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On March 5, 2019, International Multimedia Press Center at IIA Rossiya Segodnya hosted a round table on Russia-NATO relations.

The event presented a joint report Towards a More Stable NATO — Russia Relationship prepared by Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and European Leadership Network for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (ELN).

On March 5, 2019, International Multimedia Press Center at IIA Rossiya Segodnya hosted a round table on Russia-NATO relations.

The event presented a joint report Towards a More Stable NATO — Russia Relationship prepared by Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and European Leadership Network for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (ELN).

The participants of the round table included: Andrey Kortunov, RIAC Director General; Adam Tomson, Director of the European Leadership Network (ELN), British Diplomat; Dmitry Danilov, Head of the Department of European security, RAS Institute of Europe, Professor of MGIMO, RIAC Expert; Katarzyna Kubiak, ELN Expert.

Making a presentation of RIAC and ELN joint report, Andrey Kortunov noted that the main value is that the document was tested in circles close to decision-making bodies both in Russia and in the North Atlantic Alliance. RIAC Director General pointed out that the report does not contain revolutionary provisions, only some modest but quite realistic solutions to meet the interests of both parties and minimize the risks of escalation of tensions in relations between Russia and NATO.

Adam Tomson, Director of the European Leadership Network, emphasized that the preparation of the joint report included consultations with senior civil and military officials from both sides. This made it possible to assess the level of confrontation between Russia and NATO. According to Sir Adam Tomson, after 2014, one can state the loss of trust between the parties to the level more critical than even at the final stage of the Cold War. The main reason is the lack of understanding. Among the key recommendations of the report, the speaker highlighted the need for dialog not only at the official level, but also on the second track with the participation of NGOs. He also recalled that both Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance should stop perceiving dialog as a favor to the other side.

Katarzyna Kubiak, ELN expert, spoke about the main formats of the joint work. In her opinion, the advantage of the report is two types of recommendations provided: immediate steps and measures that should be taken in the long term. The expert also noted that in relations between Russia and NATO, it is advisable to use the hotline in case of cyber threats and the scenario approach in consultations.

Further, Dmitry Danilov, Head of the Department of European security, RAS Institute of Europe, said that the improvement of Russia-NATO relations should be a general, ambitious goal. According to the expert, there is an urgent need to build a dialog within the framework of a strategic stability concept. “If Russia and NATO do not move towards this, Russia and individual NATO member states will look for ways to resolve issues on a bilateral basis,” said Danilov. The speaker saw this as a challenge for Russia, that would face a multiplication of bilateral relations, and for NATO, that might partly lose the role of a platform for implementing security policies of the alliance members.

The issue of suspending US and Russia's participation in the INF Treaty was also touched upon during the round table. Experts noted that in this situation it is necessary to minimize the negative costs of these withdrawals for the European security. Underscoring their concern for the situation, the roundtable participants expressed hope that the parties would take on new security commitments.

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Poll conducted

  1. Korean Peninsula Crisis Has no Military Solution. How Can It Be Solved?
    Demilitarization of the region based on Russia-China "Dual Freeze" proposal  
     36 (35%)
    Restoring multilateral negotiation process without any preliminary conditions  
     27 (26%)
    While the situation benefits Kim Jong-un's and Trump's domestic agenda, there will be no solution  
     22 (21%)
    Armed conflict still cannot be avoided  
     12 (12%)
    Stonger deterrence on behalf of the U.S. through modernization of military infrastructure in the region  
     4 (4%)
    Toughening economic sanctions against North Korea  
     2 (2%)
 
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