MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
A frank and generally constructive conversation at the summit of Presidents Vladimir Putin and George Biden in Geneva on June 16, 2021 ended with an agreement to start a substantive dialogue on strategic stability – with the most important statement of the inadmissibility of nuclear war, as well as the achievement of understanding on the advisability of consultations on issues cybersecurity, the activities of diplomatic missions, the fate of the citizens of Russia and the United States serving their sentences, and in a number of regional conflicts.
At the same time, the Russian leader clearly indicated, including publicly, that the result in all areas is possible only through finding a mutually acceptable balance of interests strictly on a parity basis. There were no objections at the talks. However, almost immediately after their completion, American officials, including the participants in the Geneva meeting, began to assertively denote the previous directives: they say, we “indicated to Moscow, clearly warned, outlined the requirements.” Moreover, all these “warnings” began to be accompanied by threats: if Moscow “within a few months” does not accept the “rules of the game” set out in Geneva, it will be subject to new pressure.
Of course, it remains to be seen how the aforementioned consultations on the specification of approaches to the understandings reached in Geneva will go in practice. As Vladimir Putin noted at the closing press conference: “there is something to work on”. Nevertheless, Washington’s former hardened position, instantly voiced at the end of the talks, is very indicative, especially since the European capitals, having caught the mood of the “big brother,” immediately began to actively and happily sing along with it. The essence of the statements: we are ready to normalize relations with Moscow, but first it must change its behavior.
The feeling is that the choir in support of the soloist had prepared in advance, and it was to this preparation that a series of Western events at the highest level that took place immediately before the Russian-American talks was dedicated: the G7 summits in British Cornwall and the North Atlantic Alliance in Brussels, as well as the meeting of J. Biden with President of the Council of Europe S. Michel and President of the European Commission W. von der Leyen.
These meetings were carefully prepared in such a way that no doubts remain: the West wanted it to be clear to everyone: it is more united than ever and will do only what it considers right in international affairs, and force others – above all Russia and China – follow the course set by him. The documents of Cornwall and Brussels enshrine the advancement of the concept of a “world order based on rules” as opposed to the universal principles of international law, enshrined, above all, in the UN Charter.
The West carefully avoids deciphering its “rules”, as well as questions about why they are needed, if there are thousands of instruments of international law, to which everyone has signed and which contain clear obligations of states and transparent mechanisms for verifying their implementation. The “charm” of Western “rules” is precisely in the absence of specifics: as soon as someone acts against the will of the West, he instantly unfoundedly declares “breaking the rules” (he will not present facts) and declares his “right to“ punish ”the violator.” That is, the less specifics, the more hands are untied for arbitrariness – in the interests of deterring competitors by unscrupulous methods. In Russia, the “dashing” 1990s, it was called “acting according to concepts.”
The series of summits of the G7, NATO and the US-EU marked, according to their participants, the return of the United States to Europe and the restoration of the consolidation of the Old World under the wing of the new administration in Washington. The majority of NATO and EU members not only received such a turn with relief, but was also accompanied by enthusiastic comments. The ideological basis for the reunification of the “Western family” was the declaration of liberal values as a “guiding star” for the development of mankind. Washington and Brussels, without false modesty, called themselves “anchor of democracy, peace and security” as opposed to “authoritarianism in all its forms”, declaring, in particular, their intention to increase the use of sanctions in the interests of “supporting democracy around the world.” The aim is to implement for this purpose the American idea of convening a “summit for democracy”. It is not concealed that the West will select the participants of such a summit itself and will itself determine the tasks facing them, with which few of the specially selected invitees would want to argue. It is mentioned that the countries-donors of democracy will take on “increased commitments” on the widespread establishment of “democratic standards” and develop their own mechanisms to control these processes.
It is also necessary to pay attention to the approved “on the sidelines” of the G7 summit on June 10 this year. J. Biden and B. Johnson, a new Anglo-American Atlantic Charter, which was presented as an updated version of the document signed by F. Roosevelt and W. Churchill in 1941 with the same name, which then played an important role in the search for the contours of the post-war world order.
