The third session was chaired by Dr. Michael Platzer, Director of ACUNS Vienna.

  • Dr. Werner Fasslabend, Minister of Defense of Austria (1990-2000)
  • Dr. Jan Csarnogursky, Prime Minister of Slovakia (1991–1992)
  • Dr. Svetlana Karepova, Vice Director of the Institute of Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. Marcel de Haas, Senior Research Associate, Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’

Dr. Werner Fasslabend, former Minister of Defense of Austria, in his second speech of the day, gave his analysis of the causes of enduring skepticism on both sides of the Russia – Europe partnership, despite the progress made since the Cold War. He pointed out that losing the Soviet Union’s territorial integrity had been more traumatic to Russians than the loss of their colonies had been to the British or the French. He suggested that modern Russia still needed to go beyond the historical “three pillars” of autocratic rule, orthodoxy and nation, and the traditional “ruling class-serving class” system. He emphasized the compelling economic interdependence between the European Union and Russia, noting that “both must accept that we are no longer #1 or #2 in the world, but at best #3 together.” He concluded that, just as Austria benefits most from trade with its four smaller neighbors, Russia would benefit greatly by letting its neighbor countries integrate into the European market rather than keeping them as satellites. “Ukraine’s integration into Europe could bring great development to a huge region from Smolensk to Saratov.”

Dr. Svetlana Karepova, Vice Director of the Institute of Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, gave an academic presentation on “Scientific knowledge as a necessary foundation for social development.” She emphasized that “it is proper that the question about including social and humanitarian sciences into the lawmaking activity and the system of scientific management of society arises. It is necessary to legislate scientific knowledge in the legal field; there are some steps in this direction on the level of current legislation."

Dr. Jan Csarnogursky, former Prime Minister of Slovakia (1991–1992), said that instead of “Toward a Culture of Peace,' the session would better be called “Toward an Understanding of Peace.”  He reminded the audience that Russia was historically invaded by both East and West, and that while Eastern invaders demanded money and territory, Western invaders demanded a change of religion, which was never accepted by Russians. Today’s demands by the West that Russians adopt their view of human rights is likewise not  acceptable to them. Europe is Russia’s destiny, he said. But we should listen to the Orthodox people’s opinion before making up our minds about the “Pussy Riots,” and we cannot tell Russians that pointing a missile at them entails no danger if they say it does. Without mutual understanding, he concluded, Russia will move toward Asia rather than Europe.

Dr. Marcel de Haas, a war analyst and Senior Research Associate at the Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ in the Netherlands, spoke on the theme of “Europe and Russia – Security Partners in a Globalized World.” He first reviewed obstacles in aspects of the security cooperation between Europe and Russia, such as the question of energy security, the Georgia – Russia conflict in 2008, and Russia’s disapproval of European security architecture and Europe’s Eastern partnership. He then reviewed opportunities for security cooperation on civil protection, the fight against terrorism, and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to conclude that while Europe should not treat Russia as a junior partner and should balance demands about values with practical cooperation, Russia should not consider the Eastern partnership as a way to broaden Europe’s influence and need not consider Europe as a real threat in terms of weapons and terrorism, due to its lack of capabilities and unity.

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