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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kozyrev Disputes NATO Europe Vision

xBRUSSELS -- Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, in an upcoming article in a NATO magazine, sketches an outline of Moscow's cooperative ties with the Western allies that differs from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization version.


Writing in the bimonthly NATO Review, to be published next week, Kozyrev appeals to the 16-nation Western alliance to take a back seat in the drafting of a new post-Cold War security order for Europe.


Making Europe more secure, he writes, is the job of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, a Cold War outgrowth of about 50 nations best known for its 1975 Helsinki human rights accord.


"The CSCE has won the Cold War (and has) considerable potential for maintaining and strengthening peace in Europe," writes Kozyrev.


An advance copy of his article was provided by NATO.


Wary of conservative forces in Moscow, Kozyrev says giving the CSCE a greater security role "will make less pressing the issue (of) the eastward expansion of the NATO zone."


He also appeals for money and material from the NATO and East European nations to help maintain 18,000 Russian peacekeepers in the restive areas of Georgia, Moldova, Tajikistan and Russia itself.


Kozyrev does not say how much money Moscow wants but notes that his country bears the burden of peacekeeping operations in the Commonwealth of Independent States "virtually alone."


Kozyrev's 2,000-word article highlights once again the sharp differences between NATO and Moscow about how to make Europe more secure.


NATO opposes a lead role for the CSCE.


"This is not how we see things," said one alliance source, who asked not to be named, Friday.


NATO sees itself as the Cold War winner and the CSCE as a forum for consultations and even peacekeeping missions.


But NATO officials argue the core task of providing security must remain with the Western alliance.


NATO has signed Partnership for Peace accords with 22 ex-foes, including Russia. These provide for as much military and political cooperation as they care to develop.


By offering partnerships and the prospect of membership for some East Europeans, NATO seeks to remain in the driver's seat of European security which is what worries Moscow.


"Our relations should be deprived of even the slightest hint of paternalism," according to Kozyrev.


He says the partnership program gives NATO a chance "to dovetail its activities with those of the CSCE which plays the key role in matters concerning European security and cooperation."


Kozyrev again suggests that NATO's North Atlantic Cooperation Council become an independent body linked to the CSCE.


Through the NACC, the 16 NATO nations and 22 East European nations debate security issues. NATO has ruled out turning it into a quasi-CSCE organization for fear of losing influence over European security issues.


NATO signed a framework partnership accord with Russia on June 22.


It included at Moscow's insistence a declaration recognizing Russia as a superpower that can make special contributions to European security.