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updated 8:13 AM UTC, Apr 21, 2017

Changing World and New Old Threats, Article by Ambassador Mikhail Petrakov

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2016 has been a very troublesome year with threats and challenges sprouting through the cracks of the shaping world order marking the importance of long overdue changes to the approaches on global arena. It was rich in happenings and outcomes, gave plenty of food for thought and also highlighted shifts in world politics. It showed the correctness of Russia’s analysis of the situation.

As «The Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation» adopted by President Vladimir Putin on 30 November 2016 stipulates, the current stage of the world development is characterized by profound changes, the essence of which is the establishment of a polycentric system of international relations with its increasingly more complex nature. New centres of economic and political influence appear as a direct consequence of globalization. Thus nowadays the global power and development potential is highly dispersed and is shifting to new developing regions. The West’s ability to dominate world economy and politics continues to diminish while other world cultures and civilizations as well as various state-development models become more prominent.

At the same time conflicts of interests caused by uneven development of world regions, growing gap in prosperity between the states, tougher competition for strategic resources, markets and control over vital transportation routes are becoming increasingly more intense. Global competition not only covers areas of human, technological and scientific potential, but takes place on a civilizational level, whereby various values and models of development compete against each other. Under these circumstances, imposing one's own hierarchy of values can only provoke a rise of xenophobia, intolerance and tensions in international relations leading eventually to chaos in world affairs. It is a top priority for world politics to prevent clashes of civilizations and to intensify efforts to forge partnership of cultures and religions in order to ensure a harmonious development of mankind. Attempts of the Western countries to preserve their advantageous positions by dictating their point of view on international tendencies and imposing the policy of containment on rising powers end up in growing instability in international affairs as well as global and regional turbulence. Struggle for domination over the formulating key principles of the future international system has become the main trend in modern world development.

In current circumstances, when political, social and economic conflicts become more aggravated and social and economic instability increases, the meaning of factor of power constantly grows. Efforts to build up or modernize offensive potentials, to create and deploy new types of weapons erode the global security architecture based on international treaties and agreements on arms control.

It is quite obvious that existing military and political alliances cannot withstand all the modern challenges and threats. Attempts to build individual "oases of peace and security" are a futile exercise due to growing interdependence of states and peoples. That is why compliance with universal principles of equal and indivisible security in respect of the Euro-Atlantic, Eurasian, Asia-Pacific and African regions gains particular importance in the modern world.

World economy, shaped by financial and economic challenges, is characterized by universal slowing of economic growth rates, volatility of financial, goods and resources markets as well as fragmenting common economic space and establishment of regional substructures with competing tariff and non-tariff barriers. Thus regional integration and strengthening of regional reserve currencies gain particular importance for the international economic relations. Other crucial points include joint efforts to manage international economy, growing transparency of global financial and economic space, establishment of integrated, open and well-balanced trade, monetary and financial systems that will remain relevant through the globalization era.

One of the modern world’s most dangerous realia is the continuously increasing threat of international terrorism. The spread of extremist ideology and high activity of terrorist structures in a number of regions, the Middle East and North Africa first and foremost, were caused by systemic problems in the countries’ development against the backdrop of globalization as well as external interference, and lead to the destruction of traditional governance and security mechanisms. Imposing ideological values and recipes for modernizing political systems from the outside only aggravates the situation, amplifying negative counter-reactions of affected societies. These trends are being exploited by the extremists, who rely on a distorted interpretation of religious values, and call for using violence as a method to achieve their political goals.

The emergence of the Islamic State and other similar international terrorist organisations in the recent years have raised global terrorist threat to an entirely new level. It is clear as day that the only way to effectively fight this ‘disease’ is to form a broad international anti-terrorist coalition based on a sound legal foundation, effective and systemic cooperation of its members without any politicization and double standards, active use of the potential of civil society, mainly in preventing radical ideas from spreading.

Russia has consistently opposed terrorism in all its forms. We provide military-technical assistance to the Syrian government, help Syrians fight terrorists, and bring peace to their war-torn land. Our Aerospace Forces' operation in Syria, which is being conducted at the official request of the UN member state’s legitimate authorities, have already resulted in serious damage to the terrorists and their infrastructure. To ensure peace and security the terrorist hotbed in Syria must be eliminated.

At the same time, it is clear that military methods alone will not untie the Syrian knot. That is why we have been advocating for political and diplomatic resolution of the Syrian crisis since its outbreak. Our firm position is that the settlement can only be achieved through an inclusive intra-Syrian dialogue based on provisions of the Geneva Communique of 30 June 2012 and relevant UNSC resolutions. Attempts to impose an alien agenda on Syrians have already failed. The Syrians themselves, without any outside interference, should agree on their own future.

