tv Atlantic Council Holds Discussion on European Security CSPAN May 21, 2016 5:46am-7:01am EDT
bill that was passed by the house this weekend is about to be taken up by the senate. newsmakers, sunday 10:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. european shipments of scholars discussed the role of diplomacy and strengthening european security and they talk about conflict in of the ukraine. this is just over anouncil evens just over an hour. >> good morning and welcome. thank you all for joining us. i am the president and ceo of the atlantic council. it's my way pleasure to welcome youy pleasure to welcome
today on the discussion of diplomacy in the future of european security. i would like to extend a special welcome to our esteemed speakers, first and foremost, the secretary general for security and cooperation in europe. the secretary general is joined by a member of the panel of eminent persons on european is a common project professor. he also served as president of the chicago council on global affairs, our partner organization for today's event. i would also like to welcome the distinguished guest we have today. forgive me if i don't have all of you in my notes.
this discussion comes at a time of uncertainty in european history to say the very least. more than a quarter-century after the fall of the berlin wall, the strategic questions of political divergence is emerged. looking back, sometimes we forget the huge importance of the csc in getting us through the cold war and out the other side in as good a shape as we are in. turning back to europe and ukraine, instability persists. as of february, the minsk cease-fire has failed to halt the conflict that has killed more than 9000 people.
it is unclear whether europe will be able to deliver refugee rights. among the challenges are also threats to europe's core, the mounting forces of disintegration across europe's centrifugal forces, risk unraveling the peace and stability achieved through years of transatlantic leadership for security. realizing these new dangers, the council has ramped up its own initiative, because we think the reminder is necessary now and in washington, and across the , of the imprints of the
transatlantic relationship to the security of a global future. leaders have become increasingly reluctant to work together in restoring a vision for europe or a transatlantic vision. a chief example is the united kingdom's june 23 vote to stay in or leave the european union. we released last week a letter signed by former secretaries of defense, secretaries of state, and national security advisers making the arguments of -- in favor of remaining in from a geopolitical and security standpoint. a vote to leave could inspire a cascade of other eu referendums, as nearly half of voters in eight other eu countries have said they want their own brexit like vote. since the group's founding, in
december, 2014, by the osce responseirmanship in to russia's annexation in crimea earlier that year, the panel has held a series of frank and intense discussions on european security. copies of the panel's final report, and i urge you to read it, back to diplomacy, can be in our law the. please pick it up on your way out. i also encourage you to join the conversation we are starting here today and continuing on twitter. much to discuss, and so let me go ahead and turn things over to the professor, a friend i have respected for many, many years, currently a professor at warsaw university, the minister of foreign affairs in poland. he is a great friend of the council, and it is a pleasure to
have him back with us today. i leave it to you to give us a more comprehensive introduction. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much for your kind words. i am going to make a very brief introduction to our debate today. we were established with a mandate to respond to the question of how european asurity can be rediscovered a common project. wisdom, popular among intellectuals and national security experts, is that there a need to strengthen existing aim to make with an
them more effective. the other school of thinking is that one should convene a congress like the historical or helsinki.tnam and elaborate a kind of european security treaty which should contain new principles, , and fundamentally a new code of conduct. in my view, however, there is no deficit in europe of political institutions. they bind the states and their mutual relationship. the problem in europe, and it's not for a lack of documents, but for a desiccant -- at deficit of mutual trust and confidence.
i would like to say that our report reflects three different narratives. represented by the western states. the other by russia. the third one by the countries in between who are represented by two participants on the panel ukraine and georgia. i would like to say that the institutions should follow the problems. therefore, the panel of eminent persons in this work on the final report has been focused on the origin and depth of the crisis in european security. there is no shortage of contact, including higher level meetings. there is an urgent meeting to
find a way to rebuild trust and confidence. the proposed recommendations, although modest, i would like to say the proposed recommendations, although they are modest in fact are adequate for the challenges. as the common project should be -- the search for european security as a common project should be less oriented to the rhetoricck kurt -- than to technicalities at the core of matters. fact,oblems, in originated within the states and not between them. not between the west and russia, but within the west and within russia. what has to be done? in general, the terms one has to recommend to deescalate and
demilitarized security policy. the priorities or strategies for corporation and the joint -- cooperation and a joint solution under the orc offices should conclude in 2016 following immediate steps and measures. first, prevention of the direct military confrontation between the west and russia. one should be focused especially on the question how to prevent unintentional military incidents. second, development of political, economic, and military conditions were a for a durable and just peaceful settlement of the crisis around ukraine as well as other regions. i would like to say that the interim report of the group was directly focused on the solution of the crisis in and around ukraine.
