Dmitry Medvedev’s speech at the Munich conference. Full text

Dmitry Medvedev’s speech at the Munich conference. Full text


Good day, ladies and gentlemen! Good day, dear colleague, Mr Vals, Mr Ischinger! I will be slightly more General statement, but hopefully useful.

Since the end of the “cold war” was already a quarter-century. For history is not much, but by the standards of individuals and even generations, it is still noticeable period of time. And enough so that we can assess our victories and defeats, to set goals for the future and, of course, to avoid repeating mistakes.

The Munich conference is remarkable for its sharp and Frank discussions. I’m here for the first time. And I would like to talk today about how we in Russia understand the modern state of European security, because that is what we have gathered, and what are the solutions to the problems facing us we see given the fact that they are complicated by the apparent deterioration of relations between Russia and the West.

On Munich speech of Vladimir Putin

In 2007 Vladimir Putin first spoke at an international conference. The Russian head of state spoke about the dangers of a unipolar world, about the modern weapons and the arms race, on the reduction of arsenals, the economy and energy, has assessed the activities of international agencies. The President of the Russian Federation stated that there is a “greater and greater disdain for the principles of international law, and certain provisions of some States, particularly the USA, step over their borders and imposed in other States”. “For the modern world unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible”, – said Putin. In his words, “the basis of such a model can be no moral foundations for modern civilization”.

Before you go to the conference, I met with President Putin. We discussed his speech here in Munich in 2007. Then he talked about the fact that the ideological stereotypes, double standards in international relations does not help to reduce tension, but only increases it, and the world community, there are fewer opportunities for making significant political decisions.

Let’s ask a question: whether not too we exaggerate? Maybe our estimates were too pessimistic. Unfortunately, I have to admit that the picture today is even more serious. Developments since 2007 have been much more dramatic. Unified greater Europe as there was not. Our economy, all economies grow weak. Intensified conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa. Stepped migration collapse. The relations between the EU and Russia is ruined. Ukraine – civil war.

In this sense, our intensive dialogue on the future architecture of the Euro-Atlantic security, of global stability, regional threats is now especially necessary. Think abnormal that in many areas it is almost completely broken. The communication problem recognize almost everything – and in Western Europe, and Russia. Paralyzed mechanisms that allow timely withdraw of mutual concern. Moreover, we have lost the culture of mutual arms control, although for a long time it served as a basis for building trust. One after another die partnership initiative, which cost us a lot of effort. In fact, frozen the draft Treaty on European security. The idea of creating a Committee on foreign policy and security, which I personally discussed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Meseberg, not implemented. Remains unfriendly and closed, in our assessment, the political line of NATO against Russia.

Can be said sharply: we have gone, in fact, in the time of a new cold war. Almost daily we announce the most terrible threat for NATO as a whole, separately for Europe, America and other countries (colleague, Mr Stoltenberg is also just demonstrated), remove the frightening films in which the Russians begin a nuclear war. I do sometimes think, we in 2016 or live in 1962?

Although the real threats that exist in our little world, and I hope you understand, lie elsewhere. The concept of “European security” today covers a much wider field than we’re used to. Forty years ago it was primarily on military-political relations of European countries. But today on the foreground there are other issues – sustainable economic development, inequality, poverty, unprecedented scale of migration, new forms of terrorism, regional conflicts, including intra-European. I mean, of course, and Ukraine, and still turbulent Balkans, and standing on the brink of a national crisis Moldova.

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Those cross-border challenges and threats that appeared to be in a period quite overcome, manifested itself with new force and new threats, primarily terrorism and extremism, has lost the abstract character which they had before for most. Now it is a reality for millions of people in different countries, as just mentioned a colleague of Waltz, this is an everyday threat. Every day might sound a blast on the plane or in the cafe shots. Previously, it was only in the middle East. Now – all over the world.

We see that the economic, social, and military challenges today mutually reinforce each other and sometimes we act totally uncoordinated, sluggish, focusing in many cases solely on our national interests, or immediately appointed by the fault of another.

