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22 October 2019
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Gheorghe Russu

Vice-director, The Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption

Parties-Phantoms, Parties - State Institutions, Parties - State Enterprises

Ion PREAŞCĂ

20 parties have registered in the current election campaign. Many people say it is a too big number for such a small country as Moldova. At the same time, much more parties could take part in the election campaign.

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Activists launch Moldova’s first ‘Space Camp’ © Susan Coughtrie

NATO at a new crossroads?

Lisbon Summit has become a truly historical event for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The recent summit opened a new chapter in the strategic development of the organization, adjusting its role and conceptions to various sources of threat and to the global order which is more polarized nowadays.
Denis CENUSA, 26 January 2011, 9:40

The Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security adopted by NATO`s member states focuses on the principle of absolute solidarity in case the security of any of Alliance's members is to be threatened. NATO's reiteration of its openness towards other European democracies denotes the principled position of the organization in relation to countries that oppose the Euro-Atlantic enlargement, especially in the East. NATO remains faithful to the reasoning according to which the area of freedom and peace is spreading throughout Europe due to the extension of the organization. [1] The new adopted strategic document is the result of NATO's desire to continue to reaffirm its pacifist vocation and its international role. In this context, the organization assumes the obligations to prevent future crises, to manage conflicts and post-conflict situations in cooperation with the United States of America and the European Union. Obviously, the strategic concept aims to keep the players from both banks of the Atlantic Ocean bound together, despite the different visions that have divided them in the previous decade. The scission has also occurred due to the increasing emergence and autonomy of Brussels from Washington as well as in solving international issues. The authors of the document emphasize the need of institutional reform and indicate the necessity of a cost optimization policy within the organization with the purpose of qualitative improvement and with the desire to realize a faster adaptation of the Alliance to the current international conjuncture. Efficacy, effectiveness and flexibility are the main objectives of the reform that aims at the instauration of a modern functionality able to meet an extremely mobile and heterogeneous environment. Simultaneously, NATO claims its privileged status of vital and unbeatable source of stability in an unpredictable world.

The Concept of NATO Renewal  

According to the new Security Concept, NATO continues to base its activity on the principle of common security as it was stated and conceived in 1949 at the organization's foundation. One of the main aspects refers to the management of crises which implies the use of military capabilities and political methods in order to consolidate the Euro-Atlantic security. Cooperative security is one of the recent components introduced in the rethought and modified orientation of the security in the Euro-Atlantic space. Making use of this element, NATO tries to come closer to a multipolar approach of the international order. After renouncing at the principle of "particular, categorical and all-inclusive missionarism", the Alliance has started to understand the importance of external actors. Their role is seen from the perspective of high interdependence of the situation in the Euro-Atlantic zone and the security atmosphere around it. Seeking arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, NATO manifests its direct availability for partnerships with third countries and with other international organizations. As a prevention measure of exogenous risks NATO continues to develop "the open door" policy.

Even after the reformulation of the objectives, the attention of the organization is still focused on the old problems, yet not overlooking the new ones. The proliferation of weapons, including the rapid development of nuclear ones, and the arming of state with new military capabilities are continuously growing threats for the reviewed Euro-Atlantic space. Another threat is the terrorism and the activity of the extremist groups. The architects of the Alliance are aware of the spread of these groups in the strategic sectors of the organization and of their access to advanced technologies, including their nuclear, chemical, biological or radioactive capabilities. Bearing in mind new challenges, NATO keeps an eye on the spread of risks born by conflicts emerged beyond the Euro-Atlantic borders. These zones are sources of extremism, terrorism, arms and drugs trafficking, trafficking in people. NATO also pays a special attention to the crimes committed via electronic technologies which the Strategic document calls very dangerous for the individual national security of state members.

Paragraph 13 of the Strategic Concept directly refers to oil supply and to the security of this process, the Alliance assuming the role to intervene in cases of attacks on transportation routes of energy agents, and in cases of possible supply interruption. [2] The Chapter referring to the new types of weapons (laser and electronic) raises a certain ambiguity. The Strategic document counts them among possible security threats.

Climate threats such as climate change or the lack of drinking water and other risks related to human's health have been considered at the improvement of the Euro-Atlantic security paradigm.

One of NATOs vital pro-active measures is the availability to develop capabilities for the defence of populations and territories within the Euro-Atlantic space against ballistic missiles attacks. This concern is presented in the new document as a basic element of the common security which may contribute to the construction of an indivisible security. The aforementioned provision also looks at drawing Russia and other Euro-Atlantic partners in the alleged "Euro-Atlantic missile defence system" proposed for the next period.

In the future decade NATO is oriented towards strengthening its profile in the domain of conflicts management and prevention, based on its experience in Western Balkans and Afghanistan. Along with the actual development of Alliance's capacities to be present and to act in the territory, NATO commits itself to monitoring and analyzing the international context for the prevention of crises and to the identifying of necessary steps to impede the transformation of these crises into long-term conflicts. 

The imperative of nuclear disarmament and the evacuation of nuclear armament out of the territory of NATO's states are reiterated. NATO calls for transparency from Russian side concerning the nuclear materials available to the Russian military structures. Simultaneously, the Alliance aims to contribute at the consolidation of conventional weapons control regime in Europe, respecting the principles of reciprocity, transparency and consent of the host state.

The principle entitled "open doors" is mentioned in at least three paragraphs of the NATO new document. The principle is fundamentally tackled in the paragraph 27[3], being proposed as the major substantial supplier of security to the members of the Alliance. Despite the lack of serious restrictions, the principle implies however a limitative character for the states that intend to adhere to the Euro-Atlantic space.  Therefore, the future member states should contribute to the assurance of the common security and stability. This would mean that the inclusion of a new state may face difficulties if it embraces a problematic area for the Alliance stability. The mentioned aspect could directly hit Georgia which strives to adhere to the organization and could be ready by the end of this decade to join NATO. The main obstacle for Georgia is the existence of uncontrolled separatist territories occupied by foreign troops, i.e. the Russian army.