fourth, excuse me, third, the mission in ukraine, to ukraine, and establishing to monitor and -- establishing a mechanism to implement the minsk agreement. and forth, operating a frame for the lasting political sentiment of the ukraine crisis within the new european security order, which has to be based on the following elements. the core and fundamental political component of a new european order has repulsed the reviewedas to be both by the national territories of states and the industries of internal political order. second, confirmation of that principles.
i have in mind and sovereigns of states who will use force, -- nonuse of force non-intervention in internal , affairs, respect for human rights, equal rights, and demilitarization of peoples, -- self-determination of peoples. cooperation of states, and in good faith, obligations under international law. the fifth element which has to be taken in this broader context is an operation of in operative and adequate risks, military and nonmilitary measures. reflection of some old -- ideas of of some old
zones of interest, or privilege, interest for great powers, or -- are irreconcilable with the principle of sovereign and equal rights over the states, of the states who belong to the osc. next element is revitalization and activation of the arms control process. and on new act, new sense of confidence and security measures under the osc offices. adjustment of the existing institutions and origins to the new tasks and challenges. i would like to say that not everything has to be reinvented, but many things will be rediscovered. some of these mechanisms could be upgraded. in short, it seems to me that
the time is right to initiate the process of negotiation with an aim to find a common security denominator for the west and russia in the form of a new security arrangement. such a negotiated compromise has to reconcile both a different threat perceptions and national security interests. it has to be done in a world which is more interconnected, more contested at the moment, and more complex than in the past years, which we know as cold war period. therefore, the new european and global security system has to be more integrated, and as i said, interconnected. interdependent. since europe and the world are
more fragmented and contested, there is a need to take under consideration the existing political needs and demonstrate both flexibility and sense of in thers and reflected way they are the final effort under the title. thank you very much for your attention. [applause] ivo daalder: thank you very much for your introduction, and adam for the overview of the report. said, the copies are
outside the door. we will look forward at the work we have been doing. very much appreciate the opportunity to have this discussion here at the atlantic council today. let me start with the secretary-general. and a reflection on i think something that might be underappreciated, which is the role of one international organization in ukraine, is playing today. the osc role has been very critical since the start of the conflict and continues to be critical. if you can just reflect on that role, where that might evolve over the future and what the osc could be doing that is bringing all of us together. lamberto zannier: one of the surprising things is the vote in this. in fact, at the beginning of the crisis, the european union, we have been dealing with ukraine. we keep dealing also with the
crisis of both. they recovered at some point. their role was somehow one-sided. they did not find the ground for them to engage in what became an extremely polarized crisis with the media and the narratives was very different. and where there was a need for inclusive approach for them to play their role. and that is what the osc was able to provide. the table around which, how can i say, controversial manner this issue was discussed. but in the end, there was an agreement, a needed for -- a goal needed for international goals. a political process, and to try to stabilize the situation, but to try to unify the narrative on the conflict. so, that mandate was mainly
a mandate of monitoring and reporting back and forth, trying to devolve this kind of expansion of different narratives that could have also broke to an expansion of the conflict. the result was that we started deploying, there was a story brought back by the monitors and also the differences within the osc communities. we have monitors come from here, monitors come from various european countries, and from russia. they are showing multinational teams. so, they tell us the story together the way they see things, etc. so, we forced everybody to look at things from the same perspectives. and i think that was a good contribution that the international community provided
, feet on the ground, but also in lowering the amount around this conflict. the political process is normandy, you may be following the difficulties and the progress. on the ground, the mandated mission which is mainly what we are monitoring, it is unarmed observers we have. it is a mission that has expanded, a thousand people, 700 monitors and support staff. most of which is now deployed in the eastern regions. it is a mandate that tests the factors that have been expanded to cover other functions. basically, supporting the value of implementation, monitoring areas where we have military equipment being moved to. reporting back that some of the subsequent dates it was new the line of combat.