And now five theses on security as such.

First. I’ll start with the economy.

Today we actually were on the verge of a paradigm shift the current international economic relations. Traditional schemes do not work, political expediency takes precedence over intuitive economic calculation. Rules of conduct often rewritten and sometimes just ignored. Suffice it to recall, as the international monetary Fund just altered the fundamental rules of lending to countries with sovereign debt overdue, when we are talking about the sovereign debt of Ukraine to Russia.

Negotiations on the conclusion of large-scale economic of higher order can lead to loss of system of General rules in the global economic space.

Partly bad joke played on us and the globalization to which we all aspired. I personally spoke about it during meetings then all need “eight”. But times change, even small changes in the economy of one country is now almost instantly affect markets and countries. Global regulatory mechanisms fail to balance the interests of the parties.

Remains extremely volatile energy market. From its volatility affects importers and exporters.

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All sanctions of the West against Russia

Regrettably growing practice of unilateral economic pressure, I mean all sorts of sanctions. This is done arbitrarily, sometimes in violation of international law. So loosened the foundations of the functioning of international economic organizations, including the world trade organization. We’ve always said that, and I’ve always said that the sanctions and strike against those against whom they are introduced, and against those who use them. Many joint initiatives frozen because of the sanctions! I just met with representatives of German business, and we talked on this subject. Lee calculated the direct and indirect costs for the European and Russian business? And whether our differences are just that? How profound they are? It’s all of you sitting in the audience, so we need them to be, these sanctions?

This is a road to nowhere. All will be worse, no doubt. Instead, it is vital to focus the efforts on strengthening a new global system that would combine the principles of efficiency and fairness, market openness and social security.

Second. The crisis model of global economic development creates the prerequisites for various conflicts, including regional ones.

European politicians thought that the creation of the so-called zone friends on an external border of the EU could become a reliable guarantee of security. And what are the results of this policy? Not the “friends zone”, and, in fact, the exclusion zone, a series of local conflicts and economic turmoil and on the East and on the southern flank of the European neighbourhood (I mean Ukraine and Moldova, and the middle East, and North Africa, Libya and Syria).

The outcome of these regions is now our common problem.

Normandy format allowed us to start the negotiation process on Ukraine. We believe that to date, no other tool of peaceful settlement, except for the Minsk package does not exist.

We welcome the balanced and constructive position of France on this occasion. And Ukraine, by the way, and other acute international problems (here Mr. Waltz spoke about it) Russian dialogue with France have never been interrupted and has resulted in concrete results.

Of course, the Minsk agreement must comply with all directions. But first of all, their implementation depends, in our opinion, the Kiev authorities. Why? Not because we’re trying to move somewhere arrow, and because this period has come.

Despite progress on several fronts (on the withdrawal of heavy weapons, the OSCE mission, other issues), the situation remains fragile.

What most bothers us?

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First, and most importantly, in the Southeast of Ukraine and it isn’t set to complete silence. On the line of contact occur regularly attacks. This should not be. And in this sense we must set the right signals to all parties.

Secondly, still not adopted amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, which had to be done before the end of last year, not to fulfill the law on the special status of Donbass. Instead of consulting the regions of specific elements of decentralization, and these are very important issues, adopted the so-called transitional provisions. Although all these arrangements are clearly recorded in the Minsk agreements.

Third, the Kiev authorities continue to insist that the local elections should be organized on the basis of a new Ukrainian law. In addition, the Ukrainian side, unfortunately, has not fulfilled its obligations under a broad Amnesty, which should be extended to those who participated in the events of 2014-2015. Without Amnesty these people will not be able to participate in the elections, thus making their results questionable, and is unlikely to enjoy the OSCE.

As I said, the Minsk agreements should be fully implemented – is the Russian position. We are reasonable people and willing to listen to different ideas, including a compromise, for example, we agreed with the proposal of Mr. Steinmeier that since the election begins the provisional application of the Law on the special status, and after a recognition of results of elections by the ODIHR OSCE the application of this law becomes permanent. But there is no movement – it would seem to be a compromise!

