No. 4




Security: The system and the people

  • Peeter Olesk

    Member of the Riigikogu, the Pro Patria Union

Grey zones in European security structure are reality insofar as Russia’s interests extend far beyond its current borders, and are, as such, more important than the right of single nations to self-determination. If we want more security in Europe, we must recommend the eradication of the grey zones; and this is feasible, if we insist on pursuing a more organized state of affairs in Europe.

In essence, this implies giving answers to four questions:

  1. How deep is Europe’s internal integrity?
  2. What are the trans-Atlantic relations and the role of the United States in Europe, and Europe’s partnership at ensuring security outside the North-Atlantic region like?
  3. How to define the extension of Europe, and respectively the North Atlantic region?
  4. How must Russian integrity within Europe as a continent be understood, and how does Russia herself understand this?

The latter question has overshadowed a number of discussions within the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO. The topic may be an infinitely comprehensive one, indeed, but it still becomes evident from the remarks that it is naïve to talk about the borders of Europe if we do not know where the borders of Russia are, and what Russia’s development in relation to the European borders is going to be like.

What could our position be? Estonia cannot dodge this question; Estonia’s trump card could be having the courage to answer this question. Dividing Europe into Western Europe and Russia according to spheres of influence; or into Western Europe, countries with a national democracy, and the Soviet Union, has meant and will mean destruction of humans and of nations. European integrity actually begins from the point where destruction of peoples has been excluded and their right for self-determination acknowledged.

The alternative is that the state, as the power of the masses, is better than the human being, than the sovereign republic. This would mean the beginning of new suffering. According to my understanding, the underlying idea of NATO is to anticipate and prevent all this. When imagination fails, or is, as it in fact was, insufficient, there is a valuable lesson to be learned.

Full article in Estonian