Russia's proposal for a European Security Treaty motives and implications
Harlambakis, Fredrick N.
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's proposal for a European Security Treaty (EST) is an ambitious attempt to reshape the current Euro-Atlantic order, and thereby, advance Moscow's security interests. The EST proposed by Moscow would be a legally binding agreement. According to Moscow, it would uphold the principles of international law and achieve equal security for all states in the Euro-Atlantic region. However, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies generally view this treaty proposal as an attempt to undermine existing Euro-Atlantic security institutions, such as NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The EST proposal reflects Russian discontent with the current Euro-Atlantic security order. Many Russians hold that NATO has disregarded Russia's security interests since the collapse of the Soviet Union, notably in the Alliance enlargement process. Although the EST proposal has been dismissed by some observers as a Russian ploy to fracture NATO, governments in the Euro-Atlantic region have acknowledged the need to ensure that Russia's legitimate security interests are respected. NATO and Russia may find it to their advantage to pursue long-term cooperation on the basis of shared interests. They may then together deal effectively with the emerging threats of the twenty-first century.
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