And, of course, remains an extremely difficult humanitarian situation. The economy of the South-East of Ukraine is deteriorating, the territories blocked, rejected the initiative of the German Chancellor about the recovery of the banking system, which was to be implemented there. Tens of thousands of people are on the brink of survival.

Surprisingly another: why should it care about Russia and don’t care to the extent the Ukraine? But we have sent and will send to the South-East of Ukraine humanitarian convoys.

I can say that we have been and we will exercise reasonable flexibility in the implementation of the Minsk agreements where it does not contradict their essence. But we cannot do what we have no authority, and that is to fulfill the Kiev authorities for their political and legal obligations. This is a direct competence of the President, government and Parliament of Ukraine. Unfortunately, at present, there is neither the will nor the desire to do it, and today, in my opinion, it becomes obvious to everyone.

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The participants of the meeting in Munich confirmed the terms of a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Syria

Now with regard to Syria. We have worked and will continue to plan carefully for implementation of joint peace initiatives. They go hard, but the alternatives of inter-ethnic and inter-religious dialogue does not exist. It is important to maintain a unified Syrian state, to prevent its collapse on the confessional principle. Another Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan to the world not to pull. The consequences of this scenario will be catastrophic for the entire Middle East. Gives some hope the work of the international support group Syria, they are here the day before yesterday, the participants agreed on a number of practical measures to implement resolution 2254, including the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the civilian population and the definition of the terms of the armistice, of course, excluding terrorist groups. To put these measures into practice remains under the chairmanship of our country and the United States of America. I stress the key importance will be the regular work of the Russian and American military. But it is regular, not to seek them and to negotiate about some incidental contact, and regular, constant, every day!

Of course, inadmissible any preliminary conditions to start negotiations on a political settlement between the Syrian government and the opposition. No need to scare anyone by ground operation.

And third. I sincerely believe that if we do not normalize the situation in Syria and other hot spots, terrorism will become a new form of warfare that will lead the whole world. And it’s not even just war, and, in fact, a way of resolving ethnic and religious conflicts, the method of quasi-public management. Imagine a chain of countries that are controlled by terrorists by terror. This is the twenty-first century?

Today, everyone understands that terrorism is not a problem of individual countries. In Russia we talked about this already two decades ago, convinced our partners that root not only in interethnic and inter-confessional disagreements. The main ideology of the ISIL (the former name is forbidden in Russia of the terrorist group “Islamic state – ed.) is not the battle for Islamic values, but only animal instinct, the desire to destroy and kill. Therefore, terrorism is a problem of civilization: either we, or they, it’s time to realize all this, without any nuances and semitones, without any justification of their actions, without division into friends and foes, in extreme and allegedly moderate!

The destruction of Russian aircraft in the skies over Sinai, the terrorist attacks in Paris, London, Israel, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iraq, Mali, Yemen and other countries, revealing the execution of hostages, thousands of casualties, endless threats confirm that international terrorism knows no borders.

Terrorists and extremists seek to spread its influence not only on the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, but also to the whole Central Asia. And unfortunately, they still manage it. Including because we cannot leave our differences and really unite. Even the interaction between the special services was curtailed. But it’s funny: we don’t want to work with you. I think DAISH (Arabic name of the IG – ed.) should be very grateful to my colleagues – the heads of some Western countries that curtailed such collaboration!

Before the conference, I reviewed a variety of materials, including the assessments of Western experts. Even our detractors acknowledge that all disputes “terrorist equation” without Russia is not solved. However, sometimes this General right in the idea they Express in a slightly different context, saying that the worst of a strong Russia can only be a weak Russia.

Fourth. With regional conflicts and terrorism are tightly intertwined, and the problem unprecedented in scale and essentially uncontrolled migration. If you want this new great migration of peoples. It affects not only Western Europe but also Russia. And if Syria is not very, from Ukraine for us it has become a hot topic. Only a year and a half we took more than a million refugees.

