Text of speech given by Russian Security Council Secretary Sergei Ivanov at the 37th Munich Conference on Security Policy on February 4, 2001.

Posted in Russia | 13-Mar-04 | Author: Sergey Ivanov

English text below was distributed at the speech by the Russian delegation.

at the 37-th Conference on problems of international security.

"Global and regional security at the beginning of the XXI century"
Munich, February 4, 2001

Dear Prime-Minister E. Stoiber!
Dear Mr. H. Teltschik!
Dear ladies and gentlemen!

I thank the organizers of the conference for the invitation to address such an important forum with a summary of Russia's outlook on problems of global and regional security. It's a big honor for me that it is a Russian representative who was entitled to open the "eastern" part of our conference. I see here a certain symbolic significance accepted by the world community.

Composition of its population, spirit, culture and prevailing religions make Russia a European country. But two thirds of its territory and the main part of economic potential are situated in Asia. We base our analysis on the postulate of Eurasian location of Russia, its role of a natural bridge between Europe and Asia, between two civilizations, the role Russia has been playing for more than one century. It is symbolic that the officially approved by the Russian State Duma symbols of the Russian Federation include the double-headed Eagle looking to the West and to the East.

On the international arena Russia carries out a multivectorial policy which contours I'll try to outline in my speech. We also proceed from the fact of particular responsibility of Russia under the UN Charter for maintaining security both on global and regional levels.

International community enters the XXI century while a transformation of a bipolar world based on ideological rivalry and military confrontation is still continuing. It is being substituted by a new architecture of multi-polar world. Its contours are becoming more and more clear, but the process of formation is still far from being completed. Its development isn't easy, it is sometimes full of contradictions and its strength is being seriously examined.

We are sure that in historical perspective a multi-polar world has no alternative. It is the combination of effort and if necessary -- the distribution of roles between separate dynamically developing poles of international community that will create optimum prerequisites for stable development, ensuring global stability and security.

The question is mainly about the primacy of international law, preservation of the system of the UNO, and the most significant international and regional institutions. They are the principles of the UN Charter, though they were worked out more than half a century ago, that still preserve their actuality and are to remain a compass for cooperation of separate poles, for international communication.

In the new situation the UNO might also carry out the functions of coordination and harmonization of activity for regional organizations and unions. Especially we appreciate the role of the UNO in settlement of crisis situations and international conflicts. There may be no "humanitarian" considerations to justify the interference into other countries' internal affairs without sanctions of the UNO and its Security Council. That is why we oppose the concept of "humanitarian intervention."

At one time, in the beginning of the XX century American President W. Wilson worked up a doctrine proclaiming that "the law is above the force" which meant a course towards international reconciliation and coordinated actions among States. At that time all leading countries supported it, but it was carried out in an inconsistent manner, which resulted in new global tragedies. At present we are sure that this principle is the only possible one to guarantee the security for mankind at the threshold of XXI century, which, by no means, promises to be an easy one to live in.

Formation of multi-polarity makes more urgent the task of reformation and adaptation of the UNO mechanisms to new conditions. And it is to be solved dynamically without putting it off.

The United Nations is designed to play the most important role in combating old social ills of Mankind, which regrettably acquired a global dimension. First of all it is the organized crime and narcotics traffic closely linked with it. Overall scale of this crime suggest that we are facing a criminal expansion that is a danger for life and welfare of persons and the security of States. In this connection I can not but note the adoption by the UN General Assembly the UN Convention against the trans-national organized crime and two additional protocols to it -- on human trade and unlawful migration. For the first time in the history of the international community key universal instruments in crime-combating field were created with most active participation of Russia. We are satisfied that Russia was among the first who signed these documents at the high level conference in Palermo in December 2000.

