up of conventional arms. The Russia’s recent shift from nuclear to highly capable conventional forces is a factor to facilitate progress in the field of arms control.

The Russia-NATO dialogue should eventually feed into a broader conversation on the European security order. That’s what the OSCE was created for. Evidently, it has not done much so far. Its role and contribution could be enlarged to address the key issue – the creation of new security architecture.

Obviously Russia and NATO have plenty of possibilities for cooperation.

There are examples when Russia and NATO effectively cooperated. The parties joined together to conduct the peacekeeping operations in Bosnia (SFOR) and Kosovo.

In 1997, Russia and NATO signed the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security. The document remains the formal basis for NATO-Russia relations. It states that the parties do not see each other as adversaries, and are ready to join together in an effort to build «a lasting and inclusive peace in the Euro-Atlantic area on the principles of democracy and cooperative security». Against all the odds, the document is still in force.

The NATO-Russia Council (NRC) was established in 2002. This is a forum to enable Russia and NATO to discuss a mutually agreed security agenda.

The exchange of civilian and military personnel was extensive enough. Joint military exercises became routine. For instance, after the Kursk submarine accident, Russia and NATO signed an agreement on submarine crew rescue operations. Russia took part in three NATO-led search-and-rescue exercises in 2005, 2008 and 2011.

Russia, NATO and the EU task forces operated jointly to fight piracy off the Somalia’s coast. Russia also supported the NATO’s maritime counter-piracy operation in the Mediterranean Sea (Operation Active Endeavour).

Afghanistan is the place where real cooperation could start right now. Russia allowed land transit though its territory of non-military freight from NATO and non-NATO ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) contributors to the operation in Afghanistan. In 2010, NATO bought 31 Russian Mi-17 helicopters to refurbish them for the Afghan army.

Syria provides another example – joint planning of the first NRC joint maritime mission (2013) for the secure elimination of Syrian chemical weapons on the US vessel “Cape Ray” in support of the OPCW-UN joint mission, which was suspended early 2014 after the decision of several NATO member states.

With few overlapping interests and totally divergent worldviews, Russia and NATO need time to narrow the gap. The NRC could be turned into a confrontation management body to focus on arms control, dangerous military activities, the common fight against terrorism, the Middle East and North Africa, especially Libya.

Today, the European continent is facing significant internal as well as external challenges. Security is paramount. The time is right to launch a meaningful and comprehensive discussion on the continental security order. Respect for each other’s views and interests is a prerequisite for success.

With arms control and non-proliferation in doldrums, the tensions over Ukraine, the standoff between Russia and NATO and the failure to cooperate efficiently in Syria, the Russia-organized conference is an opportunity to make the world a better place and it should not be missed.

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Yen Cross's picture

 You have to lose, [until]  You learn how to win

Mr 9x19's picture

dealing with shit is not always the smartest move,  sometimes you have to kick in it to just suppress the problem.

 

otan is relic from the past. keeping it alive is not a good thing.

y3maxx's picture

Euro countries are not stupid....McCain wants Nuclear War.

prime american's picture
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Bay of Pigs's picture

"We invited some folks...."

SoDamnMad's picture

Just don't invite Lurch. Leave him home to make ketchup.

Archive_file's picture

Game recognize game.

Madcow Kaczynski's picture

We're having a meeting to discuss building a new henhouse. Yeah lets invite the fox to get his opinion lol

J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock's picture

NATO needs Russia as the International Commie Conspiracy made manifest.

Russia needs NATO as the Baba Yaga.

The M.I.C is not unique to the USA

 

J. Peasemold Gruntfuttock

SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Olive branch, meet saber rattle.

DeusHedge's picture

I'm really surprised by this move, and I think Putin should be commended.

beijing expat's picture

We're only interested if Putin agrees to turn over his natural resources first.

francis scott falseflag's picture

You must leave your weapons at the door.  No exceptions.

Mzhen's picture

Russia is still on board with China's New Silk Road.  And Germany was eager to develop trade with Russia.  Until Victoria Nudelman and Hillary decided that knocking over the Ukraine was more in the U.S. interest.

Sandmann's picture

Europe is ex-growth. It has bought "growth" in Demand-Weak countries for 4 decades with the LBO of East Germany buying 17 million Consumers using transfer payments from West Germany and de-industrialising East Germany whose sectors added excess capacity to West German businesses and offered entrypoints for international competition.

Through EU funding Poland and Eastern Europe was brought in as Consumers and a source of young educated labour and their industry eradicated. Ukraine was the latest attempt to buy in Consumers but no access for Ukrainian industry or agriculture.

The Booster Effect of buying in Consumers kept Germany ticking over but at a cost of TARGET2 balances becoming unsustainable and buying forward growth across Europe.

Losing the fast-growing Russian market to China, the Import Junkie UK, and the declining propensity of China to buy German producer goods now they can replicate them, together with Trump's policies make Europe a basket case.

The front page of FT today shows Merkel in lions' den "Germany All Alone" which is where she has manoeuvred the country.