The war and related deprivation, inequality, low life, violence, bigotry cause people to leave their homes. Unsuccessful attempts to transplant the model, Western models of democracy in unprepared social environment led to the destruction of entire countries, has turned vast areas in the war zone. I remember my colleagues were happy at some period of the so-called Arab spring. It is simple on my eyes all happened. And where is this modern democracy in these countries? Apparently, it took the form of ISIS.

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In countries which are declining in population, degrades human capital, melting away prospects. The current immigration crisis on many of its manifestations is approaching a humanitarian catastrophe, at least in some European regions. Aggravated social problems, increasing mutual intolerance, xenophobia. I’m not talking about that, under the guise of refugees in European countries penetrate hundreds of thousands of extremists. Or people who have a completely alien culture who just want to get benefits and do nothing. There was a real threat of destruction of the single economic space, followed by cultural space, and even the European identity! We regret to see the undermining of the need for Russia mechanisms. I mean a collapse, in fact, the Schengen area.

We are ready to help in solving migration problems in every way we can, including taking part in normalising the situation in the conflict regions, where the main flow of refugees. This also applies to Syria.

Finally, the fifth. Let’s be honest. Most of these challenges have arisen not today. And certainly they were not invented in Russia. But during this time we have not learned how to respond to them, to warn them. And therefore is still basic resources spent on fighting the consequences, not getting, not doskias to their root causes. Either draw energy not against true evil, but to deter neighbors. Just here was spoken about. The doctrine of deterrence is very actively used by the Western world against Russia today. The danger of such approaches is that in ten and twenty years from now we will be discussing the same topics. Of course, if there will be something to discuss. In the framework of the universal Caliphate the discussion is inappropriate.

There are different opinions concerning prospects of cooperation with Russia. Of course, such opinions we have. But do we have a chance to come together to respond to the challenges I just spoke of? I am absolutely sure that there is. Yesterday we saw a vivid example of a religious order – as the traffic starts to each other. In Cuba his Holiness Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis. But before this, two Christian churches have not communicated for centuries. Of course, rebuilding trust is difficult. It is difficult to say how long it will take. But to start this process you need. And there can be no preconditions. Or is it all of us need, or not need anyone. And then they won’t.

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Our assessment of developments in recent years is often different, but still, I want to be clear, not disagree so much as, for example, 40 years ago during the signing of the Helsinki act. Then in the middle of Europe simply was the wall. Where there prevailed long-standing phobias, there was a dead end. And where we were able to join forces, we came to success. There are many examples. We could also agree on the reduction of strategic offensive arms. It was a really big breakthrough. Find a compromise in resolving the situation around the Iranian nuclear program. In the framework of the “Geneva-2” negotiations has managed to bring all parties to the Syrian conflict. There is coordination in the fight against piracy, climate conference, which was held in Paris. Those are all positive examples should be multiplied.

Dear colleagues! Dear ladies and gentlemen!

The modern European security architecture was built on the ruins of the Second world war, and it allowed us to live 70 years without major conflict. Why? Because it was founded on principles which at that time were understood by all, especially the principles of unconditional value of human life. Their understanding of us has paid a high price. But this common tragedy has forced to rise above political and ideological differences in the name of peace. Yes, today this system has some problems and crashing. But do we really need another, third world shake-up, to understand how what is needed now is cooperation, not confrontation?

I want to quote John F. Kennedy who said in General is simple, but the right thing: “Domestic policy can only fail elections. Foreign policy can kill us all”. Then, in 1960-e years, on the threshold of a nuclear Apocalypse two opposing sides in time were able to understand that there is no confrontation of political systems, States are not worth people’s lives.

I believe that today we are wiser and more experienced, and more responsible. And we don’t share such ideological phantoms and stereotypes. And the challenges that threaten all of us, will be the basis not for conflict, but for our Association, for a fair and equitable Association, which will provide us with a peaceful life at least 70 years.

Thank you.

Transcript of Dmitry Medvedev and published on the website of the government of the Russian Federation

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