Friday, May 05, 2006

Separate Conclaves Of Military-Political Leaders In Minsk And Intellectuals In Vilnius Fail To Agree On A "Common Vision for a Common Neighbourhood"

Minsk, 4 May: "The secretary-general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization [CSTO], Nikolay Bordyuzha, says that cooperation between NATO and the CSTO is failing to take shape as the alliance does not realize its full importance.

"That is their problem. They fail to understand the situation on a global scale regarding security and the modern-day threats that hang over mankind. If anyone says they do not see the point of cooperation, there must be political reasons at play," Bordyuzha told Interfax in Minsk on Thursday [4 May] before the start of the first Belarusian information forum, "Media against the challenges and threats of the 21st century".

In his view, "it is only joint efforts that can solve problems to do with terrorism and extremism and the illegal drugs trade".

Bordyuzha said: "We are willing to cooperate with any organization that stands up for security."

The CSTO comprises Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan."

Interfax-AVN military news agency website "CIS SECURITY BODY CHIEF SAYS NATO FAILING TO COOPERATE" May 4, 2006 via


" [Lithuanian] President Valdas Adamkus thinks that one of the biggest hardships for countries that have chosen the path of democratic reforms is 'frozen conflicts.'

"'Frozen' conflicts are obvious threats, which raise fear and impede economic development in entire regions. It is necessary to find fast and peaceful solutions to those conflicts, because the union of law and democracy cannot coexist with conflicts and isolation," Adamkus said in his greeting to participants of the Forum of Intellectuals at the Vilnius Conference, called Common Vision for a Common Neighbourhood.

According to the president, 'frozen conflicts' also impede cooperation of activities in the region.

"It is hard to imagine that democracy would be established in regions where there is no cooperation of institutions or if they lack the essence of cooperation. The engine behind European and transatlantic cooperation should be cooperation, not competition," the Lithuanian head of state noted.

According to him, this was proven by the experience of the Vilnius 10, which, in 2000, united the efforts of new European democracies to join Euro-Atlantic institutions. Adamkus said that today all of those countries are firmly determined to support the development of regional cooperation and the 'open door' policy.

The president also stressed the necessity of raising the goals and values of the state above narrow pragmatic interests.

"Today I would like to wish the countries that are striving for European and transatlantic integration: set your domestic and foreign policy goals and secure support of the majority for those goals," Adamkus noted.

After noting that today the Eastern Europe seems determined to be integrated into European and transatlantic institutions, Adamkus said that at the same time he saw "wavering, looking back, and attempts to look for the alleged 'third way,' whatever that third way might be."

"In the European Union we also hear voices talking about the alleged 'burnout of expansion.' Those voices see Europe as a fortress or a closed club," the Lithuanian head of state noted.

However, he said he did not think that it was necessary to concentrate on these questions, because European cooperation in the future would be cooperation between democracies trying to expand freedom to move, to trade, and to exchange ideas.

The president said that globalization did not leave the option of living in seclusion, and it would find ways of punishing those that would decide to build walls against democracy. According to Adamkus, non-democratic states would be forced to face globalization challenges alone.

After admitting that sometimes it is difficult to balance interests with values (although it was necessary to make sure that they were not contradicting one another), Adamkus said that today it was necessary to agree on an ambitious agenda - the East European neighbourhood vision.

"Vision that would obligate us to create united and free Europe, which would be united by economic integration and common values. I believe that your determination, good will, and effort will help us achieve that," Adamkus said, in addressing intellectuals.

Representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, the United States, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine are participating in the Intellectuals Forum, which is being held in Vilnius on Wednesday. They are discussing democratic changes of recent years and their future prospects in the Eastern Europe."

Delfi website, Vilnius "Lithuanian President Urges To Solve 'Frozen
Conflicts,' Which Hinder Democratic Changes" May 3, 2006 via

Do we really need renewed nuclear terrorism and war between CSTO and NATO over Sevastopol, Ukraine, and Kaliningrad, the Russian Federation?

[Klaipeda, Lithuania is where, I believe, my Belarusian (and Jewish) ancestors left Europe for North America in 1912. My mother recalls seeing my grandmother's Lithuanian passport in her Detroit dresser.]

Image credit: With thanks.


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