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Munich forum: Divided West undermines its own security

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Munich forum: Divided West undermines its own security

The 54th Munich Security Conference opened on Friday, February 16, 2018
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A fractured West is undermining its own security--that's the feeling of many of those attending this year's Munich Conference.

If they impose another Cold War on us, we have a much better chance of winning it than last time.

Sergey Karaganov Head of Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy

There are divisions within NATO between Europe and the US, and also within Europe itself, after Britain's decision to leave the bloc.

The EU's Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told the conference that it's time for London to pick a lane. 

"We are open to a partnership regarding security and defense but it's important for the UK to say if we will have a free trade agreement that we will work on, or not. We are following the discussions in London regarding other options, like a single free trade zone, but we want clarity".

"You can't be in and out" of the single market at the same time, Barnier said, adding that his negotiating team was waiting for the UK "to take concrete steps as we are running out of time".

Brexit and other shifting global alliances are good news for Russia, says Kremlin advisor Sergey Karaganov, who heads Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. 

"If they impose another Cold War on us, we have a much better chance of winning it than last time, but we don’t want to play this game," Karaganov told euronews on Friday (February 16). "A little nuance: the Soviet Union was confronting the West and China. Now the rising country likely to be the world's most powerful country in the future, is a de facto Russian ally".

Despite increased tensions between NATO and Russia, the US isn't showing its European allies the solidarity they want, reports euronews correspondent Andrei Beketov from Munich.

American representatives at the conference, who include Secretary of Defense James Mattis and former Secretary of State John Kerry, appear to be more interested in pushing defense contracts for US firms.