RUSSIA’S PROPOSAL FOR A EUROPEAN SECURITY TREATY: ORIGINS AND PROSPECTS
Hull, Brad L.
Yost, David S.
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In 2008–2009, Dmitry Medvedev, then the President of Russia, proposed the conclusion of a European Security Treaty (EST) to provide “indivisible security” for nations from Vancouver to Vladivostok. Although this proposal came during a “reset” of Western relations with Russia, NATO governments ultimately rejected it. This thesis analyzes the treaty proposal and assesses Russian motivations for suggesting it. The thesis also explains why NATO governments rejected the EST, a proposal with provisions contrary to Western security interests. The potential for improved security cooperation between Russia and the West has been significantly limited since Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012. Russia has annexed Crimea, destabilized eastern Ukraine, and taken other steps intended to discredit, fragment, and undermine the Western-led liberal world order. This thesis considers Western and Russian viewpoints, notably in light of developments since Medvedev proposed an EST. Although Russia has violated key elements of its proposed treaty, the Kremlin has nonetheless pursued the strategic goals it had hoped to achieve through the EST: subversion of NATO’s cohesion and collective defense ability, weakening of the transatlantic link, veto power for Moscow in the European security architecture, and dominion in Russia’s near abroad.
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