The Syrian situation serves as an illustration of the intricacy and severity of the challenges the world is facing these days. Sadly, it is not a one of a kind issue. The events in Syria, Iraq and Libya are striking and bloody examples of what happens when instead of uniting in the face of common threats, and gradually resolving problems, some parties start pushing their own agenda, interfering in internal affairs of states and exporting revolutions. We have witnessed how instead of bringing reforms, aggressive intervention rashly destroyed government institutions leaving a power vacuum, which was quickly filled with extremists and terrorists.

It is important to avoid such situations in the future, return to the core principles enshrined in the UN Charter, basing policies, like Russia does, on equality, mutual respect for each other’s interest and fostering collective efforts in tackling global and regional problems.

 

Mikhail Petrakov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of South Africa

Ambassador Mikhail Petrakov on the tragic death of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov

akarlov in memoriam

 

Mikhail Petrakov, Russian Ambassador tot he Republic fo South Africa:  Andrey Karlov was an outstanding diplomat. We both participated in the Collegium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, used to sit nearby. He was a true professional, who radiated confidence and reliability. My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones, it is a great loss for all Russian people.

On the assassination of Andrey Karlov, Russian Ambassador to Turkey

akarlov 0

On 19 December 2016 the Russian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Turkey Andrey Karlov was killed in a terrorist attack in Ankara.

We strongly condemn this heinous inhuman crime aimed at disrupting collective efforts for political settlement in Syria and the process of normalizing Russia-Turkey relations.

On behalf of the Embassy’s leadership and staff we express deepest condolences to the family and relatives of this outstanding Russian diplomat. His memory will continue to live on in the hearts of everyone who knew him.

These events underline the dire necessity to join efforts in the uncompromising fight against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

 

A Book of Condolences will be open at the Embassy at 316 Brooks Street, Menlo Park, Pretoria on 20-22 December 2016 at 10h00-15h00.

You can also send your messages of condolence online, to the following email: ruspospr@mweb.co.za

Full text of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 23rd meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council, Hamburg, December 8, 2016

открытие СМИД ОБСЕ

 

Mr Chairperson-in-Office,

Mr Secretary General,

Ms President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Colleagues,

In the past year, the situation in and around Europe has remained unstable. The foundations of military-political security have continued to be eroded rather than strengthened. An increasing number of prerequisites for an arms race have appeared. Terrorist acts have been committed more than once. Regional conflicts have not subsided. Diplomacy and economic ties have been replaced with increasingly gross rhetoric, propaganda and unilateral sanctions. Is this the Europe we want to see?

We have been talking about this state of affairs for several years now. The problem is that the Euro-Atlantic Region has not yet developed a common vision of equal and indivisible security. The euphoria that the West experienced after the end of the Cold War did not allow the sides to develop an open political process and build a common security community.

Instead of removing division lines, a choice was made in favour of a closed NATO-centric system. NATO adopted a course towards moving its borders, forces and military infrastructure eastward and changing the military balance in its favour. The NATO leaders renounced professional dialogue with Russia and the CSTO on drafting collective measures to counter real rather than mythical threats. As a result, the European space broke into separate zones with different levels of security guarantees. Tough security based on confidence-building and arms control measures found itself in deep systemic crisis.

Read more ...

Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In the light of today’s consideration of a draft resolution on Syria by the UN Security Council, we are compelled to express bewilderment and indignation at Paris and London’s ongoing propaganda campaign in connection with their alleged concern over the continued fighting in eastern Aleppo, the safety of civilians and the delivery of emergency humanitarian aid.

Our “concerned” French and British colleagues surely know that Aleppo residents are already receiving such aid – not just on paper but in fact – from Russia, through the Defence Ministry, the Hmeymim Centre for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides and the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

Increased calls from a number of Western capitals to stop the anti-terrorist operation in eastern Aleppo look more like a last, desperate attempt to exculpate and save backed by them terrorists and extremists who are headed for defeat, i.e.  those who will stop at nothing to achieve their nefarious ends. It is they who continue to use civilians as human shields, and bombard and mine civilian infrastructure and humanitarian corridors.

On December 5, as a result of a direct hit by a terrorist mine at the emergency department of the Russian mobile military hospital in Aleppo, a Russian female medic was killed. Two other medical workers were seriously injured, and one of them later died. Local residents who had come to see a doctor were also injured.

However, Western capitals have not condemned this incident. We call on our partners to abandon their politicised approach and join the efforts to suppress the terrorist threat in Syria and search for a political solution to the Syrian crisis, instead of engaging in destructive emotional reactions through the media.

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