As the Chief Adviser of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Vladimir Kozin is the Global Senior Fellow of Global Think Tank Network of National University of Sciences and Technology. He argued on the Forum’s panel debates that, while assessing the motto of the Forum “China and Pakistan in the Community of Common Destiny for all Mankind”, one more country could be added to the list, namely Russia.

APD: How would the country Russia play a vital role in forging the Community of Common Destiny for all Mankind?

Vladimir Kozin delivers speech on the Beijing Forum-Islamabad on May 26, 2016.

Vladimir Kozin delivers speech on the Beijing Forum-Islamabad on May 26, 2016

V. Kozin: Naturally, by a desire and consent of its initial and key contributors – Islamabad and Beijing – for five obvious reasons.

First, Russia has normal, friendly and disputes-free relationships both with Pakistan and the PRC: with Islamabad – a constructive relations developing on bilateral and multilateral basis via the SCO, and with Beijing – strategic partnership ties recorded in many official documents and statements.

Second, Pakistan and the PRC managed to maintain friendly ties for many years between each other.

Third, such CCMD concept is based upon equality and mutual respect of its participants. It is in conformity with Russian perceptions.

Fourth, the triangle suggested by former Soviet leaders consisting of the USSR, the PRC and India has had and still has one setback: not so positive relationships between Beijing and New Delhi.

And finally, fifth, this notion fully corresponds to the Russian national domestic principles and its global international priorities, specified in the eight policy goals of the Russian Federation incorporated in the Foreign Policy Concept adopted in February 2013, including: promotion of a dialogue and partnership between civilizations in the interests of enhancing concord and mutual enrichment of different cultures and religions; maintaining its national security; creation of favorable conditions for sustainable and dynamic development of the national economy; an all-out consolidation of the international peace and common security; enhancing commercial  and economic relations in the world, etc.

APD: How would you describe Russia’s relationship with China, Pakistan and countries around?

V. Kozin: Russia is developing constructive and friendly bonds with many nations.

In South East Asia Russia will be definitely happy to develop mutually beneficial and multifaceted relationships with Pakistan.

At the end of last April Russian Defense Minister, Army General Sergei Shoigu met his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif on the sidelines of the Moscow Conference on International Security. The Head of the Russian Defense Ministry stressed that developing of constructive relations between Russia and Pakistan was the important factor in enhancing the international security. He also noted that the Armed Forces of Russia and Pakistan had built up contacts in many fields. Last April the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies welcomed the high-ranking delegation of the National Defense University. Both delegations have discussed the issues of common interests in a very frank atmosphere. Fruitful and positive ties have been developing between the RISS and the National University of Sciences and Technology.

Russia is critical to the expansion of the U.S. drone attacks against civilians in Pakistan per se and their proliferation to other areas in the country. They can be regarded as a violation of the Pakistani sovereignty and independence, because such actions have not been invited or sanctioned by the Pakistan’s leadership. That is why such acts can be considered as a state-sponsored terrorism conducted by the USA. The entire land of Pakistan should be proclaimed as the U.S. armed drones’ no-go area until the Pakistani leaders think otherwise. The U.S. pre-notification of the armed drone attacks or notification after their strikes cannot be accepted as a relevant excuse for Washington’s illegitimate actions versus territorial integrity of Pakistan.

The RISS and NUST could well create a draft international agreement on total banning of using armed combat drones versus civilians.

In Asia at large, Moscow is seeking further expansion of fruitful and solid bonds based upon real strategic partnership with the People’s Republic of China. At the end of May this year the Russian Federation and the PRC held the computer-simulated missile defense exercises called “Aerospace security-2016”. The main goal of these exercises is to provide “rotection of their territories from sudden and provocative missile attacks”. It is the first ever military drill in this sphere. It has a specific and deep-seated significance in the relationships between Moscow and Beijing.

Russia cannot accept criticism aimed at the PRC for its reconstruction of tiny islands at the South China Sea, because such actions cannot be compared with a huge net of many dozens of the U.S. real military bases build in and around Asia Pacific Region. As of 2013, according to Defense Department figures, the United States had some 695 overseas bases or facilities of these types, of which 97 are in overseas U.S. territories and the rest in 40 foreign countries. The majority of these, however, are in only three countries: Germany (179), Japan (109), and the Republic of Korea (83).

US military presence overseas. Photo: Vladimir Kozin

US military presence overseas

Likewise Russia will never accept for granted additional U.S. military installations appeared recently near its territory in the form of missile defense operational complexes in Romania and Poland, new U.S. and NATO airbases in Europe, the U.S. nuclear first strike weapons’ bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, and in the Asian part of Turkey, and the NATO Air Forces operation “Baltic Air Policing” where three Western nuclear powers are taking part with DCA or dual-capable aircraft since 2004.

APD: Speaking of the arms control, how would Russia evaluate the present international environment concerning this issue?

