Russia Proposes New European Security StructureBy Peter Fedynsky
11 June 2008
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev is proposing a new European security structure that appears aimed at replacing NATO and possibly reducing U.S. influence on the continent. VOA Moscow Correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports.
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev, applauds, during the X World Congress of Russian Press in Moscow, 11 June 2008President Medvedev says existing European security structures, NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, do not meet the challenges of today.
Speaking in Moscow at a Russian Media Conference, Mr. Medvedev answered no to his own question of whether the Atlantic alliance is sufficient to resolve all of the problems of Old Europe.
The Russian leader says that in order to study what can become the basis for a new European security agreement, an appropriate summit could be held in which all the countries of Europe would participate on their own behalf, without delegating any authority to other entities.
Independent Russian military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer told VOA that Moscow is not pleased with NATO expansion or the OSCE. That 56-member organization criticized recent Russian elections as flawed, including the March vote that brought Mr. Medvedev to power.
But Felgenhauer called the Kremlin proposal stillborn.
He says what is being proposed is a Cold War-style agreement to divide Europe into spheres of influence. Flegenhauer says that agenda does not interest the West, which will reject it as unacceptable.
Felgenhauer notes that Moscow has a voice in NATO via the Russia-NATO council, but not a vote, which the analyst says is behind Russia's attempt to create an alternative organization in which it would be a full-fledged member.
The Medvedev proposal for a European security summit would also leave out the United States and Canada. At the same time, the Russian leader noted the responsibility his country shares with the United States in maintaining global stability and security.
He also expressed guarded optimism about U.S.-Russian relations, adding that Russia will cooperate on global challenges with whoever is elected as the next American president.