In the modern world, lasting peace cannot be built without Russia. This was declared today by NATO secretary general George Robertson during his negotiations with Russian defence ministry Sergei Ivanov. As a military and political organization, NATO appeared at the time of opposition between the USA and the USSR. After destruction of the Soviet Union, figure of enemy as once-consolidating factor disappeared, though the organization still lives and even aims at expansion. NATO’s role in Yugoslav events, which cannot be regarded unambiguously has for a long time pinned a label of “Europe’s gendarme” at this organization. Lack of united position on some questions of foreign policy was mostly considered as lingering agony of North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The 11 September events were a kind of second wind for the organization, though it did not help. Today, a report arrived that NATO members unanimously decided not to carry a military action against Iraq. As a “rebel,” Germany acted, that, with its foreign minister mouth, declared Europe had got very serious questions about actions on Iraqi territory. To put it mildly, it was a hard blow for the US and for Great Britain. This is why, the NATO secretary general’s arrival takes double significance for the US. If earlier Russia was regarded by NATO as a partner with special status (formula “19 + 1”), now variant of the complete twenty is possible. Russia could, if it would like, to impart a new impulse to this organization, though under condition that some programme principles are reconsidered. It is real, to create on NATO bases an organization, whose main task is fight against international terrorism. At the same time, it is necessary to expand this organization, while including other countries in it. Therefore, Russia does not loose its face, and the organization’s effectiveness grows. This variant will not suit everybody. As alternative decision, NATO’s self-dissolution or creating a new joint body for anti-terrorist fight in UN framework are being offered. The State Duma speaker Gennadi Seleznev, while commenting the subject of negotiations between Robertson and the Russian leadership, said that Russia should not aspire to entering NATO. The contrary, Seleznev said, Russia, China, India, the USA and UN countries must unit with each other to create an “absolutely new international structure”. As an aim of creating the new organization, Seleznev called "fight against international terrorism, narco-traffic, interethnic conflicts”. We will soon get to know what decision the Kremlin takes.”
Dmitri Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/11/22/34108.html
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