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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/27/18

Revisiting Putin's 2007 Munich security Conference speech

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Every year, world leaders gather for conference at Munich to discuss global peace and security. But the conference of 2007 was of exceptional nature because of the famous speech of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose speech was not very different from that of the 'Great Funeral oration' by famous ancient Athenian General Pericles, which was patriotic and concerning peace of the world. Perhaps, there is a need of hermeneutic and philological approaches to understand the interpretation of verbiage of his speech. Vladimir Putin painstakingly gesticulated various dimensions of the global political transformations that took place in the post-Cold War arena. The key focus of the speech was global security architecture and the failure of the unipolar world order to maintain peace and stability. Moreover, the speech also pinpointed the future dimension of security in Europe and Eurasia, involving NATO and Russia. Because various significant political and strategic development occurred at the global level since 2007, including Russian-Georgian fiasco (2008), Arab Spring (2011), and Russian-Ukrainian conflict (2014).

In the beginning of the speech, Putin divulged his intentions about the global security that must be maintained based on the multi-lateral diplomatic process involving all the states, which in one way or another holds stakes in shaping world order. Referring to the ideological confrontation of the Cold War, he said:

"Only two decades ago, the world was ideologically and economically divided and it was the huge strategic potential of two superpowers that ensured global security--This global standoff pushed the sharpest economic and social problems to the margins of the global community's and world's agenda. And, just like any war, the Cold War left us with live ammunitions, ideological stereotypes and Cold War bloc thinking."

Indicating the failure of unipolar world order, he said:

"The unipolar world that had been proposed after the Cold War did not take place either. The history of humanity has gone through unipolar periods and seen aspirations to the world supremacy that always ended up in tragedy--It is the world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And, at the end of the day, this is pernicious not only for those within the system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within."

Putin also specified certain issues of multiple qualifications especially in due respect to her European partners, which see Russia as a threat to European security. And, the so-called Western liberal-centric media outlets that broadcasts fake news on Russia based on fallacious facts. For instance, the fake story of Russian delivery of nuclear sample to Iran in the 1990s was speculated by the Western media. Mentioning the global nuclear future, Putin reiterated:

"It is impossible to sanction the appearance of new, destabilizing nuclear weapons hi-tech weapons--Needless to say, it refers to measures to prevent a new area of confrontation, especially in outer space because Star Wars are no longer a fantasy; it is a reality."

Recently, Donald Trump administration in the US has decided to create space force to protect the outer space, that could force other countries like India, Russia and China to follow the suit. In contrast, the hi-tech-based arms race seems vivid in the foreseeable future especially among the incumbent nuclear nations. On the contrary, Putin also raised his concerns regarding the bureaucratic centralization in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which is a major barrier in disrupting cooperation between member states. Referring to the OSCE's performance, Putin said:

"What do we see happening today? The balance of cooperation in the OSCE is clearly destroyed. People are trying to transform OSCE into a vulgar instrument designed to promote the foreign-policy interests of one or a group of countries. This task is also being accomplished by the OSCE's bureaucratic apparatus."

Likewise, if we overhaul the principles written in the founding documents of OSCE regarding the humanitarian domain, it solely aims at assisting the member country to keep the international human-rights norms. But there is no mention about the interference in the internal political matters of the member state under the guise of organization platform. The OSCE's interference policy was clearly pinpointed by Putin in his speech.

In contrast, the speech was clearly describing the double standards perused by the western democracies while dictating Russia towards democratic transition. The 125 foreign experts that came to Russia under Boris Yeltsin regime failed to transform the Russian institutions; instead their actions raised concerns in the Kremlin's inner circle about the hidden intention. This is how the cooperation gap widened between the Russian and Western officials, that still continues today. The West in particular the US administrations have ignored the serious political warning of Russia at different forums. Therefore, in 2013, the Russian defense ministry's annual strategic plan, titled "The defense of Russia", predicted a serious global or regional conflict involving Russia before 2023--it could be Syria.

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My name is Shahzada Rahim and I am a postgraduate student with keen interest of writing on history, geopolitics, Current affairs, philosophy and International political economy. Moreover, I am a freelancer and an independent writer.
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Revisiting Putin's 2007 Munich security Conference speech

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