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Engaging Russia. Prospect for a Long-term European Security Compact

15/05/2010

Europe’s still-evolving post-Cold War security system is at the origin of the recurrent tensions and disagreements between the West and Russia. Although rejecting the notion of spheres of influence as a relic of the past, the United States and European countries have kept conceiving of Europe’s security as centred on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). And yet, a stable security order for Europe in the twenty-first century can hardly be achieved without involving Russia as one of its constitutive parts. This implies envisioning a system that is not NATO-centric but ‘multi-pillar’ and thus able to reflect the plurality of actors – the United States, NATO, Russia, and the European Union – and the variety of security and security-related interests currently existing in the European space. The vision informing such a system is that of a Europe as a ‘single security space’ where all parties behave as responsible stakeholders even though they do not share the same values.

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