so, it was a warning in relation to a possible violation of the cease-fire. this is also to show that at times when we see division or a conflict back in europe where we hoped we would not be after the end of the cold war, we would open a new phase of cooperation and peaceful interaction. we see that border is not being sustainable as we were expecting. we are seeing conflicts. in the post-cold war cities from moldova to georgia, ukraine is a larger expression of that kind of problematic. aroundl need a table, which we have to discuss differences, understand problems.
and promote cooperation, which is still lacking. and update the tools. some of these tools go back to the cold war days. they need to be adapted, modernized, and adjusted to address more challenging nature of the conflict today. so, that is the agenda we have in the osc, and is a work in progress. ivo daalder: so, our report, as professor rotfeld described, we had two reports, one that looked at ukraine, and the role of the osc. one that made recommendations to improve it. how to even do a better job, because i think, as as we concluded, the osc was critical and remains a critical part of this. the second part of our report said that we need to have a diplomatic strategy that is both immediate and longer-term based
on the implementation of minsk. we said nothing can happen until then fundamental part of the conflict is resolved. ering, talk a little bit about what we are hearing in the longer-term, we should be looking at that. barbara haering: it seems to release the report. in 2015, the situation has become more serious, and maybe minsk has not been implemented, conflicts that have been frozen, popping up again. the risk of these incidents has to radically increased. therefore, our focus today is really to avoid an escalation of the situation caused by unintended accidents, incidents. this needs a call for a solid
, stable military cooperation. it needs a joint europe principal that we have all agreed. and it needs more implication of the united states. the united states has to be at the table. this crisis over the ukraine goes beyond ukraine, beyond europe, and into the geopolitical threat to many countries. that is the immediate focus we have to take. and the long run, we have to find a strategy how to define the security status of countries that do not belong to an alliance. the report calls them the countries in between. there is certainly a strategy
needs that goes country by country. at issue is a particular situation. this is not enough. that is why our report asks for a comprehensive diplomatic initiative to rest these issues in the interest of the principles we have all agreed in the final act and in the paris charter. we should stick to it. this framework is solid. and it does not have to be rewritten. it just has to be followed. ivo: let's take the conversation to both parts of what you just talked about. jean-marie, you know where we are. we concluded and the one thing we agreed, 15 panel members including our russian colleagues, that the situation is dangerous. we need to focus on that situation in order to avoid it becoming more dangerous and more
hot wars occurring. there is already one in ukraine. of course. but more hot wars occurring. on what we can do, and perhaps what the situation really demands at this point. jean-marie: this report is a call to diplomatic action. there is a great complacency today. when we look at the situation today, and the situation in the cold war, no one should regret the cold war. which kept half of europe with limited sovereignty with a tax on human rights. at the same time, one should recognize that today's situation may be more dangerous than the cold war. it is more dangerous because there is no agreed status quo. everything is up for grabs. which, in some ways, we should be happy with. if it means that the people take
charge. if it means that incidents can escalate because there is no clarity on the situation of each country, then that becomes very dangerous. that is why we believe in the panel that it is important to take action, both in the immediate short-term, the tactical situations, where armed forces from russia and nato countries can become embroiled. we saw it when a russian fighter was shot over a sliver of turkish territory. we have been, so to speak, lucky so far, that none of those incidents have really escalated. but you cannot have a sound security based on luck. and so, we do call for much more engagement, military to military, to look up how to manage those incidents. how to manage, in case of
escalation. if we are not lucky, what happens? there needs to be procedures in place, so that events do not take control. that is how wars start. and we believe that maybe there is not enough thought given to that today. and then, there is the broader picture. the fact that, yes, during the cold war, as barbara was saying, you have neutral countries like switzerland and a different status for finland. but a clear status. you had nato members. you had pact memebers. ners. bers. and that was the end of the cold war. you had an arms control that extended to europe with the conference in europe. the vienna document. and on the nuclear front the intermittent nuclear force agreement. so, you had a framework for predictability and transparency that limited the risks of unexpected escalation.
