Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I doubt that I will manage
to cover all the aspects in three minutes. Therefore I would like
to request an additional three minutes and twenty seconds for
my report about my country, which is so big. I will speak in English,
as I would like to reach my European partners here. I want to
reach them even more than Russia’s own Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Five years ago I talked to one of the most well-known European
leaders at a private meeting in Moscow. He asked me what I perceived
to be the main goal of my political party in Russia. I replied
that my main political goal was to bring Russia into Europe. He
answered in a whisper: Never say this in Europe, as the people
in Brussels would simply die from horror if you said such a thing.
This was when I realised that something was wrong with the current
system of European integration. It makes me feel that something
in the system is still based on Cold War concepts, on the previous
era. Maybe we should speak slightly differently about European
integration. In this case it is not a question of Russia and Europe
or Russia in Europe, maybe it is better to say: Europe and Russia.
I would like to discuss some ideas from this starting point.
Yesterday we heard a lot of speeches at this conference from
representatives of different countries of Central and Eastern
Europe, who were talking about admission to the European Union
and inclusion in the European Club. I think that it would be fair
to say that all of them were saying that if you opened the doors
and they were inside, they would have an opportunity to improve
their democracy, market and security.
But there is also another question: what can those countries,
and first of ail Russia, contribute to the European Union? I would
like to make another proposal: to ask all EU applicants to explain
what they have to offer you. As you heard, the Minister of Foreign
Affairs of Russia was not talking about immediate accession to
Russia to Europe. He was talking much more about Russian politics.
So the question what can we do for Europe – and here I would like
to refer to the most important issues – I doubt that Europe would
only expect us to import your new cars, for example Volkswagens
or BMWs or new Japanese computers. I am not sure that Europe is
expecting such things from my county. We certainly need to do
that, and we are going to do that, but maybe this is not the most
important issue for Europe at this moment. What is important?
Here I would like to say a few words about economics, security
Economically I believe that, if Europe wants to compete with
Asia in the 21st century, it can only achieve this goal by integrating
Russian economy and natural resources
in Europe’s economic system. Only then will Europe really be able
with these two economic giants in the 21st century.
Secondly, we talk all the time about accessing the European market,
a market which is today the European Economic Union. But I see
another picture. When we meet our partners and colleagues from
Bulgaria, from Macedonia, from other European countries, which
are not yet members of the European Economic Union (the Common
Market), we talk to them about establishing our own form of common
market. Maybe this is the correct concept: to create another market,
a separate sector from the market in Europe between those countries
which are not yet members of the existing Common Market. In this
case it would be extremely important to establish relations between
these two sectors.
I would like to recall here the so-called Marshal Plan. The main
goal of the Marshal Plan was to promote trade and create a market
between countries after World War II. So maybe it is right to
speak now about creating a special market here. I am not concerned
with the actual words at the moment, I would simply to express
this idea. This is extremely important. With the help of the European
Union and the existing Common Market, we can create this new market
Now I would like to say a few words about the security. I think
issue for European security involves the creation of a European-Russian,
Russian-European – or however you wish to describe it - anti-ballistic
non-strategic missile system. I had the privilege of discussing
in practical detail with Mrs. Albright, Mr. Gore, Mr. Yeltsin
Putin. I think, sooner or later, for geographical reasons, for
geostrategical reasons and for practical reasons we shall need
more. This will imply not simply speculation, but actual integration
Russia into the security system. After the meetings over the past
years, this will represent profound and serious integration. Sooner
later Europe will require an anti-ballistic missile system, and
non-strategic as the United States will need it.
And last but not least - there is politics. To help Russia respond
to European demands for human rights, more democracy and a more
open society, we want Europe to be more clear and less contradictory
on the most sensitive issues. As you know, Europe’s position on
Chechnya, for example, is extremely contradictory. There is a
lot of contradiction also in the position of Europe on the media.
And we are very sensitive to these issues. This is very important
to us. We perceive a contradiction in European politics between
human rights policies and so-called realpolitik. This contradiction,
which may be common for Europe, is strongly reflected in Russia
Information is crucial for us, and we are seeking information
open. For example we receive foreign news in all languages except
This is extremely important, if we want Russia to be closer to
political culture. More information inside Russia in Russian should
from Europe, which provides a picture of Europe’s political culture.
I would like to mention one last issue – if you look at the embassies
in Moscow, you will see very long queues of people, who are waiting
for visas to enter Europe. Since the beginning of the nineties
the obstacles for ordinary people in Russia to obtain a visa have
become more and more difficult. So, we have to speak now about
useful exchanges between ordinary people: sportsmen; students,
scholars, trade unionists and so on, and not only one leader visiting
another leader, not only meetings for special personal relations.
We are far more interested in communication between the people.
And I want to assure you that gangsters do not queue up for visas:
I do not know how gangsters obtain their visas. All I can say
is that they are not queuing in a line. So this is not a case
I understand that this may not be the best political environment
I have expressed. However, this is attributable to the fact that
no clear cut Eastern policy. Europe knows - and it is especially
to state that here in Berlin - that when the idea of the
reunification of Germany was raised … the absolute majority of
thought that this
was a dream. And Mr. Teltschik can tell you how this dream came
because there was a concept, an idea, there were concrete steps.
have been pessimistic thinking, but there was an optimistic will.
what we need.
Moderator (Quentin Peel, Associated Editor and Foreign Affairs
Commentator, “Financial Times”, London): Thank you very much Grigory,
from the very ambitious strategic concept of a European missile
defence system to what I very much sympathise with, I believe
that we have got to get our visa system opened up. It is completely
lunatic that we have those thousands of people waiting for visas
in line in Moscow, when, if I remember from my time in Moscow,
the single most glorious liberty that was on offer was the freedom
to travel, and we are denying it to people. And you are absolutely
right that we are not stopping any of the crooks getting through.
We are only stopping a large number of ordinary people. It is
something we should be ashamed of.