MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
Dear Colleagues! I am glad to welcome you to the Ninth Moscow Conference on International Security.
It is symbolic that our meeting is taking place in the days of the 80th anniversary of the attack of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union. Russia, as a country that has made a decisive contribution to the liberation of mankind from fascism, strongly opposes attempts to distort the historical truth, undertaken in a number of countries, including the former republics of the USSR.
It is well known that those who forget the lessons of history are forced to go through them again not on the pages of textbooks, but in real life. This is worth remembering for those who today are trying to revive the Nazi ideology and heroize Hitler’s accomplices, praising them as defenders of Europe against the so-called threat from the east.
Over the centuries of its history, Russia has been implementing a noble civilizational mission. Along with the decisive contribution to the deliverance of Europe from Nazism, our country played an important role in the liberation of the peoples of Asia and Africa from colonial rule. She always responded to the requests of her friends and partners. She has rendered disinterested assistance to sovereign countries dozens of times in their efforts to preserve their independence. In 1863, the Russian Empire helped the United States defend its territorial integrity by sending two squadrons to the shores of America at their request. At least three times we came to the aid of the French in their struggle for statehood. It is difficult to find a country in Europe that, in one way or another, did not receive assistance from Russia in the matter of defending its sovereignty. There are many such states in all other regions of the world.
Therefore, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the desire for a just, democratic world order, within which the voice of all sovereign players without exception, regardless of their place on the world stage, will be heard, is a traditional feature of Russian policy, which has not changed for many decades and even centuries. This was the case during the existence of the Russian Empire, during the Soviet era, and at the present time.
We do not leave anyone in trouble who asks for help. The proof is the significant contribution made by our country to the victory over terrorism in Syria. Responding to the request of its legitimate authorities, Russia sent a military contingent to this country at the most difficult and decisive moment. Fighting shoulder to shoulder, our and the Syrian military dealt a powerful blow to the terrorists who were already making plans to create a global caliphate in Eurasia. In fact, during those difficult months, the Russians, together with the brotherly Syrian people, fought not only for the future of Syria, but for the whole world against which the terrorists opposed. It remains only to regret that individual states claiming the status of great powers not only did not consider it necessary to act together with us as a united front against this evil, but also made considerable efforts to make it difficult to fight it.
Today Russia is actively assisting in the post-war reconstruction of Syria, the return of refugees and their integration into peaceful life. We provide humanitarian aid, help to rebuild the economy, education, healthcare. Our country has learned a difficult lesson better than others – it is not enough to defeat terrorism on the battlefield, it is necessary to eradicate its preconditions – poverty, social insecurity, lack of education. Therefore, today, helping to build hospitals and schools on Syrian soil, we continue the struggle that our military began.
We see the preconditions for the intensification of international terrorism in other areas as well. The degradation of the situation in Afghanistan, which is progressing with the withdrawal of the US and NATO military contingents, will contribute to the increase in the terrorist activity of ISIS and Al-Qaeda in this country. At the same time, a powerful resource base for terrorists will be provided by the production of drugs, the volume of which has increased more than forty times during the period of the Western contingent’s stay in the country.
We presume that the United States and NATO will adhere to their declared promises to provide the Afghan government with financial assistance, support the local security forces, ensure the operation of the Kabul international airport and address other priority tasks. At the same time, we consider it unacceptable to use the Afghan problem as a cover for solving geopolitical tasks, including strengthening the military presence of non-regional players in Central Asia.
Russia is in favor of launching a direct inter-Afghan dialogue with the assistance of international partners. We actively participate
in this process, including through the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan. In addition, we will strive to further maximize the potential of specialized cooperation mechanisms through the SCO, CSTO, CIS and other multilateral formats.
The fight against the terrorist threat in Libya and in general in North Africa, the Sahara-Sahel zone, East Africa and other subregions requires no less attention. At the same time, it is necessary to understand that terrorism often does not appear on its own, but is the result of geopolitical experiments of individual players who willingly use extremists of all stripes to undermine the statehood of unwanted countries, and view the fight against terrorism as a formal pretext for strengthening their military presence.