and we see those frameworks, frankly, at risk today. and so, there has to be hard work to engage with russia on those issues. and, of course, we hear and know that, unfortunately, the reality is in many cases you engage and you do not get the response. in our view, that is not a reason not to engage. let's make it clear to our public opinion the structures that have kept the stability and the peace in europe. and there, i think, one has to be aware. i mean, i am a frenchman. i can see the fragility of public opinion in europe. you have a combination of some extreme left and extreme right that are quite happy if the
united states, in a way, disengages. the majority of europeans do not want that. but there is a very vocal minority that is quite comfortable with that. so, the whole architecture is at risk. there were be nothing worse -- way, a united states that disengages faster than europe integrates, or disengages as europe integrates, and the european integration has been made possible with the relationship with the united states. if that relationship begins to fray it is connected to the crisis in europe. so, i think we have our work cut out for us. and we won't find the solution if we don't work jointly, europeans and americans, on this issue.
ivo: jean-marie describes the meta-problem we have. the frameworks we live with for some many years are falling apart, in part because there is a challenge to the status quo. we found that real challenge is focused in particular in that part of europe where the security status of countries, like your own in georgia, are being contested and are in some ways uncertain. there is a desire on the part of georgia to be a member of nato. there is a commitment of nato to have georgia as a member. but we are not there. how does it look from george's perspective? and particularly, this continued uncertainty about the security status of a country like georgia, the same for moldova and ukraine, or of course, with
a direct military presence on your territory of russia? how does it look? particularly how does it look in the short term as well as developments down the road? sergi: i can say that it doesn't look good is the short answer. i can talk about the four things that you can identify in georgia's position when it comes to security. also, the four things that you can get from these reports that are relevant. you mentioned them. i may have to repeat them, but i will be brief. there's certainly no need to change. simply because it is not the principle. it is about one country that violates those principles. most of the violations, the case of georgia, the occupation, the threat of annexation, use of force, threat of use of force,
you name it. economic sanctions, domestic affairs, we can never list every single item violated in relation to georgia. it is not about the principles, it is about one particular country, russia, who does not want to play by the rules. now, it is most important that we uphold these principles, not only in terms of words, but in terms of deeds. part of a principle, the european principle for anyone who has the right. that is a fundamental principle in the onc. 1992-1999, the istanbul declaration of european security. the thing is, we have to implement it. it is not being implemented, what is happening is that russia is getting the message that actually european countries are backtracking on these important
principles. so, while we might be saying that, yes, georgia has a right to join nato and choose their own alliance, this is not happening in reality. then, what is happening is that alternative, russia is preventing the integration. there is no single problem. what is important is that there is no doubt in the positions of nato nations and positions of the capitals that georgia and ukraine integration in nato, if they wish, is only a matter of time. it is actually something that needs to be followed up. it is not a cover up. the big problem we have right now, we have been told the doors open, but not where the door is. we need to be given the instruments for integration into nato. it is extremely important.
the second point is that we need u.s. stewardship. you cannot overestimate the importance. you really need the u.s. for the security of europe, particularly when it comes to georgia. and that is visible not only when it comes to promoting integrity and sovereignty, but in terms of also upholding georgia's quest to join nato. and when the united states does not do that, the countries and between, or caught in between as one of our friends said, between nato and russia, suffer. the u.s. position is extremely important. now, one of the recommendations in the report of the panel is that we want to see the role of the united states be bigger in the ukrainian crisis. because they are not part of -- the u.s. is not part of normandy. that is a strong recommendation.
but i also want to draw your attention to the case of georgia and the united states, the discussions. but the problem with the geneva discussions is the low-level form. we have part of the founders of those discussions, a representative of the un. the problem with that framework isthat participation low-level. you have no high-level engagement from the united states or russia, or from the countries involved in this. that actually prevents the effectiveness of that country. the final point, for georgia it is extremely important that georgia is kept on the radar of the intonation of diplomacy. and unfortunately, we have slipped off the radar in past years. it is also part of domestic policies in georgia, but we need to remain on the radar. it is not only georgia, but the conflicts must remain on the radar.
