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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 10:51, February 13, 2007
Will there be a new demarcation line to divide Europe?
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has attended the Munich Conference on Security Policy this year, and his participation filled its host with elation and excitement. But, instead of lavish and excessive praises he unleashed at it, Putin, nevertheless, lashed out at uni-polarity by the United States and the enlargement by the European Union (EU) and this is something its organizers had never expected. In his speech at the conference on February 10, he criticized or slammed the U.S. for having overstepped its boundary line in the political, economic, security and other spheres, and said"there is only one uni-polar decision-making center and one military power center in the present uni-polar world."

Instead of ensuring the security of the Europe, he acknowledged, the EU easternward enlargement is precisely a factor that causes to reduce the mutual trust. Then, he exclaimed, "our shared European continent" will have a new demarcation line.

This represents the fiercest and most severe denunciation he has hurled against both the U.S. and Europe ever since his assumption of the Russian presidency in 2000.

The Munich Conference on Security Policy, a high-level gathering held on annual basis to examine current thinking on conflicts globally, at which statesmen of various countries can air views freely. To date, Putin, after having had several terms of office, does not intend to renew his presidency any more. So in the words of a veteran media man, he is now "solely working for history", free from scruples about what he says. Domestically, Russia today is alive with a fresh spurt of energy with its steady economic growth, clearance of its foreign debts as well as an initiative in its energy supply. Furthermore, the Western nations' criticism against Russia has increasingly stepping up over the past two years, which has simmered him with rage. So Putin has availed himself of this grand occasion to speak up at the presence of more than 250 dignitaries from some 40 countries.

Nevertheless, come to speak of it, Putin also has reasons to voice his concerns for Russia. The U.S. plans to base an anti-missile defense system in two former members of the Soviet-era bloc, the Czech Republic and Poland, and this can hardly convince anyone that the system is directed at no one but Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. And the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is bent on recruiting Ukraine, Georgia and the Baltic nations, so obvious an intention to further squeeze Russia's strategic space. Moreover, there is still a lack of mutual trust between NATO and Russia despite routine NATO-Russian Council meetings and a mechanism of often keeping each other informed on major regional and global issues of vital importance.

Taking an overall view of the NATO expansion over the past two years, "democracy and stability" and "the sheared outlook of value" have all along been the banner it has hosted for its advancement outward, and NATO has been in a trend or a momentum of moving toward a "global democratic alliance". People should indeed keep highly vigilant on this point. As is known to all, there are different modes of democracy and disparities on the outlook of value in the world today. Anyway, democracy is something like food, and noone can dispense with it, a veteran African statesman said recently, noting that the same food can be cooked in varied ways in different areas or with respect to different ethnicities worldwide; and it can also be eaten in diversified ways, so it has to be refrained from dictating to others. Democracy is a good thing; but it can also unnecessarily be a good thing to global security and stability, if the U.S and NATO are hoping to "dominate the whole world" with their own Western democracy and values. From this perspective, the emergence of a new demarcation line in Europe is definitely not an alarm talk or an overstatement.

By People's Daily Online

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