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Europe needs security for Russia, and security with Russia

What can the Western bloc do to improve the cool relationship with the great power in the east, asks Manfred Huterer, diplomat at the German embassy in Warsaw.
Is an open dialogue and mutual respect between the West and Russia possible?

In the wake of Russian international law's unlawful annexation of Crimea and the destabilization of eastern Ukraine, Russia and the West have ended up in an increasingly militarized confrontation. When Moscow questioned the European security regime, it was the culmination point of an already cool relationship. With President Putin's speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2007, in which he accused the West of systematically countering Russian superpower interests, and with the Russian-Georgian war in 2008, it became clear that Russia was defining its interests in delimitation against the West. Russia does not want to be integrated, but rather – with reference to "the near abroad" – itself needs to integrate. Since then, the Russia debates have revolved around the question of what role the West plays in this confrontation, and what the West can do to improve relations with Russia again.

Real politics without a value-based foundation does not hold.

Europe needs security for Russia, and security with . . .

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manfred@nytid.com
Huterer is a diplomatic envoy at the German embassy in Warsaw, and former head of unit for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and EaP in the German Foreign Ministry. Translated into Norwegian by Thomas

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