The key factor determining international security at the beginning of the XXI century, as we see it, is maintaining strategic stability. The corner stone of strategic stability is 1972 AMD Treaty. All these years the logic of the Treaty consisted in reflecting objective interdependence between strategic offensive and defensive weapons. The Treaty created possibility for predictability in nuclear sphere and progress on the way towards nuclear disarmament not only for the USSR and the USA but also for the whole of the world. We think that its value has not in the least faded for the last nearly three decades. And what is more, according to the UN voting it is recognized by the majority of the countries.

We oppose the plans of the USA to set up a system of AMD of the national territory of the country (NAMD) not only because of national considerations (we are sure to find our own, Russian, answer). We oppose them because they undermine the basement of global strategic stability. Deployment of NAMD by definition would make the AMD Treaty senseless. And the destruction of the AMD Treaty, and we are quite positive about it, will result in annihilation of the whole structure of strategic stability and create prerequisites for a new arms race including the one in the outer space.

Restraining the so-called rogue countries (according to American terminology) may be carried out more effectively from the point of view of both expenses and consequences by means of common political effort. Situation with North Korea is the obvious example.

Russia puts forward an alternative program of actions to reinforce strategic stability, nuclear disarmament and missile non-proliferation that was stated in Declaration of President V. V. Putin on November 13, 2000. It is addressed to all countries and in the first turn to the United States to which we are open for dialogue on the whole specter of questions concerning disarmament.

We expect that the USA will follow our example and ratify SALT-2 Treaty, package of New-York agreements of 1997 to the AMD Treaty and Nuclear Tests Overall Ban Treaty (NTOBT).

Given the AMD Treaty is maintained, Russia is ready for mutual with USA radical cuts of strategic offensive weapons (SOW) to as low as 1500 units and even lower than this level. We are also ready to immediately start official talks with USA on SALT-3.

In order to deter and limit missile proliferation Russia has put toward a concept of Global Missile and Missile Technologies Control System (GCS). On February 15, 2001 in Moscow we are going to organize the second international meeting of experts in such questions.

In April 2001 in Moscow we are planning to set up a conference on prevention of the outer space militarization. Such a conference is to give a new impetus to the countries joint effort to keep the outer space free of weapons of any kind. The problem is very urgent.

We stand for the reinforcement of international regime of nuclear arms non-proliferation. Nuclear Arms Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) -- is an important factor of international stability and security. We highly estimate the results of the Conference on NANPT Implementation, which took place in New York in April-May 2000.

A new concrete step towards strengthening of international regime of nuclear arms non proliferation became the initiative of President V. V. Putin announced on September 6, 2000 during the UNO Millennium Summit, which concerned the energy availability to secure the stable development of mankind, cardinal solution of problems dealing with nuclear arms non proliferation, as well as ecological protection of the planet of Earth. We moved that the efforts of all the interested countries should be joined together under the auspices of IAEA and we are satisfied with the wide support of the Russian initiative. We also proposed to work out non-proliferation-proof nuclear technologies to be used as fuel in nuclear power stations. Russia has relevant technologies, which it can offer to the world community. As an immediate step we propose to undertake international commitment to ban production of fission materials for weapon purposes.

An important means of harmonious achievement of the aims of non-proliferation is export control. Participation in international regimes of export control and their improvement form the principle position of Russia. In this matter we proceed from the fact that export control is not to be the mean of political pressure or result in groundless denial of access to advanced technologies and legal means of self-defense.

Speaking about regional component of international security, I'd like to begin with Asia. In this vast and rapidly developing region of the world among the main forums maintaining stability and security, including the economic one, one should mention the Asian-Pacific Economic Forum (APEF) and Association of the countries of Southeast Asia (ASEAN). They represent important centers of power both in Asian-Pacific region auld on the global scale. Member countries have a considerable potential to build up their influence over the course of international development. It was once again proved by the recent summit of APEF in Brunei.

We consistently support the idea of strengthening cooperation in dealing with global problems with such big states as China, India and Japan. We are sure that they will play an important role in molding the shape of the XXI century.

Obviously, for Russia, as well as for any other country, from the point of view of security the immediate surrounding represents top priority. First of all it concerns the evolution of relations within the framework of Community of Independent States (CIS).