Dear colleagues, in recent years, the so-called hybrid wars have become more widespread, which often bring no less suffering to peoples than traditional hot conflicts. Examples are before your eyes. In Ukraine, in 2014, external forces relied on neo-Nazis for a violent change of power – and today we see how they actually dictate their will to the authorities and even undertake forays into neighboring states. For example, they were noticed and neutralized by the authorities in Belarus. In this country, the scenario of a “color revolution” was thwarted quite recently, and some Western states literally crossed all the red lines in an attempt to undermine the positions of the legitimate government and promote their own protégés to ruling positions. I mean, first of all, the attempt on the life of the President of Belarus A. Lukashenko, which was being prepared by American citizens.
Massive attacks using means of information warfare, as well as tools of external pressure at the political, ideological, diplomatic and military levels are being carried out against other countries, including Venezuela, Nicaragua, and a number of other African, Asian and Middle Eastern states. Gross interference in internal political affairs with the aim of destabilizing the situation is carried out in relation to the SCO and BRICS member states, as well as their partners.
Cyberspace is increasingly becoming an arena for fighting geopolitical opponents. Russia is regularly exposed to unfriendly actions in this area. In 2020, over 120,000 computer attacks were recorded on our critical infrastructure. Most of them were carried out from the territory of the United States, Germany and the Netherlands, and were directed against objects of state administration, the military-industrial complex, health care, transport, science and education of our country. At the same time, accusations of cyberattacks against Western states are regularly voiced against Russia. This is despite the fact that it was the West through NATO that officially declared cyberspace a full-fledged environment for military operations.
Russia, on the contrary, is consistently promoting the thesis of the need to develop rules of responsible behavior in the information space that suit all states, which, among other things, will become the basis for developing transparent mechanisms for investigating incidents. We consider it important to ensure non-politicized interaction between countries in order to create a global system of international information security. This work should be done in an open and inclusive manner. Our country is actively cooperating on this topic in the UN format, coordinating our activities with the specialized regional structures of the SCO, BRICS, ASEAN, CSTO, and CIS. We are convinced that the future lies precisely in such formats of interaction. Their need is more and more obvious as information technologies not only penetrate into all spheres of our life, but also become an important factor in global strategic stability. Our country is also actively working in this area.
Back in January last year, Russia proposed to convene a summit of the states – permanent members of the UN Security Council in order to start a direct conversation between leaders on the principles of interaction in international affairs, the settlement of existing crises and prevention of new ones, and ways of solving other world problems. And the main thing is to determine the parameters of peaceful coexistence that would prevent a nuclear war or a war with the participation of nuclear powers. We can already talk about important advances in this area, including the extension of the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms, as well as the joint statement of the Presidents of the Russian Federation and the United States adopted at the end of the Geneva summit and the decision to resume bilateral talks on strategic stability issues. Thus, we are sending a powerful signal to the whole world about our readiness to work together to resolve the most acute problems in this, without exaggeration, vital area.
At the same time, an effective solution to the problems of strategic stability is impossible without the establishment of effective mechanisms for interstate dialogue and conflict resolution. Our words are here convincingly supported by real deeds. In November last year, largely thanks to the diplomatic efforts of Russia and the introduction of a Russian peacekeeping contingent into the conflict zone, it was possible to stop the bloody battles in Nagorno-Karabakh. Our country is actively involved in work on other topics, such as the Iranian nuclear program, the Middle East settlement, the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula.
In building its approaches to solving problems of international security, Russia proceeds from the need to unite efforts of all states. We are convinced that there is no alternative to the polycentric system of international relations, which is based on such principles as the peaceful coexistence of states, non-interference in internal affairs, the priority of the principles of political and diplomatic rather than military settlement, observance of the norms of international law, and maintaining the leading role of the UN in the international system of collective security. We strongly oppose one-sided concepts such as “rule-based order.” Such doctrines are aimed at creating new dividing lines and obtaining unjustified competitive advantages for individual countries. By definition, they cannot become the basis for building a harmonious world order, but will only contribute to the formation of military blocs, whose activities lead to the escalation of tension on a global scale.
Russia is well aware of the detrimental consequences of a bloc policy for international and regional security. The recent NATO summit demonstrated an unprecedented anti-Russian charge and reaffirmed the alliance’s claims to be the world’s policeman.
