From 16 on 18 February in the Bavarian capital was held the annual - 54-I on the account - the Munich conference on security. And political scientists agree that it took place in the most dangerous world in the last 30 years.
"The security situation in the world is at its lowest point since the collapse of the Soviet Union," says Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the conference, hinting at a whole bunch of conflicts: Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya. "For the first time since the Cold War, we are threatened by a nuclear conflict," UN Secretary General Antonio Gutiérrez, in turn, is pushing, in view of the situation around North Korea.
However, the Middle East question was the hottest at the conference, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif soloed there. Both had their own understanding of how to achieve security in the region.
In the Israeli sense, security is the total detoxification of Iran. Therefore, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the West to terminate the nuclear deal with Tehran and declared its readiness to confront the Iranians in any form. "Israel will not allow the Iranian regime to throw a loop of terror on our neck, we will defend ourselves without hesitation, and if necessary we are ready to act not only against Iran's allies who attack us, but against it," Netanyahu said. Shocking the wreckage of the Iranian drones shot down over the territory of Israel, he asked the Iranian foreign minister: "Mr. Zarif, do you recognize this? It's yours .You can take it as a message to the tyrants in Tehran."
Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu at the Munich Security Conference. 18 February 2018 years
Sam Zarif (who was not present in the hall) said that the participants of the conference had "seen the show, I would say, a cartoon circus that does not deserve an answer". As for the nuclear deal, "if Iran's interests are not secured, Iran will respond, and this will be a serious response - such that these people will regret their mistaken actions," the Iranian minister said. The debris of the Israeli F-16, shot down by Syrian air defense, was not in his hands - but, probably, only because the plane fell on the territory of Israel itself.
The Iranian minister also has his own understanding of the notion of "security". Addressing his colleagues in the Persian Gulf, he suggested that they dig an ax of war and work out a common standard of behavior. "We need confidence-building measures in the region, from joint military visits to notification of military exercises, from transparency in the field of armaments and the purchase of weapons, to a reduction in military spending." All this may ultimately lead (and I hope this will happen in not very distant perspective) to a regional non-aggression agreement. "
Iranians, it should be noted, now it is good to say that they propose to negotiate from the standpoint of the winner. Tehran won its campaign in Syria and Iraq, and is also on the verge of victory in Yemen. The Iranians strengthened their influence in Lebanon, found a way of co-existence with the Turks. Now their task is to institutionalize their successes. Naturally, not only Israel, but also Saudi Arabia. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Adel Al-Jubair, Riyadh will continue to oppose Iran, "until Tehran changes its behavior in the region." That is, in the understanding of the Saudis, the Islamic Republic should return back to its state borders, allowing the Arab monarchies, with the moral and material support of Israel, to build a sanitary cordon along the Iranian western border - that is, from Azerbaijan to Kuwait. Clearly, Iran does not like such a prospect.
Another key topic at the conference was Russia, or rather, the "threat" emanating from it. In a special report issued by the organizers of the conference, Moscow is positioned not just as a destabilizer, but as an intelligent and therefore dangerous destabilizer. "With relatively little money and human resources, Moscow managed to turn the course of the Syrian conflict, strengthen the Assad regime and regain its strength, as well as its military presence in the Middle East," the authors write. They hint, by the way, on the existential - that is, in fact, not limited by the time frame - the nature of the Russian-Western conflict.
With this attitude, to justify and explain that there was no intervention, not quite effective and useful. This is already a factor of faith. Therefore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking at the conference, tried to avoid excuses and focused on delivering to the high guests present the causes and consequences of Russia's misperception.
The reason, according to the Russian minister, is the reluctance to see real Russia in all its many facets. "Over the past decades, the EU has not been able to find a middle ground in relations with our country." In the 1990-ies of the last century, the notion of Russia as an "apprentice" dominated, which should be taught methodically, regardless of objections, by Western standards. the "irrational myth of the" all-powerful Russian threat, "traces of which are being sought everywhere - from Brexit to the Catalan referendum.These stereotypes are deeply flawed and speak only of a lack of sanity and understanding of our country," said Sergey Lavrov.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov during the Munich Conference on Security. 17 February 2018 years
Hence the unwillingness to accept our rational proposals. Being in difficult geopolitical conditions, Russia, like nobody else, is interested in systemic relations with European neighbors, based on mutual respect and clear rules of the game. "For many years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany, in which Russia played a decisive role, we tried to do our utmost to build an architecture of equal and indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic region ... Unfortunately, our calls for an equitable dialogue, implementation in practice the principle of indivisibility of security did not want to be heard, "the Russian minister said.
Precisely because of prejudice and unwillingness to find a way of co-existence with a "foreign" but not hostile player in the face of Russia, Europe is now in the position in which it is located. And not the first time. "Eighty years ago in the Munich conspiracy all the painful points of that epoch were reflected, including belief in one's own exclusiveness, disunity and mutual suspicion, the bet on building" sanitary cordons "and buffer zones, undisguised interference in the internal affairs of other countries," says Sergei Lavrov.
Had the West heard him? Judging by the insides from the conference, the Americans hardly heard - they continued to put pressure on Russia and Iran. However, the Europeans demanded to move from pressure to normal diplomacy (which, in their opinion, is so lacking in the Trump administration). Naturally, the Russian minister did not miss the opportunity to draw attention to the difference in the interests of the EU and the US. "The imposed course on the change of unwanted regimes from abroad and the implantation of models of development from outside not only leads to chaos in vast regions, but also boomerang turns into real threats to Europe, including, first and foremost, the surge of international terrorism, huge waves of illegal migration and everything that is connected with this, "- said Sergei Lavrov.
The question is whether the difference marked in the head of our Foreign Ministry is being converted in the interests of the US and the EU into some practical steps by Europe.
Time will tell. In the meantime, as the German edition of Deutsche Welle correctly writes, "one thing is clear from the results of the three days of the conference: everything indicates continuation of conflicts."