To tell you frankly, the last year witnessed the process of reappraisal of Russian politics in CIS. The starting point became the conclusion that in the nearest future accelerated development of Community into a full-scale integrated union is impossible. Thus we have faced with the dilemma -- whether to continue to regard ingression in the post-soviet area as an absolute value, justifying practically all the expenses and concessions to the partners, or to take a more sensible and pragmatic course. The choice was a difficult one, especially taking into account the price we have paid for taking the previous course. The debt of the CIS countries to Russia only for State credits, taking account the overdue interest payments is amounting to 1,5 billion dollars. Overall debt of CIS countries to Russia with account taking of the debt to Russian subjects of economic operations and budgetary organizations is more than 5,600 million dollars. As a result the choice was made in favor of ensuring the interests of national security of Russia, primarily by means of developing bilateral relations with the CIS countries.

I want to emphasize that we do not abandon multilateral forms of cooperation or integration within the framework of CIS. One should never lose an outlook for the future. During the Yalta summit in summer 2000 the Presidents of CIS countries issued to this effect a very significant statement. It meets the most urgent interests of all member states. For Russia the continuation of integration within the framework of CIS -- is a principle provision.

But multilateral cooperation for us may not become an end in itself. It should grow organically and gradually, without speeding up the events, rather as a reaction to concrete challenges, which are to be faced with jointly.

With those of the partners, who display readiness, we develop advanced cooperation. The others for some reason or other are more reserved about it. We regard such a position with understanding and without jealousy. Any kind of interaction must be mutually advantageous otherwise it may give birth to new contradictions. Yet, to our regret, those who would like to see in the role of Russia in the CIS area the so-called "imperial manners" do still exist. As an example of such accusations I can cite the events around temporary cessation of gas deliveries to Georgia. Then some politicians tried to present our actions to curb the activity of international swindlers who tried to sell stolen fuel as a political pressure on the Georgian Government. But there was no political motivation in our actions but only the natural intention to defend economic interests of Russia. We will act in the same manner in the future to defend the interests of the Russian State and Russian companies irrespective of their form of property everywhere.

The essence of the renovated mode of action of Russia within the framework of CIS is the combination of our effort towards integration and activation of bilateral relations. This is the main point of multi-level and multi-speed integration.

Unfortunately, the end of the XX century has led us to confront the new threats: growth of international terrorism, aggressive nationalism, separatism and other forms of extremism, activation of ethno-political conflicts and crises.

To fight them back Russia has already joined in common effort of the majority of CIS countries confronting international terrorism in Central Asia and in the Caucasus. Terrorism is the world's general pain; the analogy may be drawn that Russia, a front-line warrior fighting international terrorism in Chechnya and Central Asia is saving the civilized world of the terrorist plague in the same way as it used to save Europe of Tatar-Mongol invasion in XIII century, paying, with sufferings and privation.

CIS member countries realize clearly that counteracting the extremists' coordinated attacks demand coordinated political actions of all Community countries. As a result the CIS Heads of State Council has taken a decision to set up a CIS Antiterrorist Center (ATC) and to work out a corresponding international program to fight international terrorism and other manifestations of extremism for the period of the next 3 years, which was adopted in June 2000.

Antiterrorist component also plays an important role in the work of the member countries of Collective Security Treaty of May 15, 1992. They are Armenia, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. A Security Council Secretaries Committee has been set up to coordinate the activity. Work is being under way to create the systems of collective security on major directions. Central Asia is regarded as top priority region. A very important aspect will be realization of national level plans to organize rapid deployment forces, which are to be assigned antiterrorist functions.

The growing activity of terrorism and extremism in the region is closely connected with the situation in Afghanistan, which territory has become a bridge-head for international terrorism, drug traffic, arms smuggle etc. According to our information, the Taliban fighters, supported by Pakistan, have set up in Afghanistan approximately 30 training camps for terrorist commandos from Central Asian, Arab and European countries.

