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Lavrov Cites the Need To Avoid
the Tragedy of World War in
'Munich Security Conference' Speech

Feb. 4, 2014 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov began his speech at the Munich Security Conference Feb. 1 on the necessity of preventing a repeat of the tragedy of world war. His remarks were made on the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad. His opening remarks follow:

"It is impossible to overlook the symbolism of the date of today's meeting. 70 years ago one of the most difficult, bloody, and crucial battles of World War II, the battle of Stalingrad, was over. Hundreds of thousands of my compatriots who gave their lives for this victory on the banks of Volga were not only defending the Motherland, but also fighting for the attainment of universal peace, just as all our allies were doing.

"The diplomacy efforts were also aimed at the purpose of not permitting the tragedy of world war to repeat. They resulted in the creation of the United Nations Organization. However, soon afterwards the cold war drew the dividing lines in Europe, putting off the opportunities for building a system of collective security, which is embodied in the UN Charter, for a long time.

"I speak of this not to provoke another search for the guilty ones. Stirring up the past is not for credible politicians. As the Russian president Vladimir Putin stressed in December letter to the Federal Assembly, Russia is only going ahead, only into the future. That's why the meaning of our participation in Munich conference we see above all in trying to find a joint approach to building a security community based on authentic strategic partnership. That is the very aim that was put by the leaders of Euro-Atlantic countries in 2010 at OSCE summits in Astana and Russia-NATO Council in Lisbon.

"Certainly, it would be a mistake to state that nothing is done at all for achieving this noble aim. Russia and U.S.A. concluded the START, many-sided cooperation in combating terrorism, narcobusiness, piracy, threats from Afghanistan, is developing. The rejection of cold war era psychology is officially proclaimed. Russia and NATO members declared that they are not seeing each other as enemies.

"However, we are not here to shower praises and compliments upon each other, but to understand the ways that need to be coordinated for the successful solving of the remaining problems. With this in view, we all have to admit that not in word but in deed we are still nowhere near the truly collective Euro-Atlantic architecture, which would be based on solid international legal foundation. Still present is a tendency of building relations on military-political affairs in Europe not on the base of principles proclaimed in OSCE and NRC, but by advancing NATO-centric security structure as a single option.

"We consider such a narrow-bloc approach to be of no avail and difficult to conceive with the help of objective, rational considerations; it is hardly applicable to building politics in today's global world, when we share the threats. It is time to take a broad and comprehensive look at the whole complex of relations in the Euro-Atlantic and try to define the identity of approaches and the remaining discrepancies between us, including with regard to conflict situations in other parts of the world that influence our mutual security."

Later on, Foreign Minister Lavrov spoke frankly of some of the provocations which the NATO bloc is carrying out—including support for the Nazis in Ukraine, and the Ballistic Missile Defense system which threatens Russia's potential to defend itself from attack.