Konstantin Kosachev told participants of the student workshop at the Gorchakov Fund about problems and prospects of the system of international security

11 December 2017

The Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and the Foundation for Development of Information Society organized a workshop dedicated to search of solutions to establish a constructive dialogue among youth from different countries. Russian politician, diplomat, Chairman of the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and member of the Management Board of the Gorchakov Fund Konstantin Kosachev spoke to representatives of student organizations, leaders of youth organizations and students specializing in diplomacy.

“I am in favor of public diplomacy playing a more and more important role in foreign affairs. Until the middle of the 21st century the factor of hard power was dominating in foreign affairs. The state of things started changing with emergence of mass communications. It has become beneficial not to conquer territories, but capture people’s minds”, the senator addressed the attendees.

According to him, we come across a situation when tools of soft power are often used to discredit a foreign policy of the opponent. Why is something similar happening to Russia now? Is it a result of the events of 2014?

“I am confident that the current events are a more system phenomenon”, said Konstantin Kosachev.

He mentioned that the humankind had passed three conditional stages in the field of security. In 1950-1960s, blocks confronting each other and trying to overpower the opponent emerged in the world. In order to be safe, one had to be stronger than the enemy.

The first concept was substituted by the second one: in order to feel safe, you should not allow the enemy becoming stronger than you. The end of that stage coincided with the breakup of the USSR and dissolution the Warsaw Treaty Organization.

“The East and the West at that time understood differently why the Cold War had ended. We came to a conclusion that the confrontation was not beneficial. And the United States evaluated the events in a different way stating that it had won in the Cold War. I would like to remind that the Charter of Paris for a New Europe signed in 1990 does not mention NATO once and it mentions the European Union only once as a structure, which supports trade”, said the speaker.

According to him, the idea of the third stage is not to compete, but to cooperate in confronting new challenges and threats to international security. In the 1990s Russia was diligently fulfilling all the obligations in the area of international security. And it was some sort of a romantic period signaling readiness to agree with everything. However, the logic that “the winner of the Cold War should not change anything” became predominant for the West. When external threats changed, this logic became vicious.

“I believe that there are three major threats to international security: nuclear arms proliferation, international terrorism and distribution of drugs. Can you imagine what will happen if terrorists, having support from drug trafficking, will gain access to the nuclear arms!” - stressed the senator.

He suggested analyzing if NATO was an efficient mechanism of confronting, at least, one of those threats. NATO does not resolve problems, but only exacerbates them. The alliance, due to its structure, cannot not resolve such issues.

“We had a chance to build a system of international security during the third stage based on principles of the Charter of Paris, but we missed it. And it is not the fault of Russia, but the West, which has been building a model of monopolar world. It is a return to the logic of the Cold War. Had we been heard in 2007 in Munich, the world could have looked differently – in Libya, in the Middle East and in North Korea”, believes Konstantin Kosachev.

“Russia can be considered a threat, but it is a threat to the monopolar world and unimpeded proliferation of force. We are trying to restore balance in the world and this is what perceived as a threat. It is a system policy and the year 2014 became the highest point of accumulated disagreements”, he continues.

According to him, the current situation is not hopeless. Information, supporting the fact that the monopolar world is not coping with the threats, is slowly accumulating and will become available to the general public. When there is understanding that global issues should be addressed jointly.

However, then everyone will have to discuss reciprocal claims. We will have to either reconfirm the rules of game, which have disappeared, or invent the new ones, summarized Konstantin Kosachev.

He answered numerous questions from the audience.