A testimony of the close links between international terrorism and organized crime is the fact that Russian border guard in the year 2000 confiscated more than 3 tons of drugs at the Afghan-Tadjic border.

We are open for the closest cooperation to fight the global threat of terrorism, against which national flats seem to be a very poor shelter. Today the monster of terrorism reaches not only as far as Central Asia and Philippines, its threatening breath may be heard in Europe as well.

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

While globalization of international life is growing, for Russia Europe still plays a special role. The same as Russia objectively plays a special role for Europe. So must have been the will of God.

Today the most pressing concern for Europe is the situation on the Balkans. As almost a hundred years ago the Balkans remain "a powder-keg" of Europe. History teaches people only those things they want to learn.

Inconsistency in observing main provisions of the international law, principles of sovereignty, non-use of force or a threat of force led to the emergence of a large instability region on the Balkans. It is not yet possible to curb decentralizing trends in Kosovo, Montenegro and Southern Serbia.

We consider the preservation of the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia a matter of principal importance. We must oppose dismemberment of this state, which would lead to a whole-Balkan conflict with all its unpredictable consequences.

Balkan events showed inefficiency of European security institutions in crisis management. United Nations as well did not do its best in the beginning of the conflict aud could not prevent the use of military force against civilians in Yugoslavia.

To be frank, the Kosovo crisis showed the inability of NATO to solve effectively peacekeeping tasks. Its attempt to act as a peacekeeper led to the escalation of the Kosovo conflict to the scale of a humanitarian catastrophe and to an ecologic disaster comparable to Chernobyl.

It is not just words. The use of more than 30 thousand uranium ammunition caused the dispersion of some 10 tons of depleted uranium as radioactive and toxic dust, which can cause cancer diseases and immune system misbalance. One should also remember that more than 3 thousand tons of alkaloids, 800 tons of acids, 1 thousand tons of ethyl chloride, many thousand tons of oil and oil products were dumped in the Danube. To combat consequences of this catastrophe would cost dearly to Europe.

In fact NATO actions caused systematic growth of violence and a political impasse, threatening European and global security. It is a very dangerous precedent. Especially for the East which is not a potential area of NATO with all respect for its power. And many countries of this region are privy to weapons of mass destruction.

We still have to draw the lessons of Kosovo. But some conclusions are already evident:
  • a system of continental security was formed in Europe after the end of the cold war, which was workable, though inefficient; in present circumstances it can develop only with mutual respect, confidence and equal partnership;
  • best results are achieved by concerted use by all international security institutions of the whole arsenal of means including political, economic and information;
  • double standards and non-concerted actions in crisis management lead to the prolongation of conflicts, mass suffering, public calamities and all sorts of speculations defending "humanitarian interventions" against sovereign subjects of international relations.
Europe is a region of the world where destabilizing the situation is fraught with catastrophic consequences for the region and for the whole world. Therefore all actions here must be thought out and measured carefully. The Russian proverb says, "measure seven times and then cut once". In Europe one should measure seven times by seven.

It's because of this that we, having our own regrettable experience of settling the situation in North Caucasus, stand in favor of joining first of all political effort of all sides involved in trying to undo any sophisticated knot of today.

Russia regards construction of united Europe free of dividing lines and military conflicts as a key factor for creation of a new world order. An important part of such effort should become our cooperation with North Atlantic alliance.

That is why we oppose the plans of NATO's expansion to the East. These intentions are still more difficult to explain today when Russia, following directives of the President on the guidelines of the military organization of the State, starts a massive reform of not only Military Forces but of armed forces of other institutions where military service is envisaged. By the year 2006 aggregate personnel of the so-called power ministries and services will be reduced by 568 thousand, including 440 thousand of serviceman.

We do not regard NATO as the sole decisive factor in setting up European security system, hich is to be based on OSCE. But at the same time we do not deny that in this system NATO should occupy a fitting place.

For Russia relations with European Community have a priority. This is stated in Russian Federation Foreign Policy Concept. Such processes as extension of the EC, formation of its common foreign policy and security policy, introduction of a single currency exert tangible influence on international situation in Europe and attract attention the world over.

