Modern Europe requires a new security system which could be built up based on the Helsinki Accords of 1975, Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Alexey Meshkov said in an interview with TASS on Tuesday.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council in Basel, Switzerland, on December 4-5 could agree on a new deal tentatively called Helsinki +40 based on a key pact that launched a security process in Europe 40 years ago, he said.
“It is important to return to the origins and principles which were laid down in this document and try to boost a new system of European security. It should create convenient conditions for all the member-states and not build additional barriers,” the diplomat said.
“Today it is not a secret for anyone that certain countries and regional organizations are subject to rather serious influence with the goal of hindering relations with Russia. We do not accept such an approach,” Meshkov said, calling for adopting a fair and open policy that would encourage the development of economic cooperation.
The Russian diplomat said although some people already understand the essence of the current events, there are others for whom “what is happening today is a propaganda war in which partners should not be listened to.”
As the preparations are underway for the Basel summit, to be attended by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the effort is hampered as some Western delegations try to include “an unacceptable wording linked to the Ukrainian crisis” even in any absolutely neutral decisions, Meshkov said.
“Europe, in the broadest sense of the word, is waiting for a positive signal at this summit. So do the economic operators and the civil society,” he said, adding that if the sides manage to make progress towards implementing the idea this will be an important result.
“We are down-to-earth and we believe that the talks won’t be easy,” Meshkov stressed. “However, it is necessary to think about in what direction we are moving: towards further confrontation or starting mulling over a new system of European security,” he said.
Russia’s EU envoy, Vladimir Chizhov, told the Izvestia newspaper last week “this idea (signing of new agreement on security and cooperation in Europe — TASS) may take particular shapes” in Basel. “This is now being discussed as part of the OSCE,” he said.
The draft declaration of the Helsinki +40 was signed in December 2013 in Kiev by the foreign ministers of the OSCE member-states, including Russia. Its aim is to rebuild trust and improve efficiency of the international venue.
Lavrov then said the document laid the basis for the work on drafting a declaration by 2015, marking the 40th anniversary of the OSCE and the Helsinki Accords.
However, the February coup in Ukraine and the civil war in the country’s east has led to a sharp deterioration in relations between Russia, the European Union and the United States, creating the threat of a new cold war.
First published by TASS.
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