Partnerships with states that refuse to approach NATO must be seen as a tentative of the Alliance to internationalize, to diversify and to internalize its presence in these regions. For the first time the organization is preparing to intensify political cooperation with all interested states, helping them to find solutions to common problems. At the same time, the Alliance does not renounce to the existing partnerships, saving its right to develop them according to the specific character of each partnership.

NATO aspires to manifest its international destination by extending and enhancing the cooperation with the United Nations Organization (UNO), following the broadening of the ties between their centers of coordination. The Alliance also aims at the stimulation of political consultations, increasing the practical cooperation in the management of crises.

Regionally, the main NATO's ally remains the European Union. The Alliance endorses the active and effective role of the European factor within the Euro-Atlantic area. Moreover, NATO admits the significance of the European security which achieved a more delineated dimension after entry into force of Lisbon Treaty.

Complementarities and mutual support are seen as essential elements for the peace and international security assurance. The strengthening of the strategic partnership in a spirit of openness, transparency and respect for institutional autonomy and integrity of the two organizations is one of the measures intended to bring closer the two organizations. Also, it is intended to activate the practical cooperation: planning coordination and the mutual support in the territory, widening the format of political consultations in order to share assessments and forecasts, maximization of the bilateral cooperation with the purpose to avoid duplication and to increase the efficiency.

The strategic concept takes into consideration the cooperation with Russiain order to create a common region of peace, stability and security. Firmly, NATO recognizes that it does not treat Russia as a threat provider. Although, the organization insists on the need for reciprocity in order to build a genuinely fair and sustainable partnership. The document refers to the fact that both NATO and Russia will develop relationships and partnerships respecting the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the states in the Euro-Atlantic area. In this way, it is reaffirmed the importance of trust, transparency and mutual predictability. These principles are stated in the NATO-Russia Joint Declaration signed at the assembly in Lisbon, on November 20. [4]

NATO Concept contains clear previsions vis-à-vis Georgia and Ukraine (Paragraph 35), which reiterates the validity of the decisions adopted at the Bucharest Summit in 2008 regarding the eligibility of the two countries. The Concept assures the continuation and the development of NATO-Georgia and NATO-Ukraine Commissions, based on the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the two states. Nevertheless, these previsions do not fit with the existing reality at least in the Ukrainian case, where the new government has stopped the Euro-Atlantic dialogue and has officially adopted the status of "non-adherence to military blocs".

In its final paragraph the Strategic Concept underlines the Alliance's aim to orient towards the renewal of the organization and towards its conformation and alignment to the challenges of the 21st century through unity, solidarity, sustainability and ability to identify solutions.

The Utility of the New NATO Concept for the Republic of Moldova  

NATO's new strategic document has a major significance for the Republic of Moldova since it reaffirms the organization's role including responsibilities that cover Moldavian national security needs. The extension of NATO partnership with third countries offers new opportunities to Moldavian officials. It gives them opportunities to improve the situation in specific areas - upgrade the capabilities of defence strategy planning, acquire new skills through training in post-conflict missions conducted by the organization.

The approaching between NATO and Russia bears positive perspectives able to change the perception of Moldovan public and to destroy the old stereotypes and outdated anachronistic prejudices regarding the Alliance. It is fundamental for the Republic of Moldova that both NATO and Russia have reiterated in the Strategic Concept and in the Joint Political Declaration, the principles of sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of the states in the Euro-Atlantic area. Another benefit for Moldova resides in NATO's firm commitment to the respect of the principle "consent of the host state". Unfortunately, the same principle does not appear in the Bilateral Declaration signed by NATO and Russia.  

In general, the Alliance's Strategic Concept can be considered as a crucial moment for the evolution of this organization; it takes NATO closer to the category of mega-class international organizations. The resuscitation of its role in international affairs equally meets the interests of member states and of the non-member states. This is a possibility for the Republic of Moldova to improve the cooperation frame with NATO, in spite of the severe antipathy towards this organization that persists in Moldavian society.

 

References:

1. Active Engagement, Modern Defence, Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security of The Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation adopted by Heads of State and Government in Lisbon, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_68580.htm

 

2. „All countries are increasingly reliant on the vital communication, transport and transit routes on which international trade, energy security and prosperity depend. They require greater international efforts to ensure their resilience against attack or disruption. Some NATO countries will become more dependent on foreign energy suppliers and in some cases, on foreign energy supply and distribution networks for their energy needs. As a larger share of world consumption is transported across the globe, energy supplies are increasingly exposed to disruption.", Active Engagement, Modern Defence, Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security of The Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation adopted by Heads of State and Government in Lisbon, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_68580.htm

3. „The door to NATO membership remains fully open to all European democracies which share the values of our Alliance, which are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership, and whose inclusion can contribute to common security and stability.", Active Engagement, Modern Defence, Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security of The Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation adopted by Heads of State and Government in Lisbon, http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_68580.htm

4. Совместное заявление Совета Россия-НАТО, „Государства-члены СРН будут воздерживаться от угрозы силой или применения силы друг против друга, равно как и против любого другого государства, его суверенитета, территориальной целостности или политической независимости в любой форме, несовместимой с Уставом ООН и содержащейся в Хельсинкском заключительном акте Декларацией принципов, которыми государства-участники будут руководствоваться во взаимных отношениях.", http://news.kremlin.ru/ref_notes/789



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