Europe will probably be used as a US battlefield with Poland and Ukraine going down. Essentially Von der Leyen said it last week in Lithuania, that Germany had been the eastern flank of NATO and the battlefield - now Germany has moved it a few thouands kms eastwards.

Poland is a subsidy junkie.....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-23/eu-s-funding-machine-h...

"With the EU lending a hand, and the government seeking to harness 1 trillion zloty for investment in manufacturing and innovation, Kwiecinski said he stands by his forecastthat growth may even reach 5 percent in 2017. The amount of the program is equal to almost half of Poland’s GDP.

With Poland at odds with the EU about the state of its democracy and institutions, and the new government looking to curb the nation’s reliance on foreign financing, its economic performance continues to hinge on assistance from the bloc. It’s halfway through a 230 billion-euro ($258 billion) EU aid package, which helped it avoid a major downturn throughout the global financial crisis." ...
brianshell's picture

Well written with references.

Jubal Early's picture

The demographics across all the white races of Europe are suicidal.  Sure, maybe Russia or Hungary will heavily subsidize (welfarize) childbirth, but getting the birthrate from 1.9 to 2.1 will merely slow the rate of descent.  This is before one considers all the bankrupt pension schemes and hundreds of millions recipients of welfare state grandiosity.

There is going to be a massive die off, there is no other way.  The zionists have a plan and it was all protocolled in Basel in 1903, and for over 100 years everything has unfolded pretty much according to their plan.  After the big die off the goyim will accept jewish law from the world court in Jerusalem.

There was a short repreive for Germany from 1949-1989 when the zionists suspended the Morgentau plan because they needed the Germans to help reign in the USSR which had gone rogue under Stalin after they had won the war for him.  Now the zionists are in a race with the clock to get their job done before the stupid goyim wake up.

maninder's picture

Want to restore childbirth? restore morals and virtues . Religion is one way to achieve it .Desexualise your societies.

Mr.BlingBling's picture

I disagree and believe those low birth rates are exactly what is needed to humanely achieve an ecosystem sustainable over the long term without sacrificing a first-world standard of living--without massive die-offs.

Die-offs are inevitable only if we continue on the yeasty path of infinite growth on a finite Petri dish of a planet. But that growth is the ONLY input truly essential to the illegitimate system of debt-money that enslaves us. So get rid of that system and the problem is solved.

Yen Cross's picture

 TYyer, did you redirect those eighteen week assclown bots?

  I'd like to discuss the reasons  $usd is softening.

sister tika's picture

It is probably not in NATO's best interest to attend the Moscow Security Conference.

As you know, Mr. Putin wants to get his mitts on our 1978 aircraft and missile technology that is so vital to our national security and that of our allies. Russian spies are everywhere and we simply cannot risk it.

Sandmann's picture

Well Google was built by a Russian using CIA funding through Stanford

sister tika's picture

I watched six Russian couples in a restaurant in Greenwich, CT one night years ago. The men sat at one table and spoke privately among themselves, and their wives sat at another table and did the same. They were well-dressed, dignified, discrete, well-mannered and polite. They enjoyed themselves that evening and minded their own business.

All that pristine behavior was probably just "show" as I know (deep down) they were probably bad people who were just pretending to be noble, considerate and elegant. Ya know, because they're Russians.

Vageling's picture

Yeah... Good luck with that! Pointless function as well for Russia having a department of European Cooperation. They have a forked tongue. Meaning cooperation for the EU actually means submission. Never trust Europhiles! Never, nyet! 

Also FUCK Ukranazistan! FUCK Porkyshenko! But yes... If they dropped the bomb and admitted they shot down MH17 wouldn't that be some catastrophic shit! Good leverage they have. Do as we Ukranazies say or we'll tell the truth. 

TeraByte's picture

No we don´t want to be any part of this, because we want a war, but are not prepared to risk our lives or money. It is your duty. This is the German alliance, well established that only 15% of population would be prepared to fight for the country. Pay for their shout or just shut up.

Joe A's picture

"There are examples when Russia and NATO effectively cooperated. The parties joined together to conduct the peacekeeping operations in Bosnia (SFOR) and Kosovo."

Funny he should mention this. When NATO bombed Yugoslavia to pieces over Kosovo, the Russians sent a contingent of their forces from Bosnia to Pristina airport in Kosovo. Wesley Clark was furious when he found out and ordered then captain in the British army now singer James Blunt to engage the Russians. Blunt was smart not to do so and informed his British superior who then called Clark and told him "I will not start WWIII for you". Clark was out soon after that.

Anyway, smart of the Russians to invite NATO. It is a political move of course.

whatisthat's picture

Makes logical sense to keep communication going among affected participants regarding key interests (business, political, human rights) but the participants must avoid hidden agendas and corruption....

Northern Flicker's picture

Meanwhile, generals "mad dog" Mattis, Durnford, and McMaster are presenting another plan for the US military to invade the ME and beat ISIS, their own creation. Then address other "trans-regional" threats (?) Only in America. 

"Always be polite, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet." (Mattis) Man this is tiring.

Vin's picture

Get rid of Turkey and ask Russia to join.

Anatolia isn't Europe.