POLAND-BELARUS-RUSSIA COOPERATION - KEY ELEMENT OF EURASIAN STRATEGY

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Скачать бесплатно! Научная работа на тему POLAND-BELARUS-RUSSIA COOPERATION - KEY ELEMENT OF EURASIAN STRATEGY. Аудитория: ученые, педагоги, деятели науки, работники образования, студенты (18-50). Minsk, Belarus. Research paper. Agreement.

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Опубликовано в библиотеке: 2016-06-09
Источник: Беларусь в мире, Sergei Rogov


In this article I would like to place emphasis on four issues. Our primary task is to draw attention to these problems and to suggest possible solutions.

The first problem is a new quality the European Union (EU) is acquiring. It is not only Russia, but also Poland and Belarus that have been "obsessed" with NATO for a long time. What the EU has lately been through is of no lesser and maybe even of greater significance for all of us. The tendency of the EU development must have taken shape last year. Basically, the EU is becoming an equivalent to the notion of Europe. We talk about Europe, and the EU is implied; we talk about the EU - Europe is meant.

This is first of all conditioned by a new stage of economic integration and establishment of the European monetary union. The gist of the process is that a number of functions that until now have been performed by sovereign states are being passed to supra-national bodies of the EU. Maybe, it is a debatable issue, but in my view there is a possibility that in 20 years the EU will transform into a confederation. The EU means a fulfilment of entirely new functions not just in the econo-mic, but also in the political sphere. It should suffice to mention the EU's position on Chechnya or Austria. Additionally, the EU is acquiring certain military capabilities.

Along with deepening of the EU, its expansion is taking place. Within 10-15 years the EU will comprise approximately 30 states. Especially interesting both for Russians and Belarusians was the issue raised in Helsinki that Turkey is destined to join the EU. Of course, the question if Turkey is closer to Europe than Belarus and Russia comes forth. This is a very interesting point, because it is associated with identity. Do Belarus and Russia belong to the new consolidating Europe, with its doors open even for Turkey?

If there is no room for our countries in such Europe, due to this tendency in the EU development the Bug will become the European border. This gives grounds for serious thinking. Do we want the border of Europe to lie along the Bug River and Poland turn into a border state? Or, for all that, maybe the border of Europe should not stop on the Bug River?

The second problem is associated with the issues relating to the Baltics. It comprises several aspects: economic, ethnic (including Russian and Russian-speaking population of the Baltic states), and military. In November 1999, in Istanbul, an Agreement on Adaptation of the CFE Treaty was signed. The countries of the Baltic region are not parties to this Treaty. Howe-ver, Baltic states' membership in the EU is obviously predetermined. It can be a subject for discussion whether the Baltic states will be admitted to NATO, and if so - how soon. Yet, the EU is open for the countries of the Baltic region.

Thus, a military aspect of this problem arises. Last year the EU proclaimed itself not just an economic and political bloc, but also a military alliance with certain military capabilities. In Russia, very few people perceive the EU as a military threat. However, we see that the EU - if we talk about this organisation's enlargement - has a military dimension as well.

It should be noted that the first and the second problem are interrelated. What are the possibilities of a positive resolution of this situation bearing in mind that the EU expansion is unavoidable and so is its essential evolution? Hence the question is what Belarus and Russia can give Europe? What will we come to Europe with? Russia's role is normally reduced to being a fuel and energy supplier for the EU, and Belarus is viewed as a transit way. I think it is not true or not quite true.

In 2002, Poland is likely to be represented at the fourth APEC summit. Apparently by that time Poland, being a member of the European Union, will participate as a fully-fledged member of the dialogue between the leaders of the EU and East Asian countries that begun in 1996. In the current year, in Seoul, the third summit of the states of the EU and East Asia will take place. A special situation emerges: the dialogue between the European Union and East Asia (the ASEAN countries, China, Japan, Korea) is going on without Russia or Belarus. Virtually, the Eurasian dialogue proved to be possible with no account of the greatest factors affecting the situation in the Eurasian space. This circumstance must and should be thought over. The economic

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cooperation of Poland with Belarus and Russia includes not just bilateral trade or, for example, access of fuel and energy from Russia to Europe. This is also a key point for the formation of entirely new interaction between Europe and Eastern Asia.

I would like to remind you of a very unpredictable event that occurred last December: China, Japan, South Korea and the ASEAN countries decided to set up a common market. Some people began talking about a necessity to introduce common currency for this East-Asian common market. So far this is, surely, just a declaration. However, I think that affixing this factor to our discussion is extremely important for comprehension of the relations that can be established between Poland, Belarus, and Russia not just in the European context, but also within the considerably wider Eurasian one.

From this standpoint, Russian population of the Baltic states remaining one of the reasons for tense relations between Russia and the Baltic states, after the latter have been admitted to the EU, can prove to be a positive factor. In twenty years or sooner, after the Baltic states' admittance to the EU the current situation - when hundreds of thousands of Russians do not have citizenship - will cease to exist. It will then become clear that there is a million or a million and a half of ethnic Russians in the EU. Will the EU then view them as the "fifth column" and "agents of the Russian imperialism" or will this turn into a powerful factor of rapprochement and improvement of relations between Russia and the EU in economic field? In the latter case a Russian community in Latvia can play a major role. Its economic activity can become a significant factor for economic relations between Russia and the EU.

The third problem, which cannot but cause concern, is an anticipated collapse of the arms control regimes that were set up during the Cold War era. The way they have been shaped, these regimes are doomed. It is a dangerous delusion to believe that the basic provisions of the former historic period will play a key role in the settlement of security-related problems in the future.

