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Articol publicat de European Leadership Network: “Is it the right time for NATO to resume dialogue with Russia?”

June 24th, 2015


European Leadership Network  


“Is it the right time for NATO to resume dialogue with Russia?”  

By Ioan Mircea Pascu  



Vice-President of the European Parliament and Vice Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Before deciding whether it is the right time for NATO to resume dialogue with Russia, one should make one thing very clear: the suspension of dialogue with Russia has been in response to the aggressive path adopted by Russia in respect to its neighbour, Ukraine. The illegal annexation of Crimea and the subsequent military destabilisation of eastern Ukraine, both directly and indirectly, through the moral and material support to the separatists are acts challenging the very fibre of the current international and European legal order and security architecture.

The Wales NATO Summit Declaration is unequivocal about it, formulating in consequence a number of precise demands on Russia: “We condemn in the strongest terms Russia’s escalating and illegal military intervention in Ukraine … We do not and will not recognize Russia’s illegal and illegitimate ‘annexation’ of Crimea. We demand that Russia comply with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; end its illegitimate occupation of Crimea; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; withdraw its troops; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border”

The very fact that these demands are still fully valid almost one year after their formulation and after the signing of the Minsk II agreement, indicate that Russia did not implement any of them. Then, the first question would be why should NATO be the one to reverse its position, offering resumption of dialogue with Russia, when the latter did not move one inch towards meeting the Alliances’ demands? Wouldn’t that create a public perception that NATO is “blinking first”, thus undermining both its international credibility and internal cohesion?

And, secondly, why now, when some people even conclude that, for all practical reasons, Russia has already attained its strategic aims vis-à-vis Ukraine: Crimea is now Russian territory, Russia has established a considerable degree of control over Ukraine’s decisions through the military conflict it fuels in the east of the country and NATO and EU membership for Ukraine is off the table.[1]

If one looks at the content of the dialogue with Russia in general, one could notice that it is structured in three domains: first domain is dialogue on specific technical issues (transit towards Afghanistan, for instance). The second domain is dialogue on international issues of mutual interest, like Iran, Syria international terrorism etc. And the third domain is dialogue on any other general issue of common interest, like economic and commercial relations.

Out of the three domains, the second – dialogue on international issues of common interest like Iran, Syria, international terrorism etc – has never been interrupted.[2]

The resumption of dialogue in the third domain – general issues of common interest, like the economy and commercial relations – would seem premature for now. It will convey to the public the wrong message that, by returning to the “business as usual” atmosphere existing before the crisis, Russia (which did nothing of what it has been demanded to do) is rewarded, rather than sanctioned, only because the West is more willing than Russia to return to the good old days of profitable collaboration.

Consequently, the only viable dialogue NATO could offer Russia is on technical issues of mutual interest aimed at “managing” the sudden confrontation generated by Russia’s aggressive moves. The renewed brinkmanship Russia has engaged in lately is capable of producing situations, which could easily get out of control, with devastating consequences. And, in that respect, our recent European Leadership Network (ELN) dialogue in London on that topic has a number of useful suggestions to that effect (CBMs, accords to avoid incidents etc) worth pursuing.

Moreover, such a dialogue would be necessary if one takes into consideration that both Russia’s aggressive military modernization and the response of the West have set in motion relatively long term trends, which would bring about inevitably an increased emphasis on the military dimension in relations between the two sides. It will resemble the Cold War period, when confrontation dominated cooperation, without being a new Cold War, given the degree of interdependence created between the two sides in the meantime.

However, even if dialogue will gradually be resumed with Russia, strategic reassurance of NATO’s eastern allies should be kept firmly in place, both as a material guarantee that, if necessary, Article V of the Washington Treaty shall be honoured and a deterrent to Russia to avoid attempting an attack on the Alliance.

[1] Of course, then there is another question arising: why does Russia keep intervening, risking maintaining the sanctions in place and further international isolation? The only logical answer is that, on the field, there still are some tactical unattained objectives (control over the entire territory of Donetsk and Luhansk and the two land corridors, one towards Crimea through Mariupol and the other from Crimea towards Transnistria through Odessa). Besides, any diminished support for the separatists would incur an internal cost in Russia.