now, the problem with the osc, once there is a crisis, and it happened in ukraine, showing possesses the estimates and tools to intervene. they created a peace mission for ukraine. the problem is that once there is no crisis. the problem with georgia is that we do not have the crisis. but because we have no crisis , the conflict has slipped off of the onc agenda. there is no presence, there is no activity to resume presents. ce. in fact, there is a feeling that the conflict has been forgotten. i understand. you have syria around the corner, the car bomb that almost exploded two weeks ago, the ongoing crisis in ukraine. but the thing is that these
conflicts are just as important. should we wait for something explodes for us to pay attention, or should we use this time and proactively try to move things forward? i stop here, and give you time. ivo: i think the problem that we always face in diplomacy is that attention is only paid when things are going badly. not when they are going not badly. i would not say things are going well in georgia, per se. the fundamental challenge is there and remains there. two things come out of this discussion that i want to spend more time on. one is the danger of the situation that we face. and the steps we need to take in order to reduce the danger. and the second theme is the role of the united states. let me start with the first one
and it just open it up to press a little bit. and perhaps, secretary-general, you want to start reflecting on this? lamberto: we have airplanes flying wing tip to wing tip. we have airplanes flying over the front and back of ships. if a millimeter difference would have clipped a ship and fallen into the baltic sea. we see it all over the place. we have airplanes being shot down because they crossed territory of a nato country. that is how wars start. what procedures, we called for procedures in the report, but what procedures in the onc ? is there something in the onc that focuses on the day after or the moment after an accident has occurred? how do you make sure that accident does not escalate to a war that no one wants?
what kind of processes and procedures might we put into place specifically within vienna, or outside of vienna, that you think might be able to work? all sorts ofre are things that can be done. first of all, we have in vienna all of the players around the table all the time. we have meetings every week on various issues on the agenda. but one of the things we can do is call everyone and start discussing what happens. and we can do that without the special mechanism. we have a framework which we just call in the people and push them to discuss, exchange view and this can result into a decision of common action. more we can think of positive tools. we can think of more targets. recently, in spite of all of the divisions we have made a decision that was negotiating a working group chaired by the u.s. ambassador with the
russians and others would participate in. they all agreed in the end. it was cyber security. measures, if an attack also includes working groups, specialized working groups, to analyze the incidents and dispel concerns that one country might be behind a cyber attack or something similar. so, an immediate -- first of all, some kind of preventive code of conduct should be something one would try to invest in. in tense situations, we should avoid behaviors that might lead to incidents. it is important. secondly, we could think of and mechanism somewhere. that is bilateral, ways to
address situations of this kind. you could materialize it in the russian council, in the osc, where you could build a little bit of context for discussion. also some perimeters on how to do it. and then, you could think of an investigation mechanism, of something like an accident to avoid the problems we started seeing at the beginning of the korean crisis where the stories were very different. trying to have a team going there, investigating, bringing it back, lowering the temperature after the incident. so, these are examples of tools that we believe could be useful, but there is a need for the political will to make them happen. and in this divided environment, sometimes finding that is a problem. one of the tasks is to raise awareness as to the potential dangers of situations of this kind, and try to garner the support that we need for us to
be able to develop these mechanisms. or at least to begin a discussion and develop these mechanisms. ivo: anyone else want to comment on the mechanism piece and other ideas that we have? jean-marie: i very much agree that in crisis management, slowing down the pace of the crisis is of the essence. so, those mechanism committees, anything that grinds the process looks bureaucratic, but it is good because it is bureaucratic. and that is what is needed. ivo: i think that is right. let me, before opening it to the floor, let me focus on the united states. and so, we argued in the report that the absence of the united states and britain at the negotiating table in ukraine was unfortunate. we don't say it in the report, but clearly it was the intent of those pushing it, because of the 1994 memorandum with the united
states, britain, and russia , and ukraine signed when nuclear weapons were removed from ukraine. that although there was not a level security guarantee, the absence of 2 of the 4 signatories sent the wrong signal. also because the united states has generally been a part of any discussion on the future of european security. you heard why the u.s., an argument for the u.s., to take a stronger leadership role. let me pose the question, that these are problems that europe needs to lead on because they are european security problems. the united states is not and should not be uninterested in european security, but there is a dilemma. if the united states takes the lead, the capacity of europe to do so is affected. should we worry about that?
