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Russian Officials Elaborate on Putin’s June 14th Proposal for a New Eurasian Security Architecture

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova elaborated on the proposal at some length, in a press briefing on the sidelines of the 12th St. Petersburg International Legal Forum. Credit: Maria Zakharova

Over recent days, a number of high-level Russian officials have been elaborating on the import of President Vladimir Putin’s June 14 proposal for a new Eurasian security architecture, elaborated for the first time to a meeting with senior personnel of the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Kremlin is intent on making it clear that this is a major initiative, that the world needs to consider and respond to.

Putin himself restated the essential points one week later, in a June 21 meeting in the Kremlin with graduates of higher military schools. Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov, and Ambassador to Italy Alexey Paramonov also made statements on the topic this week (see separate reports). And Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova elaborated on the proposal at some length, in a briefing to the press on the sidelines of the 12th St. Petersburg International Legal Forum.

She began this section of her briefing, subtitled in the Foreign Ministry’s transcript, “President Putin’s initiative to create new continent-wide security architecture in Eurasia” by saying:

“We have received many questions from the media regarding an initiative put forward by President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with the Foreign Ministry’s top officials on June 14 to create new continent-wide security architecture in Eurasia. Here is our answer to this question to everyone at once.

“Regrettably, we have to admit that the Euro-Atlantic security system has lost credibility, which fact the President covered extensively at a meeting with the Foreign Ministry officials. The United States and its satellites played a decisive destructive part in making this happen. Truth be told, they are quite skillful when it comes to spoiling things. Everything they go into, even the things they themselves created earlier, tend to be corroded by what they are doing. They have pursued a provocative policy of military and political development of the territories that lie next to our borders for decades on end, moved NATO’s military infrastructure eastward, and then launched a hybrid war against Russia. Today, the West is openly talking about the need (following is a direct quote from their own speeches and doctrinal documents) to ‘inflict a strategic defeat on Russia.’ Attempts are being made to build a non-inclusive security system at the cost of other countries which is largely directed against our country....

“Russia does not plan to get implicated into new bloc-based instances of confrontation in the spirit of zero-sum games. Paragraph 54 of the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation approved by the President on March 31, 2023 says that ‘Russia seeks to transform Eurasia into a single continental common space of peace, stability, mutual trust, development and prosperity.’ This provision establishes a regulatory framework for working to build a Eurasian security and cooperation architecture. In his Address to the Federal Assembly on February 29, President Putin pointed to the importance of stepping up efforts to create an equal and indivisible security in Eurasia in the foreseeable future, and conveyed his willingness to start a substantive discussion on this subject with all stakeholder countries and associations. On June 14, at a meeting with the Foreign Ministry top officials, Vladimir Putin outlined the Russian initiative’s key elements and variables....”

TASS quoted her as continuing to say: “The architecture formed on the basis of common efforts will not be directed against anyone, its parameters will not only ensure long-lasting peace, but also avoid major geopolitical upheavals due to the crisis of globalization, built according to Western patterns. It will create reliable military-political guarantees for the protection of both the Russian Federation and other countries of the macro-region from external threats, create a space free from conflicts and favorable for development, and eliminate the destabilizing influence of extra-regional players on Eurasian processes. In the future, this will mean curtailing the military presence of external powers in Eurasia,” the diplomat said.

Zakharova emphasized Putin’s offer to work with Western European nations as well under the new architecture, if they display a willingness to cooperate with Russia, rather than confront it. She stated that the essence of this initiative is to establish “a constructive dialogue between all potential participants in the future security system in the Greater Eurasia space. We proceed from the fact that geographical proximity, being on the same continent, encourages a joint search for ways of peaceful coexistence. Such a system should be open to all Eurasian countries that wish to take part in it, including Western European ones, provided that that they will abandon their confrontational course,” she explained.

“If we don’t start working on a new security system now, this will lead to the loss of dialogue skills, those mechanisms that were developed and, in principle, laid down as effective, but were destroyed by the hegemonic aspirations of the West. This will bring problems that are much more difficult to cope with later than now,” the diplomat stressed.