In one of the last interviews he gave to the press, the late Ronald Asmus reiterated the importance of strategically reassuring NATO’s vulnerable allies against threats coming from inside and outside Europe. The security guarantee provided by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty needs to be strengthened in order to maintain the cohesiveness and the credibility of the Alliance in a new security environment. Ronald Asmus argued that the strategic reassurance of NATO’s Central and Eastern European allies should have been a precondition of reset policy with Russia. More…
Ronald Asmus was definitely, as Ivan Krastev highlighted in an article for opendemocracy.com, part of a generation “that emerged on the stage in the last days of the Cold War, it was baptized by the fall of the Berlin Wall, inspired by the thinking of dissidents and it never lost its belief in the transformative nature of democracy. It was a generation shaped by the end of the Cold War, the dilemmas of the Balkan wars and the success of the enlargement policy. It is a generation that came to importance at the moment when American power was at its height and American leadership was taken for granted”.
The last week’s visit to France of Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has further strengthen Franco-Russian relations, while at the same time endangering European security. During this visit France and Russia concluded a series of economic agreements concerning the energy market (GDF Suez wil participate in the Nord Stream pipeline project), a partnership between the French rail company Alstom and its Russian counterpart TMH and opened exclusive talks on buying four Mistral class amphibious assault ships (LHD). Although France has not yet decided to sell the ships, this military deal seems almost certain and the bilateral talks between France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev seem to confirm that few details remain to be settled before the green light is given.
Romania’s President, Traian Băsescu has announced yesterday the willingness of his country to host parts of US the ballistic missile defense system on its territory. The decision to allow the United States to deploy anti-ballistic missiles in Romania was taken in a meeting of the Supreme Defense Council (CSAT). According to Traian Băsescu Mrs. Ellen Tauscher the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security has formally proposed on behalf of the United States of America that Romania should host on its territory an anti-ballistic missile system. The US State Department has confirmed the agreement while the US embassy in Bucharest has saluted president Băsescu’s decision. Following the CSAT decision bilateral negotiations will be started, however the final approval for the deployment of the missiles must come from the Romanian parliament. The Romanian president has stated that the missile shield is not directed against Russia, but is designed to protect against other threats.
The President of the United States, Barack Obama has announced on September 17, a major shift in the policy of the US concerning the deployment of anti-ballistic missile defenses in Central and Eastern Europe in order to protect its European allies from a possible Iranian threat. In this article I will argue that this move is a part of a larger strategy of retrenchment, designed to make American power more flexible and adaptable in an international system defined both by symmetrical and asymmetrical threats. The move does not signal by any means a waning of America’s commitment to Europe’s security or for that matter, the security of Central and Eastern Europe. Canceling the deployment of the Ground Based Interceptors in Poland and the X band radar in the Czech Republic does not mean the United States is giving up on creating a national missile defense capability.
In this article I will argue that EU’s relations with the Russian Federation are at a crossroads, with the latter gaining leverage while the former has trouble finding an adequate response to this challenge.
The differences between two actors stem from two quite different perceptions of world politics and diplomacy. Russia sees international politics from a realist perspective emphasising power politics and strategic cooperation while the EU is advancing a post-Westphalian agenda of international politics based on shared norms and values. These different approaches and understandings of the international system have lead to an impasse in EU-Russian relation.