is it something we should be concerned about, and should we have, in some way, europe and being proactively in the lead and the u.s. in support of that when it comes to the issue of european security? at least that is an argument one could make. either to see how the panel reacts to that, positively or negatively. barbara? >> the fact that the crisis goes beyond ukraine and europe, that is why the u.s. has to be implied as well. actually, i prefer having the u.s. at the table openly then just have 2 tracks of trying to negotiate. i think it is better for the process and better for all of the parties concerned. looking back at an important
element that daniel mentioned, our report mentions 3 narratives. although we agreed to disagree, we came to the consensus that the situation is urgent. that action is needed. and we even had more or less consensus regarding the measures of the next steps to be taken. having said that, i believe both sides are not interested in an open conflict. that is the basis for a diplomatic action. that is a basis for we have to start rebuilding the dialogue wherever we can. i think our panel is one of the attempts to do so. and we have to continue. >> it is striking that during the cold war there was a complete confrontation, ideological, on all levels
between the soviet union and the west. nevertheless, we were able to achieve major agreements. arms control for the soviet union. it was a great achievement. and so today it would be a pity , if with russia whatever misgivings one may have with this or that action of russia, if we are not able to develop a real, genuine, diplomatic process with russia. russia remains a great power and needs to be treated with respect. it needs to be engaged. in a number of circumstances, it it has been a cooperative power. sometimes less than one would want, but it has been. on the iran side, there is no question russia has played a very constructive role. we need to build on that with a very clear vision of what is
wrong. what doesn't work. but at the same time, if we shut down the diplomatic side of engagement, if we just focus on one element, which is important, too, military strength and deterrence, but the diplomatic side is the other half. at the moment, i believe it is underdeveloped. >> let me stress a point if i can that barbara made. which is how the united states engages is as important as if it engages. the tendency at times to do so bilaterally with russia, which we are seeing in the ukraine track at the moment, may be sending the wrong signal in two ways. one is there is nothing that russia would like more to have, if there is a negotiation, to have negotiation with the united states about europe. my view would be that that is not in the united states' interest.
that is if we are going to have a discussion about europe, then europe needs to be a participant. we can find out what the diplomatic niceties is, but at least something that looks like a condominium on the part of the great powers is exactly what we should not want russia to have. we should not participate in that. when we talk about u.s. role, it has to be a u.s. role within the institutional structures that exist. whether it is nato, the oce, or ad hoc where we call for the creation of a contact group to address the issue. the contact group by definition has the participation of russia, the united states, and of key european partners in the process. i think you wanted to come in on this point. then i want to open it up. >> we have to keep in mind that every time the u.s. disengages or shows neutrality to an
ongoing important issue in europe, russia gets the message it has won. canas taken over and they become bolder, stronger, and more assertive. the people on the ground suffer. that should be taken into account. also, the domestic political spin innda spend -- moscow is that it is the u.s. to blame whether the u.s. engages or disengages. that is the major line in russian propaganda. even if the united states does not do anything in ukraine, what russia is selling to the people is that it is the americans fault that things in ukraine are the way they are. i think it is better to have a strong u.s. diplomatic engagement, but not only diplomatic. also more assertively and militarily. whether it is a field presence
in eastern europe or any other kind of appearance, including in countries like georgia. because without the feeling that america is present in eastern europe and cares about the security, i do not think that that region will be safe. >> at this point, i want to open it up to the audience. please identify yourself and make sure that you actually ask a question. we are interested in comments, but particularly interested in questions. i want to go to the ambassador from belgium. up front. if you wait for the microphone, thank you. >> thank you, very much. thank you for a stimulating introduction. i have a question for all of you, but perhaps on diplomatic issues coming back to the diplomacy. the question is how come we lost
diplomacy? that it went away? what did the russians essentially do to set up a kind of understanding, the first cold war understanding. you called it in order, but we should be somewhat more sober. it was an understanding that worked out rather well. and someday, for domestic reasons, russia has chosen to upset that understanding and throw diplomacy out the window. and therefore seeing now that diplomacy has to come back in the window seems somewhat short. it seems to miss the point that it is exactly that kind of understanding was based on amy -- maturity of cooperation.
