MINSK - There is a need for a new plan to bolster European security, Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said at the 26th meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Bratislava on December 5.
"It is hard to make peace, and it is so easy to break it. We need a new 'Marshall Plan' to maintain European security; this plan should compel all participatory states to invest in building solid security mechanisms in our region," the Belarusian state-run news agency BelTA quoted Makei as saying.
Thirty years ago, the Charter of Paris for a New Europe proclaimed the principle of indivisible security, which aimed to thaw the ice of mistrust and build a united Europe, he said.
"Have our hopes come true? Unfortunately not. The deepening chronic crisis of confidence, the weakening arms control regime, the rapid enhancement of the military potential, and the widening political and ideological gap are genuine causes of catastrophe," Makei said.
Belarus is perfectly aware of the unpredictable consequences these factors may have for the turbulent region, which is situated in a geopolitically unstable zone, he said.
"What do we suggest? In 2017, the Belarusian president called for resuming strategic dialogue aimed at settling differences and reviving the spirit of the Helsinki process. He called for holding a summit and having a frank and open discussion of the current state of affairs and ways of fixing and resetting the security architecture in Europe at the highest level. This proposal is still on the table," Makei said.
"Belarus is ready to invest jointly with like-minded countries in the search for solutions to shifting from the existent paradigm of conflict to the paradigm of security based on cooperation," he said.
The role played by small and medium-sized countries should not be understated, Makei said. They should be equitable parties to the security dialogue in order to avoid a new division of Europe into spheres of influence.
"The recent termination of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty continues the extremely dangerous trend of military escalation in Europe," he said.
"Belarus has called for elaborating a multilateral declaration, by which countries will undertake a definitive and firm commitment not to deploy intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in their territories and not to produce such missiles. We realize that the implementation of this initiative will require political will and intense effort," Makei said.
Given that cyberspace is becoming an area of confrontation, Belarus has proposed creating a digital neighborhood belt by concluding international cybersecurity agreements similar to the agreements on additional confidence building and military-political security measures, he said.
The 75th anniversary of the end of WWII will be marked next year; the bitter lessons of that war remind us of the value of peace and the dangers of nationalism, xenophobia, and neo-Nazism, Makei said.