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Izvestia, February 11, 2003

More Efficient Than War

By Grigory Yavlinsky

Nowadays it is difficult to find a politician in Russia who will not talk about the need to "join Europe". Russia is a European country. I am convinced that if everything goes well, Russia will be a member of all European political, economic and defence structures in 10-15 years. These will be mostly new organisations.

We should work to mutually open the markets of Russia and the European Union, to achieve a free trade zone and zone for free movement of capital and the workforce eventually, for a common security framework, etc. We need a timetable for these events that will facilitate Russia-European rapprochement.

Work on the Russian-European anti-ballistic missile defence system, already started in the Russia - NATO Twenty, should proceed together with work on the manufacture of strategic mobility transport devices. The Russian-European anti-ballistic missile defence system will mean jobs for Russia and offer new bearings to the Russian army, something to help overcome Cold War stereotypes.

Russia is still not ready for labour legislation, social policy and the protection of consumer rights. The problems cannot be laid at Russia's door alone. There are problems with European bureaucracy as well.

The war on dictatorships is one of the worst problems faced by Russia and Europe. We already have Kim Jong-Il, Niyazov, Lukashenko and others. There are no technologies to prevent their appearance in future; hence the importance of Russia, and its decision to decide with Europe or not. Cooperation between Russia and the European Union may become instrumental in the discovery of a solution to the most pressing problem of the moment - the problem of Iraq. The price of war is more than money. It also entails the suffering of a population, devaluation of the United Nations, and new attempts to proliferate weapons of mass destruction.

Furthermore we should not forget that there are a number of countries with "good" dictatorial regimes that are either omitted or supported outright. This will lead to trouble.


See also:

Russia - EU Relations

Situation Around Iraq

International Anti-Terror Coalition

Izvestia, February 11, 2003

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