In this regard, the course taken by Russia to build up its defense capability is for us today no alternative. In the West, many talk about an aggressive and expansionist Russia. However, let’s take a look at the facts. In NATO countries, military spending continues to grow. Despite a drop in total GDP of more than 6% during the pandemic in 2020, the alliance’s military spending increased by almost 4%. At the same time, in absolute terms, NATO countries, excluding the United States, are almost five times ahead of Russia, and almost twenty times with the American defense budget.
We record a high intensity of reconnaissance and demonstration actions of NATO aircraft and ships near the Russian borders. We are observing a significant increase in the number of exercises with the development of scenarios of an explicit anti-Russian orientation, the deployment of additional forces and assets in the Russian direction. Such actions lead to the creation of tension in those regions where until quite recently the military-political situation was favorable. In particular, this applies to the waters of the Baltic and Black Seas.
NATO’s activities to militarize the Arctic, including the deployment of new elements of military infrastructure in this region, cannot but cause concern. Russia has consistently advocated the unconditional preservation of the Arctic as a zone of peace and international cooperation, as well as ensuring a regime of constructive interaction in bilateral and multilateral formats with all states on the basis of international treaties and agreements. It is in this vein that our line will be built within the framework of the chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
Dear Colleagues! I touched upon a whole range of challenges and threats to international security. However, do not forget that we live in a dynamic world. Risks arise that only yesterday seemed like the property of science fiction. The unwillingness to abandon the usual patterns and start thinking boldly and outside the box can be very costly for humanity.
A striking example was the COVID-19 pandemic, which led not only to a significant burden on world health care, but also had a significant negative impact on the everyday life of people, the economic and social situation, and the military-political situation in the world.
In matters of countering coronavirus infection, Russia remains open and ready for international cooperation for the benefit of all mankind. A number of countries have received assistance in the form of medical equipment and personal protective equipment.
Our humanitarian support to foreign states, regardless of their geographic location, size or political influence, will continue in the future. Russia will never use the vaccine for political purposes, as, unfortunately, some Western countries do. We have one unconditional priority – the health and life of a person, regardless of his skin color, religious or political views. All lives matter. All lives matter.
The biosafety issue is not limited to the fight against Covid-19. There are other epidemic threats as well. At the same time, there are clear signs that dangerous pathogens are trying to be used for military-political purposes. In fact, we are witnessing a resurgence of biological weapons. In this context, the world community needs to pay attention to the coincidence of the places of occurrence of outbreaks of dangerous diseases with the location of foreign biological laboratories in individual countries. Their activities are strictly classified and lead to the loss of sovereignty in the field of biosafety by those states on whose territory these facilities are located.
Of course, biological risks do not exhaust the list of new threats that in the near future may come to the fore for the entire world community. We must not forget about climate change, which in the first half of the century can redraw the political map of the world, and under the most unfavorable scenarios – provoke an unprecedented global crisis that will throw human development back decades. Without taking this factor into account, today it is impossible to make plans even for the medium term.
Another trend that cannot be ignored is the avalanche-like development of technology. Artificial intelligence, new materials, synthetic biology – all this has already become a part of modern life. Already today, there are attempts to use these innovations in the interests of interstate confrontation. It is in our power to put them under the control of the entire world community and make them instruments of creation, not instruments of destruction.
Dear Colleagues! I have outlined a number of challenges and threats to international security. Without an effective solution to these problems, humanity will not be able to step into a prosperous future. However, these solutions cannot be found within the framework of one separate country or interstate association. The pandemic has shown that the world is one and interconnected. No one will be able to isolate themselves from neighbors in a difficult moment and wait out the trouble. That is why Russia, relying on its unique centuries-old experience, offers all interested players a simple doctrine of global stability. Its essence is extremely transparent – dialogue instead of accusations; cooperation instead of confrontation; good will instead of selfishness; openness instead of double standards.
I am convinced that our countries have similar concerns. The development of joint responses to common challenges is in our hands. I call on you to do this work aimed at strengthening security on the planet and sustainable development of our civilization.
Thank you for attention.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.