perhaps not agreeing on everything, but having a basic framework within which you could try to work things out. it seems like that is not being present. when you plead for a kind of engagement, i'm wondering where is your propriety? there has to be two to tango. if it is a forceful engagement on our side, that would be an appeasing engagement where we give in to certain of the i think difficult demands of the other side. that is my conundrum. that is my question. >> do want to start? >> i would start by saying certainly this panel and myself, none of us would recommend appeasement. one of the key points in
agreement between all of us is that the rules -- starting with the helsinki final act, there's no need to rewrite them. they are fine. at the same time, the question is the implementation of the rule. not about rewriting the rules. we all agree on that. that is the basis of any discussion. but how do you get there is the question. in the report, we decided to explain and have several narratives. not pretending that each there are no facts and that each narrative is equally valid, but part of resolving the present crisis is recognizing that the way the various actors in the european crisis read the crisis
is very different. and it is deep. the way russia reads the crisis, one may have fundamental disagreements with it, but there is a certain coherence in the russian reading of the crisis that it would be wrong to ignore. if you don't understand the point be other side comes from, you are unlikely -- it doesn't mean that you have to come to share that view point, but you have to understand that viewpoint to really engage. that is, in a way, what we are saying by putting the various narratives side-by-side. not caving into one narrative, but recognizing there is a real problem. that indeed there was some agreement, but these agreements were reached with a perspective that was in the horizon of
russia was very different from the horizon of the european union members, or the horizon of the united states. when you move on that road, and suddenly you discover -- not suddenly. gradually discover that the roads don't go in the same direction, you have a problem. it is important to walk back in that road and understand at some point we can change course to begin to repair the relations. that is why i believe, personally, that engagement matters and it is not at all appeasement. >> i would add on the importance of diplomacy and why we stress that importance is because the alternative to diplomacy is military confrontation. our judgment is the world and europe today is more dangerous than it was during major parts
of the cold war because we don't have the structures of coordination, cooperation, and dialogue. i would add that a willingness by the united states and europe to engage in diplomacy does, of course, presume a partner on the other side. a willingness in and of itself is important for political reasons. because a willingness and openness to dialogue does not mean agreement with the other side. but if the other side doesn't want to be a part of the dialogue, we know where the problem is. you and i know what the problem is, we don't need to be convinced. but our publics don't know where the problem lies. and having an openness to dialogue, even if it is rejected, serves a reminder to -- people who we are dealing with and where we have the problem. there is a political benefit from that as well. the gentleman on the corner, then i will come to you.
>> thank you. longtime fan of the osc. for those of us who have been involved in the dialogue since about 2008, there is a sense of deja vu in this room. that the conclusions that you have reached are similar to the conclusions that we reached in the astana summit that there seems to be a cycle where we have a long serious analysis of , the problems of european, euro atlantic security, and we come to the conclusion that principles are fine and everyone needs to engage more. talk about the helsinki decalogue as if these are the 10 commandments handed down from the mountaintop. when in fact, there is a certain flexibility built into those principles. that there is a yin and yang.
you have sovereignty, territorial integrity, and you have the self-determination of people. you can choose alliances, but you have the commitment not to enhance your own security at the expense of others. this is a structure that was designed not as an force meant mechanism, but as a structure for constant dialogue about how the principles apply in each case. that seems to be the element that has been missing for number of years. that it is present in the geneva process. it is present in the minsk process. but not at a sufficiently high level where the various parties involved are working toward common understandings of how the principle should apply in georgia, ukraine, and elsewhere. i would be curious as to whether the panel believes that there is a prospect for changing that for
returning the osce to its core mission of taking these 10 principles and reaching common understanding of how they should be applied in individual cases. if not, this might not be the right institutional framework for addressing these challenges. >> do you want to take that? >> looking at the case of the crisis in and over the ukraine, you have to state that the osce was the only institution that could become active. it has just become active because of the flexibility around the lining, but only in combination with the secretary-general and the secretariat general, the chairman in office that are really committed and engaged, making it possible to deploy people from the secretariat within 24 hours after the decision has been taken. that was the right mixture of the flexibility of approach and commitment.
however, our first report underlines the fact that there needs to be a series of improvement regarding the osc. strengthen the secretariat, the secretary-generals, to be able to act when needed. strengthening the troika to be able to act on short notice. and the issue of the legal question now the of the institution. when you did was risky thing but it was for a good thing, a good cause. we still believe the institution with all of its weaknesses, , there are situations where only this kind of institution can become active. >> in eastern europe, there is no problem in flexibility.
the only case where it could be more or less relevant is in the -- certainly in ukraine, this is not the debate. where the bait is that where the debate is is between the election principles that show on one hand the principle of the rights to choose one's own alliance and the principle of, , as you mentioned, you cannot enhance your own security at the expense of others. the problem is the interpretation of this latter principle, particularly the russian interpretation. because the russian principle is you cannot do anything if i don't like it. if that is their interpretation, then it's basically in shackles. it does not work anywhere. i think what is important, and what the panel has stressed, and
certainly within the internal discussion of the panel, is we need to work with russia to make them understand that countries to using their alliances do is -- choosing their alliances do is not mean they are infringing on rush's security interest. i do not think that baltic states are a threat to russia. will not be ay it threat to russia. it is a perception, a matter of intelligence in moscow, and not really a problem with the principles. that's why i do not think it is correct to say that what we need to do is to think which of the principles apply in which regions, and how to adjust those principles. that is what russia has been saying all along particularly , within the discussions of the panel. >> on the side.
