Is neutering NATO is the next Russia-China project? — RT World News

The Euro-Atlantic region has not witnessed a crisis like the one it is experiencing today since the end of the Cold War. Which created an opportunity for real change

by ivan Timofeev, Valdai Club Program Director

On February 29, 2024, in his annual address to the Federal Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized the need for a new framework for equal and integrated security in Eurasia. He also expressed the country's readiness to engage in a substantive discussion on this issue with relevant parties and organizations.

This initiative was implemented during Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to China this month. Russia's top diplomat informed the press of an agreement with China to start a discussion on the security architecture of Eurasia; This topic was discussed during the visit. The fact that Putin's proposal was on the negotiating agenda between the two major countries indicates that it may take concrete form, both in terms of political theory and practice.

Naturally, the idea of ​​Eurasian security raises questions about other related initiatives. During his visit to Beijing, Sergei Lavrov directly linked the need for a new framework to the challenges facing Euro-Atlantic security, which centers around NATO and the OSCE. The references to the Euro-Atlantic experience are important for two reasons.

First, the Euro-Atlantic project is characterized by a high degree of institutional integration. It is based on a military bloc (NATO) that maintains strict obligations towards its members. Despite the end of the Cold War, NATO not only managed to survive, but also expanded to include former members of the Warsaw Pact. NATO is the largest and most stable military grouping in history.

Second, the post-Cold War Euro-Atlantic project failed to address the issue of common security for all countries in the region. In theory, the OSCE could bring together in one community both NATO and non-NATO member states, including Russia. But since the early 2000s, the OSCE has witnessed a process of politicization that has favored the interests of Western states.

As a result, Russia increasingly views NATO expansion as a threat to its security. Instruments such as the Russia Council and NATO were unable to address the growing tensions. The lack of effective and fair institutions capable of effectively addressing Russia's concerns and fully integrating them into a common security framework has led to increasing estrangement and, ultimately, a crisis in relations with the West. This development was accompanied by the deterioration of the arms control regime and the erosion of security standards, against the backdrop of US-led military operations and intervention in post-Soviet countries. The culmination of these events was the Ukrainian crisis, which has reached its military stage and will ultimately determine the final status of the emerging security divisions in Europe.

The Euro-Atlantic region no longer exists as a single security community. It is characterized instead by asymmetric bipolarity, with NATO on one side and Russia on the other.

Against the backdrop of the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, an intense and growing confrontation has emerged between Russia and NATO. This conflict has not yet escalated into a full-fledged military phase, but it is manifesting itself in various other dimensions, including information warfare and the provision of direct and comprehensive military assistance from Western countries to Ukraine. The Euro-Atlantic region has not faced such challenges since the end of the Cold War. This indicates that the Euro-Atlantic security framework, based on the principles of equal and indivisible security, no longer exists. At best, one can only hope that the severity of the current crisis will be reduced by finding a new balance of power and mutual deterrence, while acknowledging the emerging security divisions. In the worst case, there could be a direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO, with the possibility of nuclear escalation.

The experience of the failure of the Euro-Atlantic project highlights the need to create a new framework based on different principles and foundations. First, this new framework should be based on cooperation among many actors, and should not rely solely on the dominance of any one party, such as that of the United States in NATO. In this regard, it is important that consultations on Eurasian security issues between Russia and China – the two major powers and permanent members of the UN Security Council – begin. This indicates that the first steps towards creating a new framework are being taken on the basis of dialogue and shared responsibility, and not on the principle of the dominance of any single power. But these steps are not limited to Russian-Chinese bilateral relations, but also leave room for the participation of other countries interested in contributing. The principles of shared responsibility and non-domination may form the basis of a new security architecture.

Another principle worth considering is the principle of multidimensional security. It is not limited to military matters (although these remain fundamental), but includes a wide range of issues, including… 'Hybrid threats' Such as media campaigns, cybersecurity, interference in internal affairs, and politicization of the economy and finance. The unresolved nature of these issues in relations between Russia and the West was one of the preconditions for the current crisis. It is possible that discussion of the new security architecture will include such issues at an early stage. The principle of indivisibility of security, which was not achieved in the Euro-Atlantic project, can and should constitute a fundamental principle in the Eurasian region.

The start of consultations between Moscow and Beijing on a new security framework, of course, does not necessarily indicate the formation of a NATO-like military-political alliance. Rather, we are likely to witness a lengthy process of development and improvement of the features and specifications of the new framework. Initially, this may take the form of a platform for dialogue or consultation between interested parties, without the burden of excessive regulatory or institutional obligations. Subsequent interactions may be conducted on a case-by-case basis, to address specific security concerns, including digital security. Existing institutions and organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) can be utilized to this end. The experience gained can then be transferred into permanent institutions focusing on a broader range of security issues.

An important issue will be the functional orientation of the new structure. NATO originally existed as a deterrent against the Soviet Union, but today it has received a new lease of life as a deterrent against Russia.

It is also possible that Eurasia's new security architecture is specifically designed to deter.

Both Russia and China are in a state of rivalry and rivalry with the United States, although in Russia's case this has entered an overt phase, while for China this has not yet fully manifested. At the very least, the idea of ​​a joint US confrontation has support in both Moscow and Beijing.

At the same time, only building a security architecture to fend off Washington limits the potential comprehensiveness of the project. A number of Eurasian countries rely on a multi-factor policy and are unlikely to be willing to participate in a structure aimed at competing with the Americans. Conversely, a high degree of comprehensiveness can weaken the security agenda, reducing it to a general issue that does not require specific and coordinated action. At present, there are many unanswered questions regarding the parameters of the Eurasian security framework. These issues must be addressed through diplomatic channels and through dialogue between international experts from the countries concerned.

This article was first published by Valdai Discussion Club, Translated and edited by the RT team.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button