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Russian diplomat warns against clinging to bloc security architecture in Europe

December 11, 2015, 9:50 UTC+3
"It is impossible to try to strengthen one’s own security at the expense of others," the Russian representative stressed
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Alexey Borodavkin

Alexey Borodavkin

© ITAR-TASS/Boris Kavashkin

GENEVA, December 10 /TASS/. Europe’s security architecture, which is based on the existence of military blocs like NATO, do not lend itself to reform and is capable of reproducing the cold war, Alexey Borodavkin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva, said on Thursday.

Borodavkin told the "Russia-Europe: Ways out of Crisis" international conference, which is currently underway in Geneva, that European security was indivisible and comprehensive. "It is impossible to try to strengthen one’s own security at the expense of others," the Russian representative stressed.

He recalled that several years before Russia had suggested fixing these fundamental principles and the commitments deriving from them in a European Security Treaty.

"Unfortunately, this initiative was needlessly turned down. It is dangerous to cling to outdated dogmas and a security architecture based on the existence of blocs like NATO that does not lend itself to reform. It can only reproduce the cold war," the Russian diplomat went on to say.

As for the conflict in southeastern Ukraine, Borodavkin noted that it was reflecting the consequences of a shortsighted policy aimed at creation of new dividing lines in Europe like a drop of water.

For his part, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter told the conference that the European security could be viable only if it covered all European states, including Russia.

"So, we are talking about security together with Russia rather than against Russia," Burkhalter told the forum. The Ukraine crisis, according to the Swiss foreign minister, plunged the European security into a deep crisis that erased the idea of security cooperation in the face of sanctions and military defensive measures. He believes that Russia’s recent rapprochement with the West over a terrorist threat can contribute to settling the Ukraine crisis. The strengthening of European security that will cover all countries of the continent, including Russia, should be parallel to efforts to settle the Ukraine crisis.

"We do not need any new rules or new institutions. What we need is a strong political will of all the players involved," Burkhalter concluded.

President of Swiss Press Club Guy Mettan told TASS that there was a gap in approaches to various problems. He has recently published a book about the sources of Russophobia in the West.

According to Mettan, the West has always considered its point of view to be the only right one and that has prevented it to accept and recognize Russia’s point of view.

"It is necessary to recognize the existence of two viewpoints. Then it will be possible to span the brides again. It is necessary to recognize that there are two shores. It’s only between the two shores that a bridge can be built," Guy Mettan said.

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