>> thank you for the panel, and thank you for taking my question. when i look at the panel and observe, i do not believe - >> speak more into the microphone. >> i do not think the european union or europe generally can accomplish any goals of security anywhere in the world. the diplomacy works and sometimes doesn't work. my question for you all will be when the diplomatic canonicity of programs where the reward for important isg very economic security. look at what happened to the middle east. there is 50% or 60% unemployment. what do you think the young generation will do? what about in europe? one nation dictates to the other nation what will be done. security will be done,
education, the creative security of jobs, where they can go to work as an average family. that is what happened in ukraine, where they had no security and no jobs, only corruption, and's -- and by the way sponsored by the west. , what is your opinion to the role of diplomacy on this key issue? >> i can try to answer that question. i would agree with you that in the end, in europe, the big part of the security is the inner strength of each country. we see that today a lot of the threats come from internal weaknesses that are then exploited and become an international issue. if ukraine had been stronger, not militarily, but internally if it had sorted out its many
, issues, certainly the crisis that we have seen develop in eastern ukraine might not have developed the way that it has developed. so it is true that in the debate on european security, there is a bit of a theoretical dimension. i would have a friendly disagreement with sergei in that there's not much enthusiasm at the moment for enlarging alliances. i doubt that it will come anytime soon, to be very candid. the reality is that there is a fight about perceptions. a fight about sending political signals, whether one country has a right or not to be able to choose its alliance, a fundamental sovereign right. that is a concession no one will make. at the same time, in practice,
it is unlikely that that right will be tested shortly. the reality is that we do need, and that is where diplomacy matters, we need to protect the principles while at the same time not creating crises that do not need to be generated. >> we are getting to the end of our allotted time. i wanted to give the final word. to come back to some of the issues that were raised and to help us wrap this up in 2 minutes. >> i will try to be as fast as i can. first of all, dialogue does not mean necessarily appeasement. when we are looking at the situation now, and we see many tools in play from sanctions to more investments in defense, but
we need to keep open a channel to address issues as they come up, and to try to find avenues to solve the problems we have. there is no contradiction in my view. it's important for the parties and the dialogue and the leaders in the discussion. obviously the europeans have a , stronger responsibility in this matter. these are the principles. it is a very complicated debate. the principles are there. they have been developed in the context where russia, the soviet union, were interested and preserving the status quo. they were coming from that perspective. we are now in a different environment. the principles, and they do reflect the general principles of international law, they have
to be looked at in the light of a different dynamic in europe. but for that reason, that doesn't mean they are less valid. crimea, as he mentioned, it is not only a question of territorial integrity, it is a broader question of how that relates to international commitments. one always needs to take a look at the broader picture. finally, we see more geopolitics on the agenda complicating and we have to deal with situations with strong polarization. unfortunately we have a broader , agenda of conflict partly generated by geopolitics not necessarily only in the regions we are discussing now, but other areas that do create other problems. a debate about migration, and the relation between
conflict and refugees, etc. and other challenges that we have. terrorism, whatever else, trafficking, organized crime, and the challenges with the development. we need a unified strategy from the international community. the strong polarization is making this harder to achieve. it is time for a new diplomacy, in a way. myself, i'm reaching out to a different set of actors. it is not only the intergovernmental dynamic, which central,mportant and but reaching out to other constituencies. from the financial sector, to the academic circles, and debates like today's are important. it is not only a way for me to communicate with you, but to receive input from others and to mobilize society. and to reach out to
constituencies. we need to learn to work in different ways. but at the same time, we need to also be aware of the fact that we need strong leadership and a good understanding of the daunting challenges that are in front of us. >> secretary general, thank you for your closing comments. i want to thank the panelists for this interesting discussion. i want to thank the atlantic council for hosting us. and all of you for being with us today. with that, we are concluded. thank you. [applause] crowd noise]
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