However, neither Washington nor London said a word about the key historical fact: the USSR and a number of European governments in exile joined the “initial” charter 80 years ago, thanks to which it subsequently became one of the programmatic foundations of the anti-Hitler coalition and is considered one of the legal “prototypes. »Of the UN Charter.
The new Atlantic Charter is also conceived as a kind of “starting point” for building a world order, but exclusively according to Western “rules.” Its edition is ideologically charged with deepening the divide between “liberal democracies” and all other states, designed to legitimize the “order based on rules.” The new charter does not contain references to the UN or the OSCE, rigidly fixing the commitment of the collective West to NATO commitments as essentially “the only legitimate decision-making center” (this is how former NATO Secretary General A. Fogh Rasmussen described the significance of the North Atlantic Alliance back in 2014). It is clear that this philosophy also forms the basis for the preparation of the aforementioned “summit for democracy”.
Russia and China were identified as carriers of authoritarianism as the main obstacle to the implementation of the course announced at the June summits. Generally, two groups of claims are put forward – conditionally external and internal. From the outside, Beijing is charged with promoting its economic interests too aggressively (the “One Belt – One Road” project), building up its military and technological might in general to increase its influence. Russia is accused of “aggressive policy” in a number of regions, in fact, posing as such Moscow’s line of opposing ultra-radical and neo-Nazi tendencies in the policies of neighboring countries, which suppress the rights of Russians, like other national minorities, and uproot the Russian language, education, and culture. I do not like the fact that Moscow stands up for countries that have become victims of Western adventures and have been attacked by international terrorism with the threat of loss of statehood, as happened in Syria.
And yet, the main pathos of the announced approaches of the West is concentrated on the internal structure of “non-democratic” countries and on the determination to change them according to their own patterns, achieving such changes in the organization of social life that would correspond to the vision of democracy promoted by Washington and Brussels. Hence the demands on Moscow and Beijing (and everyone else) to follow Western prescriptions on human rights, civil society, opposition, the media, the functioning of state structures, and interaction between branches of government. Proclaiming its “right” to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries in the interests of implanting democracy in its understanding, the West immediately loses interest in the conversation, as soon as we propose to discuss the tasks of democratizing international relations, including abandoning arrogance and willingness to work on the basis of universally recognized principles of international law. not “rules.” By increasing sanctions and other measures of unlawful pressure on sovereign governments, the West inculcates totalitarianism in world affairs, takes an imperial, neo-colonial position in relation to other countries: implement the model of democracy I need at home, and do not worry about democracy in foreign affairs, we decide everything behave yourself, otherwise we will punish you.
The impasse of such an uncompromising course is understood by sane politicians in Europe and America. They – while not publicly – are beginning to reason pragmatically, recognizing that there is more than one civilization in the world, that Russia, China and other major powers have their own thousand-year history, their traditions, their values, their own way of life. It is futile to put at the forefront the question of whose values are better or worse, you just need to recognize the existence of other – in comparison with Western – forms of organization of society, take it for granted, respect them. Problems with the same human rights are everywhere, but it’s time to abandon the position of our own superiority: they say, we in the West will deal with them ourselves, because we are democracies, and you are not yet mature enough, you need help, which is what we will do.
Against the background of profound changes in the international arena, which affect everyone without exception and the consequences of which no one will undertake to anticipate, the question arises: which form of government is most effective not for messianism, but for stopping and eliminating those threats that do not know borders and affect everyone people wherever they live. The topic of comparing the tools available to “liberal democracies” and “autocratic regimes” is gradually being introduced into political science (it is characteristic that the term “autocratic democracies” is being thrown around timidly yet).
These are useful reflections that, of course, should be taken into account by the serious politicians in power. Thinking, analyzing what is happening is never harmful. The formation of a multipolar world is a reality. Attempts to ignore it, asserting themselves as “the only legitimate decision-making center”, will not bring closer the settlement of not invented, but real problems, to overcome which requires a mutually respectful dialogue with the participation of leading countries and taking into account the interests of all other members of the world community. This presupposes an unconditional reliance on generally recognized norms and principles of international law: respect for the sovereign equality of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, peaceful settlement of disputes, recognition of the right of peoples to determine their own destiny.