There are two major reasons for the current arms control arrangements to be doomed, the first one being geopolitical. It made useless the principle of parity, on which all major arms control agreements during the Cold War had been based. In the bipolar system the Soviet Union and the USA, the Warsaw Treaty and NATO could conduct negotiations on missiles, warheads, tanks, and combat aircraft. We knew that we would eventually agree on parity and equal quantity, even if we talk zero numbers as was the case with the INF Treaty.

There is, of course, no such parity at present. Therefore, the question emerges about the point of such agreements as the CFE Treaty. What is the purpose of the Russian flank limitations? Or are Romania and Belarus our allies against Turkey? There are no more regional limitations for Central Europe. Then, what are flank limitations for?

Another point is quantitative limitations for all types of arms established for all CFE states parties. What is the logic of Belarus' right to have one and a half times more tanks than France? What is it reasoned by: population, average GDP, or length of borderline? What is an objective criterion?

There is no such criterion. In order to avoid nullifying the Treaty, we merely agreed to reduce maximum ceilings for treaty-limited items of equipment, although in practice all states parties to the adapted Treaty, including Poland and Russia, can build-up their arms to meet the national ceilings established by the Treaty. Currently, we do not know what can supersede the parity principle. If we talk about nuclear armaments, Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) systems, then what should be an objective criterion for Europe, China or India?

The second challenge that dooms the current arms control regimes is a revolution in military science. It is a matter of using state-of-the-art off-the-shelf technologies in military field, which results in a dramatic change in the military balance of forces. Let us take the CFE Treaty as an example. Was it a hindrance to waging a real war in Europe last year when NATO was fighting against Yugoslavia? We can see that the Treaty aimed at preventing war in Europe has in no way forestalled the war in the Balkans.

As regards the parameters of the Treaty, it is clear that they did not influence the result of hostilities in Yugoslavia. The number of tanks of NATO countries and Serbia could not predetermine the outcome of the conflict. It was largely predetermined by the availability of high-precision weapons. The decisive factor in the military balance of forces is command and control (C2) and high-precision weapon systems. C2 is not limited by any agreement: neither by the CFE Treaty, nor by START-2.

The ABM Treaty is the only exception. It has a certain impact on the relations between Russia, Belarus, and Poland. The Baranovichi facility was built in compliance with the provisions of the ABM Treaty on phased-array radar. However, the US wants to reconsider the ABM Treaty to be able to deploy ground sensors and new generation of ground radars (including mobile ones). Therefore, Americans want to bury the only treaty at least partly stipulating for C2 limitations.

This problem relating to the revolution in the military science proves that we place wrong emphasis. Tanks and aircraft can be inventoried through periodical audits and inspections. But how to control C2? Revolution in military science, inter alia, means that the old principle of the necessity of military forces build-up no longer determines success in military conflict.

The last year conflict between NATO and Yugoslavia proved that NATO forces spread throughout Europe

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were capable of engaging Yugoslavian targets. In other words, in jeopardy is the regional limitations principle - what has been laid out both in the adapted CFE Treaty and in the Russia-NATO Founding Act (this relates to Poland and Belarus as well).

There can be two solutions to this problem. Firstly, the arms control system should be reconsidered. It should be modified with regard to the new geopolitical realities and new technological achievements. Secondly, we will never be able to reach arms control agreement with limitations not only on materiel, but also on the intellectual potential for the military use of the whole of the armed forces. Hence the solution should be searched outside the arms control framework - through interaction and establishment of cooperation mechanisms in military field.

In this conjunction I think that the Danish-Polish-German Corps, although formally it is not part of NATO, in its present format can appear to be a very big problem unless we reinforce this new multinational force with Russian units in Kaliningrad, Belarusian units in Belarus and possibly a Baltic battalion (if the Baltic states set up such a battalion). However, the situation when Kali-ningrad can become a point of conflict in all dimensions (economic, political, ethnic, and military) between Russia and the West is reminiscent of the situation around Danzig.

From the economic standpoint, the Kaliningrad problem can be viewed as a matter of common inte-rests of Russia, Lithuania, Belarus and Poland. Mutually beneficial economic decisions, in particular, in transportation and power engineering can be taken on the basis of these common interests. Or, conversely, we can state that this issue does not require any special solutions. These are two different strategic playing fields. We reckon that it will be favourable for all of us, if we find mutually beneficial economic decisions.

Today's Kaliningrad is not the same as Danzig. And we should do our utmost so as not to turn it into a new Danzig. In this regard Polish-Belarusian-Russian cooperation - economic, political and military - can become one of the solutions. This is the fourth problem I wanted to single out.

Within the framework of our trilateral dialogue it is worthwhile to look for common solutions - both economic and military. If we now admit that not all problems can be solved through arms control, then certain forms of multilateral cooperation in military field can prove more effective. These forms will include preventive measures forestalling the growth of tension in this region. Does it mean that this is aimed against NATO? I do not think so. Such cooperation should not be conditioned by Poland's withdrawal from NATO. Yet, Poland's involvement in NATO will not necessarily hamper such cooperation.

We probably have to agree to the fact that although Russia and Belarus are not members of the EU at present and are unlikely to join it in 10 or 20 years, they will continue to be members of Europe. This will require administrative steps by the EU and such states as Russia. Organisationally, the present format of relations between Russia and the EU or Russia and Belarus is not effective enough. Therefore, there should be a long-term - 20 or 30 years - prospective that will allow us to forget about the current fears that Russia or Belarus might be excluded or "pushed out" of Europe.

In the foreseeable future Russia will hardly be able to become a fully-fledged member of the EU. However, this does not mean that we should be guided by the "all or nothing" principle. I would like to call on all parties concerned to search for alternatives to such decisions.

* Sergei Rogov ,Director, Institute of the USA and Canada Stu-dies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow.


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Публикатор (): БЦБ LIBRARY.BY Источник: Беларусь в мире, Sergei Rogov

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