New Europe Security Deal – BNE Intellinews

New Europe Security Deal – BNE Intellinews

New European security deal  

Talk of war is dominating the conversation in Eastern Europe the moment and tensions are high. Follow us on Twitter @bneintellinews or me personally @bneeditor for the latest. As we keep saying we don’t think it will come to blows but yesterday there were reports that Russia has moved up the most troops since 2014 so tensions are high. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was in Donbas yesterday to visit the troops and Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone.

I wrote a blog that actually I wrote first five years ago in the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea calling for a new pan-European post-Cold War security deal. Nothing has changed since then.

The current security infrastructure is centred on Nato and the Russians have built up their military in response. But Nato is a Cold War relic to protect the West during an ideological clash between socialism and capitalism. We have moved on from that and the “them and us” thinking behind it.

The point was neatly illustrated by the Putin-Merkel talk, as not only did they discuss Ukraine and jailed oppositon politician Alexei Navalny (points of contention) but also Libya, vaccines and Bosnia (points of cooperation).

This is another part of the problem: Europe is completely conflicted over Russia. On the one hand it condemns (rightly) the treatment of Navalny and Ukraine. On the other it wants Russia to sell it cheap gas via Nord Stream 2 and buy its products or is investing in the Russian state bonds as they make good money.

Ironically although tensions are at their highest since 2014 that very fact has presented probably the best opportunity for a deal in years. And moreover the Russians want this conversation as they have already drawn up a draft deal that was rejected out of hand when it was presented first in 2008. Negotiations over a possible security deal would at the very least give everyone a chance of getting out of the mess we currently find ourselves in now. At the very least I believe this option should be tried as the endless stream of ineffective sanctions is clearly not working.

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