The collective historical West, which has dominated everyone for five hundred years, cannot fail to realize that that era is irrevocably leaving, but it would like to keep the elusive positions, artificially slow down the objective process of the formation of a polycentric world. Hence the attempt to ideologically substantiate a new reading of multilateralism – as manifested in the Franco-German initiative to promote “effective multilateralism”, which, as it is emphasized, is embodied not in the universal multilateralism of the UN, but in the ideals and actions of the European Union and should serve as a model for everyone else.
By introducing its concept of a “rules-based world order,” the West aims to divert discussions on key topics into formats convenient for it, where dissent are not invited. Narrow-group “platforms” and “appeals” are hammering together in order to agree upon recipes in their circle for subsequent imposition on everyone else. Examples include “a call for security in cyberspace,” a “call for respect for international humanitarian law,” and a “partnership for freedom of information.” In each of these formats there are several dozen countries, a minority of the international community. Moreover, on all the designated topics there are universal negotiating platforms in the UN system, but there, naturally, alternative points of view are expressed, and they must be taken into account, a consensus must be sought, and it is important for the West to assert its own “rules.”
At the same time, for each such “format of like-minded people” the European Union creates its own mechanism of horizontal sanctions – also, of course, without any regard for the UN Charter. The scheme is as follows: participants in “appeals” and “partnerships” decide in their close circle who violates their requirements in a particular area, and the European Union is already imposing sanctions on those who are guilty. It is convenient: you blame yourself, you punish yourself, and you don’t have to go to the UN Security Council. And an explanation has been invented: we have an “alliance of the most effective multilateralists”, so we teach others to master the best practices. As for the fact that this is not democratic and contrary to the principles of true multilateralism, French President E. Macron explained everything, speaking on May 11, 2021: multilateralism does not mean the need to achieve unanimity and the position of the “laggards” should not become an obstacle for the “ambitious vanguard” of the world community.
It should be emphasized: there is nothing wrong with the rules as such. On the contrary: the UN Charter is precisely a set of rules, but rules approved by all countries of the world, and not within the framework of “get-togethers”.
By the way, an interesting detail: in Russian “law” and “rule” are the same root words. For us, a real, fair rule is inseparable from law. It’s different in Western languages. In English, for example, law is “law” and rule is “rule”. Do you feel the difference? “Rule” is no longer about law (in the sense of universally recognized laws), but about what decisions are made by the one who rules and governs. Also note that the cognate word with “rule” is “ruler”, one of the meanings of which is a ruler. It turns out that with its concept of “rules” the West would like to line everyone up according to its own line, in its own line.
Reflecting on the linguistic and ideological traditions and feelings of different peoples, it is appropriate to recall how the West justifies NATO’s reckless expansion to the East to the Russian borders. When we recall the assurances given to the Soviet Union that this will not happen, we are answered: well, after all, these were just oral promises, no one signed documents. The ancient Russian custom will not take root in the West, when they shake hands – without any documents – and sacredly keep their word.
In a series of efforts to replace international law with Western “rules” – the most dangerous line on the revision of the history and results of the Second World War, the decisions of the Nuremberg Tribunal – the foundation of the modern world order. The West refuses to support in the UN the Russian resolution on the inadmissibility of the glorification of Nazism, rejects our proposals to condemn the demolition of monuments to the liberators of Europe. They also want to betray the fateful events of the post-war period, such as the 1960 UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, initiated by our country. The former colonial powers want to erase the memory of this, replacing it with hastily invented ceremonies – such as kneeling before sports – in an effort to divert attention from their historical responsibility for the crimes of colonialism.
“Rule-Based Order” is the embodiment of double standards. When it is profitable, the right of peoples to self-determination is recognized as the absolute “rule”. Among them are the Malvinas, 12 thousand kilometers from Great Britain, which, despite many decisions of the UN and the International Court of Justice, remain at the distant former colonial possessions that no one is going to liberate, as well as “independent” Kosovo, in violation of the UN Security Council resolution. When the principle of self-determination contradicts the geopolitical interests of the West – as in the case of the free expression of the will of the inhabitants of Crimea in favor of a common fate with Russia – they forget about it and angrily condemn the free choice of people, punish them with sanctions.
