On 7 June 2019, at the GLOBSEC 2019 Global Security Forum in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, took part in a discussion on the development of relationship between the West and Russia in the context of the present-day global challenges (Russia & The West: Piling Up the Bones of Contention).
In his remarks, Edgars Rinkēvičs stated his conviction that relations between Russia and the West should be reflected in a strategic context. “China emerges as an increasingly assertive player on the global stage. This is attracting the attention of the West, while raising the risk of the relations with Russia to be treated as a secondary issue. This does not mean that challenges posed by Russia have become less relevant. Notwithstanding rather limited resources, Russia has capability to pursue its geopolitical goals,” said the Minister.
The Minister drew attention to the fact that, in addition to conventional military threats, hybrid challenges including cyber-attacks, economic pressure and disinformation are becoming increasingly more sophisticated. “The apparent disintegration of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is the latest example that we cannot base our security purely on a hope that the other side will play by the rules. Credible and durable future arms control measure based on the INF premise should include other states with similar technologies,” Edgars Rinkēvičs noted.
The Minister underlined that NATO collective defence and the US commitment to the European security provided strong assurances that peace and security in Europe would be preserved. This includes Baltic region, where NATO forward presence and Allied exercises demonstrate the Allied collective resolve in a measured yet very clear manner.
“While transatlantic partnership and NATO remain the key elements for the Euro-Atlantic stability, the current security environment also requires that the European Union take a greater responsibility in providing security and peace within and outside its borders. We see the European Union’s defence efforts as contributing to a stronger transatlantic link and international security,” said Edgars Rinkēvičs in conclusion.
The GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum is an annual high-level security policy event. This year it aspires to address current challenges to global security and that of the European Union, including cyber security, climate change and the fight against terrorism.
The forum has been organised since 2005 by the Slovak Atlantic Commission in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Each year, the event brings together high-ranking delegates from various countries and international organisations, politicians, business people, experts, journalists, and researchers.
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