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June 2017
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Speeches

S. Shushkevich: Address to World Summit 2013

PhotoWestern politicians have every reason to believe that after the Second World War the main source of instability in Europe was the Soviet Union supporting the overthrow of exploitative capitalist states through violent methods. European security should, in their opinion, be based on unifying Europe with a view of consolidating the power to effectively confront the Russian interference in their internal affairs. A different approach may lead to dire consequences, as was sharply observed in a secret memorandum written by Winston Churchill in 1942. "It would be a measureless disaster if Russian barbarism overlaid the culture and independence of the ancient states of Europe." In other words, the basic motive for unifying Europe (eventually the European Union) was the desire to accumulate military power capable of resisting Russian expansion.

On the other hand, NATO, the largest military-political bloc in the world, was officially founded on April 4, 1949. The object of its creation was "to defend Europe from Soviet influence." At first, NATO included 12 member countries: Iceland, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, the US and Canada. Nowadays, NATO is a military-political bloc of 28 states. Its strategy formulated in 2010 includes collective defense, crisis management, and security based on cooperation. Temporary differences among the great powers were finally eliminated in 2009, when France resumed its participation in structures that it had previously abandoned. In July 1966 France had left NATO while remaining a member of the North Atlantic Treaty political structure.

Time sets different priorities. The first mask of peacefulness was tried on the USSR's image by Khrushchev in February 1956. He declared a change of political course and a break from Stalin's traditions. What was most unexpected was the statement by Khrushchev that swept aside the former belief that the proletariat can come to power only by revolutionary means. He said that thanks to a new socialist coalition of forces in the world, communism could gain power in “bourgeois countries” through constitutional means. The direction of Soviet rhetoric emphasized "peaceful coexistence" with the capitalist world.

The alternative camp did not leave this unanswered. Without going into an analysis of peace-loving innovations, I would just like to mention only some recent steps. On May 26, 2008, at the European Union Council within the framework of the “Eastern partnership” program, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, supported by Sweden, declared the main goal of the project to be a rapprochement of the EU with six countries of the former USSR: Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Belarus. On May 24, 2010 Poland proposed creating a “group of friends” in the framework of the “Eastern partnership” program, and invited the Russian Federation to join this structure. In conjunction with the multitude of agreements on a partnership for peace with the countries that are not members of NATO, such shifts did not at all persuade Russia and the countries included in its sphere of influence that NATO had transformed into a peace-loving organization. Russia has every reason to perceive NATO as a structure that wants to impose its will. Not only Russian politicians of the neo-imperial wing but also prominent figures of culture have been warning the Russian Federation about it. For example, in April 2006, Solzhenitsyn declared: “NATO is methodically and persistently expanding its military apparatus in the direction of Eastern Europe and the continental part of South Russia. It includes overt material and ideological support for 'color' revolutions, paradoxical implementation of the North-Atlantic interests in Central Asia. All this leaves no doubt that a complete encirclement of Russia, and then the loss of its sovereignty, is underway.”

For Russians, authoritarian values are more popular than liberal ones. Citizens of the Russian Federation have always associated the fulfillment of their hopes with the “just king” (a strong leader); therefore, the hostilities of past centuries have given rise to the increasing imperial ambitions of the broad masses at different social levels. Hopes of progress towards democracy, economic liberalization, and market reforms are fading away. The stability and security (of the state, but not of its citizens) in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is maintained only by force, i.e., violence and repression. The vicious circle is closed at the highest level: the rulers of the CIS countries strive to preserve their power, and they willingly or unwillingly support the Russian Imperial desire to control the enormous resources of the CIS. They have 16.4 % of the world's territory and only 4.4 % of its population; 20% of the world's oil reserves, 40% of its natural gas, 25% of its coal, 10% of its electricity production, 25% of its forest, almost 11% of its renewable water resources, and 13% of its arable land. During the past few years, Russia has been seeking forms of integration that would assert its supremacy and at the same time encourage the CIS countries to join associations proposed by Russia. This is achieved through guaranteeing the authority of pro-Russian rulers in the CIS countries; they are easier to negotiate with than democratic regimes. This is one of the reasons for the transformation of the Commonwealth of Independent States into a commonwealth of states with authoritarian rulers; thus, it is almost a commonwealth of dictatorships. The tension in the region has not weakened.

The question arises, what should the parties striving to realize their aspirations do? The answer is simple: they should strengthen their own military power. In other words, the post-Soviet space in Europe and Asia went through revolutionary upheavals; but it seems that old patterns may prevail. Social reforms have slowed down or have been perverted to such an extent that people no longer speak about building capitalism or improving the well being of the people. A pseudo-capitalist realm is underway, one in which oligarchs are performing the roles of government officials; and anyone who seeks to work for social transformation and free enterprise would bring the fate of Khodorkovsky upon himself.

Is there any way out of these disguised, hypocritical statements about the escalation of military power of the opposing parties in Europe? When Dr. Sun Myung Moon first came to Moscow in 1990 and met with President Gorbachev, he expressed his vision that the moral and economic revival of the Soviet Union could have a positive impact on global affairs. And although today's Russian authorities are more concerned about their own personal gain and the revival of imperial Russia, it seems to me that it would be easier to develop and strengthen the economic and moral revival in Europe and in the near Eurasian space. Only the moral and ethical values which are carefully designed and offered by Reverend Dr. Moon should prevail. However, without concentrated efforts and investment in their implementation, one can hardly hope for positive developments in European and Eurasian security. The means to promote the idea is, as we say in the Universal Peace Federation, “One family under God,” interfaith dialogue, cooperation with the United Nations, and peacebuilding efforts. In 2005, Dr. Moon stressed that Russia must connect Europe with Asia and the North American continent. Huge effort is needed to make it a reality, and UPF recognizes this.

For more information about World Summit 2013, click here.