The concept of “rules” is also manifested in an attack not only on international law, but also on human nature itself. In schools in a number of Western countries, children are convinced as part of their curriculum that Jesus Christ was bisexual. Attempts by sane politicians to protect children from aggressive LGBT propaganda run up against militant protests in “enlightened Europe.” There is an attack on the foundations of all world religions, on the genetic code of the key civilizations of the planet. The United States took the lead in open government intervention in the affairs of the church, openly seeking to split world Orthodoxy, whose values are seen as a powerful spiritual obstacle to the liberal concept of unlimited permissiveness.
The persistence, even the stubbornness with which the West is introducing its “rules” is striking. It is clear that there are domestic political considerations, it is necessary to show the voters the “toughness” in foreign policy in relation to the “authoritarian opponents” on the eve of the next electoral cycles (in the United States, they are every two years, so just be in time).
But still – “freedom, equality, brotherhood” – is also from Western phraseology. True, I don’t know how politically correct (in a “gender context”) it is to use the term “brotherhood” in Europe now, but no one has attempted “equality” yet. And preaching equality and democracy within states, demanding from others to follow their example, the West, as mentioned above, categorically does not want to discuss the tasks of ensuring equality and democracy in international affairs.
This approach is frankly alien to the ideals of freedom. Behind the feeling of his own superiority, weakness is visible in him, the fear of entering into an open conversation not with those who only assent and keep the line, but also with opponents, bearers of other beliefs and values - not ultraliberal, not neocon, but absorbed with mother’s milk inherited from many generations of ancestors, transmitted by them traditions and faith.
It is much more difficult to accept the competitiveness of ideas about the development of the world than to compose recipes for all mankind in a narrow circle (where there are no fundamental disputes, and therefore – the truth is unlikely to be born there). But reaching agreement on universal platforms makes agreements immeasurably more reliable, stable and objectively verifiable.
Awareness of this immutable fact is hardly making its way in the Western elites, overwhelmed by an exclusiveness complex. As already noted, immediately after the talks between Vladimir Putin and Dzh.Biden in Geneva, the leaders of the EU and NATO rushed to make statements that nothing had changed in their approaches to Russia. Moreover, they say they are ready for a further deterioration in relations with Moscow.
At the same time, the policy of the European Union is increasingly being determined by an aggressive Russophobic minority, which was fully confirmed at the EU summit in Brussels on June 24-25, where the prospects for relations with Russia were discussed. The initiative of A. Merkel and E. Macron to hold a meeting with V. V. Putin, before he was born, was buried. Observers noted that the United States, by the very fact of the Russian-American summit in Geneva, kind of gave the green light to this initiative, but the Balts and the Poles stopped the “amateurism” of Berlin and Paris (and the ambassadors of Germany and France in Kiev called the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to explain this “Amateur performance”). The result of the discussions in Brussels was the instruction of the European Commission and the European Foreign Policy Service to develop new sanctions against Moscow – so far without indicating any “sins”, just to be in reserve. If desired, they will come up with something.
Neither NATO nor the EU intend to change their policies to subjugate other regions of the world and declare a self-assigned global messianic mission. The North Atlantic Alliance is actively involved in the implementation of the American “Indo-Pacific” strategy (with the open goal of containing China), which undermines the central role of ASEAN in the open architecture of Asia-Pacific cooperation that has been built for decades. The European Union, in turn, is developing programs for the “development” of neighboring (and not so) geopolitical spaces, without particularly consulting the invited countries regarding their content. This is precisely the nature of the Eastern Partnership and Brussels’ recently approved Central Asia program. Such approaches are fundamentally at odds with how integration associations with the participation of Russia – the CIS, the CSTO, the Eurasian Economic Community, the SCO – are doing business, which develop relations with external partners exclusively on a mutually agreed parity basis.
An arrogant attitude towards other members of the world community leaves the West on the “wrong side of history.”
Serious, self-respecting countries will never allow talking to themselves on the basis of ultimatums and will seek only an equal dialogue to consider any issues.