V. Kozin: Needless to say that the CCDM concept can be truly effective only in the time of peace. Unfortunately, I have to be very frank with you according to a folk saying: “Better to tell a sour truth, rather than a sweet lie”. So, the sour truth is: in the present-day environment there are still too many dark clouds. They are overshadowing Russo-American relations and Russo-NATO ties, which are on the razor edge and at the lowest level since 1945 due to the U.S. and NATO multifaceted unilateral military and non-military moves against Russia.

Moscow regards with concern that nowadays there are 15 unresolved issues in arms control between Moscow and Washington, many of them are having a substantial impact on the global military and political landscape. In the last two years NATO and the U.S. military activity near Russia increased 5 fold and its air-borne spy activity enlarged 10 times as much.

There are many thorny unresolved issues related to nuclear arms control: the USA is still the only nation in the world that is permanently keeping its tactical nuclear weapons on the European soil since 1953; a zone-free from weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East has not been created; Washington is still violating the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty while using ballistic missiles banned by it during the interceptors’ testing in the framework of the BMDS or ballistic missile defense system. There are debates in NATO even to lower down the threshold for using nuclear weapons and to use them in conventionally developing crises by utilizing the smaller yield nuclear warheads.

Obama's U.S. BMDs in Europe. Photo: Vladimir Kozin

Obama’s U.S. BMDs in Europe

NATO has created a qualitatively new military forward-based mechanism called the “Chicago Triad” composed from an operational mix of nuclear, missile defense and conventional forces emplaced near Russian door step as a “forward-based assets”.

To tackle all these issues in a constructive way it is expedient to forge a Special Russo-U.S. Summit exclusively devoted to arms control based on the principle of equality and equal security for all. The notorious concept of MAD or “mutually assured destruction” still inherited from the Cold War 1.0 should be replaced by a MAS or “mutually assured stability” or “mutually assured security”. It will be necessary to put these two major initiatives to the next U.S. President with the purpose to reach mutually-acceptable solutions in specified domains. In a nuclear world until a real “global zero option” is reached the temporary formula should be articulated as:”defensive nuclear deterrence that threatens no one”.

Russia is still for a nuclear-free world provided that such aim is attained through multilateral arrangement between all nuclear-weapon states – de facto and de jure. In supporting this goal Moscow shares the notion that “Nuclear war must never be fought, because it will never be won”. In moving to this world Russia will not accept the U.S. “unconditional offensive strategic nuclear deterrence” policy and the modernization of its strategic offensive arms and tactical nuclear weapons, especially navigationally guided air-dropped nuclear bomb B 61-12.

Another potential area of concern is the U.S. BMDS. A world-wide U.S. and NATO BMDS unfolding without any legal and political constraints threatens to undermine the global strategic balance when the U.S. will deploy 95 percent of its BMDS interceptors in the World Oceans, and when the number of the U.S. BMDS interceptors soon will surpass considerably the number of Russia’s operationally deployed strategic offensive arms’ launchers. That is why the new “writing on the wall” probably could be: due to these factors the USA could increase the temptation to deliver a first-strike attack against Russia and China and to subsequently protect itself by a huge, globally fielded, multilayered BMDS “shield”.

Practical suggestion to prevent this is: a new multinational ABM Treaty is badly needed that will: a) fix maximum ceilings for total number of interceptors of the BMD capable nations; and b) map out geographical areas where the BMD interceptors cannot be deployed, including outer space. At the same time such new arrangement should not prohibit any state to develop, test and emplace its own BMD system on its territory or in the adjacent seas and oceans.

As to outer space: the USA has torpedoed 22 major international initiatives aimed at maintaining outer space free from any type of space-based strike weapons. Actually Washington torpedoed all of them since 1957 – the beginning of the space age. Russian-Chinese draft international treaty banning weapons in outer space is still on the table at the Geneva Disarmament Conference.

Another suggestion is that Russia and the USA who earlier in 1990th have managed to agree on de-targeting of their ballistic nuclear missiles, could well reach an agreement on no-first use of nuclear weapons or on no use of nuclear weapons at all versus each other. This will be a very encouraging incentive for the rest of the nuclear world if the new U.S. Administration agrees to this. This is the easiest way to reverse a possibility to unleash a limited and an all-out nuclear war.

To defuse the alarming and dangerous situation in Europe a new, Second Conference on Security Cooperation in Europe should be convened not later than 2017-2018. Moscow would like to sign qualitatively new Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, but not to revive the previous one which has never been ratified by the Western group of states who have signed it.

So, a lot has to be done in the arms control area through peaceful means. The main slogan for today and tomorrow might be the same: there should be power of arguments, rather than arguments of power. I am confident that such saying is a part and parcel of the concept of the CCDM.

I wish you all a spectacular success in blazing this trail. You have a very noble goal to reach.

The succeeding generations will be very grateful to all of you for this commitment.