[2] Most probably, because Russia considers – strategically – those issues as of interest to her, too, and – tactically – because she felt probably that it was important to preserve some collaboration, to compensate for the closing of dialogue on most other matters.

Comunicat de presa: “Raportul Ioan Mircea Pascu, referitor la situatia militara si strategica din bazinul Marii Negre, in urma anexarii ilegale a Crimeii de catre Rusia, a fost aprobat de plenul Parlamentului European”

June 11th, 2015

Parlamentul European a adoptat la Strasbourg joi in sedinta plenara raportul Ioan Mircea Pascu cu privire la situatia militara si strategica din bazinul Marii Negre, in urma anexarii ilegale a Crimeii de catre Rusia.
Europarlamentarul PSD, vicepresedinte al Parlamentului European si al Comisiei pentru Afaceri Externe (AFET) Ioan Mircea Pascu, a subliniat miercuri in dezbaterea dedicata situatiei strategice si militare din regiunea Marii Negre: “scopul acestui raport este sa aduca la cunostinta Uniunii Europene situatia complexa creata in Marea Neagra” de “procesul de militarizare de lunga durata initiat in regiune” de Rusia, proces “care nici nu poate si nici nu trebuie ignorat de Uniunea Europeana sau lasat in totalitate in sarcina NATO”.


In interventia sa in plenul Parlamentului European, europarlamentarul Ioan Mircea Pascu a precizat: “In urma anexarii ilegale a Crimeii de catre Rusia, destabilizarea de catre cea din urma a Ucrainei de est si includerea practic deopotriva a Abhaziei si Osetiei de Sud in organizarea militara a Rusiei, putem spune ca zona Marii Negre incepe sa arate, din nou, asa cum arata in urma cu doua decenii, cand Rusia incerca sa ii controleze malurile nordice, precum Uniunea Sovietica in urma cu 24 de ani”.
Astfel, “Crimeea a devenit o rampa de lansare in regiune si dincolo de granitele regionale ca urmare a transformarii fortelor defensive ruse, initial reduse numeric, care stationau in Sevastopol intr-o unitate operativa de lupta echipata cu sisteme de proiectie a fortei cu raza lunga de actiune. (…) Pe scurt, Rusia si-a asigurat astfel un Kaliningrad sudic, in sprijinul eventualei sale expansiuni”.
In acest context, europarlamentarul PSD a facut un apel la membrii Parlamentului European: “aceasta realitate necesita un management responsabil al situatiei din Marea Neagra, dar dialogul cu Rusia (…) ar trebui in mod obligatoriu sa fie insotit de o continuare a descurajarii ca parte a reasigurarii strategice oferite membrilor estici ai NATO si ai UE, care si-au pierdut increderea in realele intentii ale Rusiei”.
Europarlamentarul PSD a subliniat aceste aspecte si in tipul interviului sau cu EUROPARL TV:


Principalele momente ale dezbaterii din plen dedicata Raportului Ioan Mircea Pascu pot fi regasite la:

Video dezbatere planul Parlamentului European Strasbourg 10 iunie 2014 – Raportul Ioan Mircea Pascu


Comunicat de presa: “Ioan Mircea Pascu la reuniunea internationala de la Londra dedicata relatiilor dintre NATO si Rusia”

May 27th, 2015


Londra, 27 mai 2015
Europarlamentarul PSD Ioan Mircea Pascu, vicepresedinte al Parlamentului European si al Comisiei pentru afaceri externe a participat in perioada 26-27 mai la Londra la reuniunea internationala dedicata analizei raporturilor cu Rusia, in contextul transformarii NATO.

Evenimentul a reunit reprezentanti de nivel inalt din state membre UE si NATO, parlamentari si fosti lideri militari. Printre participanti s-a numarat si lordul George Robertson, fost secretar general al NATO.
Reuniunea, cu caracter restrans, de lucru, a fost deschisa participantilor invitati, cu respectarea regulii de dezbatere Chatham House.
Evenimentul a fost organizat de European Leadership Network, Commonwealth Office (FCO) si divizia de diplomatie publica a NATO.

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