As for Russia, it is high time to understand: under the hopes of playing with us at one goal, the line has finally been drawn. All the spells of Western capitals about their readiness to normalize relations with Moscow if it repent and changes its behavior have lost any meaning, and the fact that many continue to put forward unilateral demands to us by inertia does not honor their ability to adequately assess what is happening.
The course for independent, independent development, protection of national interests – but with the readiness to negotiate with external partners on an equal footing – has long been the basis of all doctrinal documents of the Russian Federation in the spheres of foreign policy, national security and defense. However, judging by the practical actions of the West in recent years (including the hysterical reaction to Moscow’s defense of the rights of Russians after the bloody coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014, supported by the US, NATO and the EU), they apparently thought that all this was not very serious: they say, Russia has proclaimed its principles – and okay. It is still necessary to put pressure on, to put pressure on the interests of the elites, to increase personal, financial and other sectoral sanctions – and Moscow will come to its senses, understand that without “changing behavior” (ie, without obeying the West) it will experience ever deeper difficulties in its development. And even when we clearly said that we perceive this line of the United States and Europe as a new reality and therefore we will build our work in the economy and other spheres, proceeding from the inadmissibility of dependence on unreliable partners, they still continued to believe that Moscow will eventually “change its mind” and for the sake of material gains will make the concessions required of her. Let me stress once again what President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said: there have not been and never will be unilateral concessions of the late 1990s. If you want to cooperate, return your lost profits and business reputation – sit down to agree on steps towards each other in search of fair solutions and compromises.
It is fundamentally important for the West to understand that such a worldview is firmly rooted in the minds of the Russian people and reflects the views of the overwhelming majority of Russian citizens. Those of the “irreconcilable” opponents of the Russian government, on whom the West relies and who sees all Russia’s problems in “anti-Westernism”, demanding unilateral concessions in order to lift sanctions and obtain some hypothetical material benefits, represent an absolutely marginal segment of our society. At a press conference in Geneva on June 16 this year. Vladimir Putin lucidly explained what goals the West’s support for such marginal circles is pursuing.
They go against the historical continuity of the people, who have always, especially in difficult times, been famous for their maturity, a sense of self-respect, dignity and national pride, the ability to think independently – while being open to the rest of the world on an equal and mutually beneficial basis. It is these qualities of Russians that, after the confusion and vacillation of the 1990s, became the foundation of Russia’s foreign policy concept in the 21st century. They know how to evaluate the actions of their leaders themselves, without prompting from abroad.
As for the prospects for further doing business in the international arena, then, of course, leaders have always been and will be, but they must confirm their authority, offer ideas, lead – but by force of persuasion, and not by ultimatums. A natural platform for the development of generally acceptable agreements is, in particular, the G20, which unites the old and new leading economies, including both the G7 and the BRICS and its like-minded people. A powerful consolidating potential lies in the Russian initiative to form a Greater Eurasian Partnership through the combination of efforts of all countries and organizations of the continent. For an honest conversation on the key problems of global stability, President Vladimir Putin proposed convening a summit of the leaders of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, who bear a special responsibility for maintaining international peace and stability on the planet.
Among the tasks of democratizing international relations and establishing the realities of a polycentric world order is the reform of the UN Security Council, which must be strengthened at the expense of the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, ending the anomalous overrepresentation of the collective West in this main organ of the United Nations.
Regardless of someone’s ambitions and threats, our country will continue to pursue a sovereign, independent foreign policy and, at the same time, always propose a unifying agenda in international affairs based on the realities of the cultural and civilizational diversity of the modern world. Confrontation, whatever the motivation, is not our choice. Vladimir Putin, in his article “Be open despite the past” dated June 22, 2021, emphasized: “We simply cannot afford to carry the burden of past misunderstandings, grievances, conflicts and mistakes” and called for security without dividing lines, a single a space of equal cooperation and universal development. This approach is predetermined by the thousand-year history of Russia and fully meets the challenges of the current moment in its development. We will continue to promote the creation of such a culture of interstate communication, which would be based on the highest values of justice and would allow both large and small countries to develop peacefully and freely. We always remain open for an honest dialogue with everyone who shows a reciprocal readiness to find a balance of interests – on a solid, unshakable basis of international law. These are our rules.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.