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MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. Are the leaders of the United States, the European Union and Russia capable of gathering for a meeting equal in status to the Yalta Conference of the Big Three in 1945 to consider what should be done to enhance world security? Most Russian experts are pretty certain and even emphatic about this: "They can and they must." There are some skeptics, though.
Seventy years ago these days, as World War II in Europe was drawing to a close, the leaders of the Soviet Union, the United States and Britain: Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill gathered at the seaside resort of Yalta, in Crimea, which the Red Army several months earlier regained from the Nazi force of occupation, and despite all the divergence of opinion forged a historical compromise that would keep peace in Europe up to the end of the 20th century.
"In the modern context of a sharp worsening of West-Russia relations it is hard to imagine a conference by the world leaders similar to the Yalta conference. Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill had a common goal to share - the defeat of Nazism. These days the leaders of the United States, the European Union and Russia have none. Also, the modern world lacks just a single political figure equal in scale and statesmanship to those three historical personalities," the deputy director of the Institute of US and Canada Studies under the Russian Academy of Sciences, Viktor Kremenyuk, told TASS. "Even if one takes the issue of security in the Middle East and in the centre of Europe in the context of the Ukrainian crisis - a hypothetically common goal - Russia and the Western countries tend to interpret it differently, in accordance with their own national interests. And no chance of a compromise is anywhere in sight."
The participants in an international conference of scholars entitled Yalta-1945: the Past, the Present and the Future, being held in Yalta on February 4-5, have been warning that the world is on the brink of another global conflict and calling for efforts to identify a compromise between Russia and the West.
"The more soberly minded and responsible politicians realize that peace is too fragile to be carelessly toyed with, the sooner will we be able to stem dangerous global trends and get down to work to establish proper conditions for a lasting and stable peace based on mutual respect. Modern politicians should follow in the footsteps of the anti-Hitler coalition to develop the awareness of their responsibility in the face of global challenges," says the president of the Historical Perspective Foundation Natalia Narochnitskaya.
"For reviving the spirit of the Yalta Conference the existing formats of interaction between Russia and the West must be reinforced, in the first place, the Russia-NATO format invigorated. And the sanctions canceled, of course," State Duma member Vyacheslav Nikonov, of the United Russia party, has said.
The leader of the Civil Society Development Fund, Konstantin Kostin, believes that "the lesson of Yalta for today’s politicians is the striving for peace can be more important than any ambitions."
"Just as 70 years ago politicians must push their personal likes and dislikes into the background and find points of agreement," Kostin said.
"In the current context of the Ukrainian crisis, which heralded the collapse of the previous benchmarks of security and is now fraught with a challenge to the whole world, a meeting of the leaders of the United States, the European Union and Russia is not only possible but a vital need," the head of the International Security Centre under the Russian Academy of Sciences, Aleksei Arbatov, told TASS.
"Over the past 25 years the concepts of security professed by the Western countries, on the one hand, and by Russia, on the other, have drifted miles apart, even farther than they were in the Cold War years. This situation in world politics is utterly impermissible, and the responsible politicians just cannot afford to turn a blind eye on it. The principle of Yalta is that of an equitable dialogue, mutual respect, the wish to guarantee collective security and stable development and it must remain intact. It is this principle that may help mend the rifts between Russia and the West," Arbatov said.
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