Co-chair of the European Council on foreign relations, Carl Bildt, who previously held the posts of Prime Minister and Minister for foreign Affairs of Sweden, through the publication on the website Politico refers to the participants of the Munich security conference, which is scheduled for next weekend. The threat, in his view, «revisionist, nationalistic, and militarized Russia,» he offers to counteract in three directions.
First, Bildt writes that it is necessary to strengthen support of Ukraine: «In accordance with the Minsk agreements on Eastern Ukraine, Ukraine must be given the opportunity to fully regain control over the Eastern border in its entirety. It is important that the West continued to exert pressure [on Russia], including in the form of sanctions, until then, until it happens. The Crimean issue will need to do then. There are signs that Russia is seeking to strengthen military control over the Donbas and the Kremlin wants to mediate in a political deal with the West. The sanctions are doing their job, but the Kremlin is willing to tolerate them. In the Kremlin expect the failure of reform in Kiev and hope that the attention of Washington and Brussels (well, Berlin too) eventually will switch to something else.»
Bild believes that it is possible to enter into Ukraine «an international peacekeeping force, preferably with a UN mandate» to ensure the return of the breakaway region «towards stability in Ukraine». «While the Kremlin strongly opposes this idea and relies on their efforts on long-term destabilization,» he writes, » but if the West will firmly lay it on the line against half-measures, this might make him change position.» Before moving on to the next topic, the author adds that the West «must also be ready to strengthen defense potential of Ukraine».
In the Baltic States and Poland in the West should bet on «containment», continues the former Minister. Immediate threat to the region from Russia, he said, but it is necessary to «look a few years ahead», and then the West can wait «period of maximum danger in the relations with Russia». According to Bildt, «in 5-10 years the regime of Putin will inevitably come to an end» and the Russian leadership will have to think about my legacy. If he / she feels that «Europe is bursting at the seams, and the West is in decline, he will be a great temptation to get on with it», so «today it is important to build a strong defense, which will serve as a deterrent for those adventurist pretensions in the future,» said Bildt.
«Russia, of course, have to respect the concerns of their vulnerable neighbors about the safety, but that does not mean we should be deaf to the concerns of Russia,» the author continues. He proposed to postpone the third stage of the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system, which will be held in 2018 in Poland, citing the fact that the threat to Europe from Iran fell, the Islamic Republic continues to lead the development of ballistic missiles, but they are designed for shorter range and do not have nuclear warheads. According to Bildt, the deployment of the third phase of the missile defense system «does not meet any military requirements», but can become a pretext for Russia’s withdrawal from the Treaty on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range that «increases the threat of dangerous new nuclear arms race in Europe.»
In conclusion, Bildt wrote: «the Strategic landscape, which policymakers will talk in Munich this year, not the one that a year ago, not to mention the situation of five years ago… the Catastrophe unfolding in the middle East, begins to resemble something like the Thirty years’ war in Europe, and this will require a long-term approach, as in the case of a bellicose and revisionist Russia which, most likely, this will remain for many years to come… We need to develop solutions to meet long-term threats through far-sighted policies, and begin need it in Munich».
Politico. Carl Bildt. Three ways to stop revisionist, militaristic Russia 11.02.2016