We proceed from the fact that the forming shape of the EC in the field of security and defense furnishes new greater possibilities for cooperation between Russia and European Community.

We think that, taking into account new political and military possibilities of EC, the dialogue between Russia and European Community in the sphere of security and defense -- alongside with Russia-NATO dialogue -- might be productive on topics of military and civil crisis management, strategic stability, disarmament, military and technical cooperation.

In conclusion let me say a few words on the question of Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).

We attach priority importance to joining WTO on conditions acceptable for our country as well as to full-scale participation in regulation of world trade.

Russia has submitted all necessary documents to start negotiations on joining WTO. We are planning to stir up the process of negotiations. This summer they will start the preparation of the final Report of the Working Group -- a document specifying Russia's obligations as a full member. We are planning to complete the negotiations on the whole by the end of 2001. However in joining WTO for us conditions, which are going to be worked out during negotiations are more important than date of entry. Here a mutually beneficial compromise with the WTO member countries is needed.

Leading Western countries have more than once declared their political support of Russia's joining WTO, such declarations being part of concluding docments of the "Eight" summit and APES. We hope that our main trade partners will meet us halfway on a number of economic aspects of membership.

In connection with this I cannot but touch upon a delicate subject of Russian debts and attendant moral aspects.

At the beginning of the 90-s during the most difficult period of transition to democracy Russia, facing the threat to be denied financial credits, had to take obligations to pay back the debts of former USSR. Though at the beginning it was supposed that the other CIS countries would also carry their part of financial burden. Accordingly we expect that Western countries will demonstrate understanding of our financial problems. Today's Russia's balanced budget is the result of our tough financial policy under which pensions and average salaries stay lower than minimum wage, 30% of population staying beyond the poverty line.

I'd like to remind you that since 1992 Russia paid its creditor more than $ 18 Billion of the former USSR debt, including $ 12,3 Billion of aggregate interest. A major part of these payments were made in fact for debts of other republics of the former USSR, which make no payments to their creditors and some of them do not renounce claims of their share in the foreign assets of the former USSR.

At the same time Russia practically without compensation has been taking part in solution of numerous international problems, thus also contributing to stable development of the world's leading states members of the "Eight". Among those are regulating conflicts around Iraq, Yugoslavia, in the Middle East, withdrawal of troops not only from the territory of Germany, but from other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, process of non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons and "sensitive technologies" aud many other. I repeat, in doing this Russia is not abandoning its financial and other obligations.

In our country as well as abroad political lexicon has lately been enriched by such notion as pragmatism. But pragmatism is not a primitive arithmetic -- how to gain more than you give. One should rather speak about higher mathematics. Things may go this way, you know, -- refusing to waive part of one's profit today, tomorrow one may get results which may turn out to be much more expensive. And not only from the point of view of economics. For, as we all know, politics has to be paid for.

All this brings me to the idea of some contradictions in conceptual approach of the West to what is happening iu Russia.

On one hand, what are we on the screen of Western: TV imperfect state management, legal nihilism. The horrors of everyday life -- assassinations, terrorism, financial and economic chaos, investment deficit, capital fleeing abroad, massive corruption, absence of the freedom of speech.

On the other hand -- some people in the West call any action of the President to counter these tendencies a threat to democracy.

One might as well, hearing sacramental "Who are You, Mr. Putin?" to put a counter-question -- "What kind of Russia do you need?" Where is the borderline, where vanish or weaken the vital interests of one country and where vital interests of other nations, including Russia, which has lately lost practically all of its traditional markets, have the right to exist? The smallest step in this direction provokes absolutely unfounded accusations of "imperial ambitions." All this needs a profound investigation and preparation of a new agenda not only for Russia. Many other countries of the East find themselves in a similar situation.

For us it is one of the main challenges to the interests of both national and international security at the beginning of the XXI century, which we all should think about.

Thank you.