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On July 18, 2018, at IIA Rossiya Segodnya, International Multimedia Press Center, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) held a round table on the outcomes of NATO summit.

Andrey Kortunov, RIAC Director General, Sir Adam Thomson, Director, European Leadership Network, and Dmitry Danilov, Head of the Department of European security, Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences, took part in the event.

The experts discussed internal contradictions between the members of the North Atlantic Alliance, their influence on the relations between Russia and the bloc, and the prospects for Georgia joining NATO, which was announced as a possibility in the course of the summit.

On July 18, 2018, at IIA Rossiya Segodnya, International Multimedia Press Center, Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) held a round table on the outcomes of NATO summit.

Andrey Kortunov, RIAC Director General, Sir Adam Thomson, Director, European Leadership Network, and Dmitry Danilov, Head of the Department of European security, Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences, took part in the event.

The experts discussed internal contradictions between the members of the North Atlantic Alliance, their influence on the relations between Russia and the bloc, and the prospects for Georgia joining NATO, which was announced as a possibility in the course of the summit.

The Working Group of the "Future of a Greater Europe Project» made a report— "Towards a NATO-Russia Basic Understanding".

Adam Thomson, Director, European Leadership Network, noted that longstanding relations between NATO and Russia still do not lead to any constructive results and it is necessary to develop new rules and mechanisms for these relations that would contribute to strengthening security in Europe. Dmitry Danilov reminded that this summit was, first of all, intended to solve NATO’s internal issues, and Russia is just one of the issues that is strengthening the transatlantic friendship. Nevertheless, there is considerable controversy among members of the organization, as evidenced by an extra session after the adoption of the final documents of the summit.

Andrey Kortunov underscored that with Donald Trump taking office in the White House, the United States has significantly changed its policy towards NATO. Washington used to perceive the role of the U.S. as a key guarantor of European security as a duty, and now, as a service. And in spite of the fact that Russian society perceives such fluctuations almost as a harbinger of the alliance collapse, it is necessary to understand that NATO is still a very powerful organization. A. Kortunov identifies three areas where Russian and NATO interests coincide: desire to avoid conflict in Europe, prevention of the arms race, and the opportunity for further cooperation. Countering the arms race, in his opinion, requires the creation of entirely new foundations, basic principles, for such treaty. And the development of these ideas should start as soon as possible, at least at the expert level. In addition, he emphasized the difference in approaching potential cooperation: Western representatives try to establish small situational cooperation, that is, "from the bottom up," while Russia seeks to find agreement on more global issues, that is, to go "from top to bottom." All experts agreed that the most constructive solution would be the resumption of the full-fledged work of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC).

The audience asked to analyze the attitude of the European countries to D.Trump’s requirements, and Adam Thomson noted that the U.S. opinion is extremely important in all circumstances and, most likely, the European countries will actually increase military expenses in the near future. A significant part of the funds, in his opinion, will be used for technical modernization of NATO armed forces.

Other issues under discussion included: certain hindrances for the development of Russia-NATO relations, the factors of erosion of transatlantic solidarity, etc.

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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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