Switzerland and the security of Europe

In 2014, Mr. Didier Burkhalter, President of the Confederation and Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE took the initiative to draft a report on security in Europe, in a situation already considered unstable and dangerous at the time. The OSCE Council of Ministers was divided on this project: the Federal Councilor imposed it on his own authority, in his capacity as president of the organization, supported by Serbia and Germany. It formed a group of eminent personalities, chaired by Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger of Germany. Recently, a prestigious American think tank, the Rand Corporation, estimated that this report contained the only innovative thoughts on European security since the Helsinki Final Act and the documents that followed. The experts had not been able to agree on a common reading of the events caused by the fall of the USSR in 1991. But was it necessary under these conditions to launch a new East-West dialogue on security, as at the beginning? from the 1970s? Switzerland believed that despite the annexation of Ukraine, it was appropriate to talk with the Russians about the security architecture in Europe. The Westerners, on the contrary, made the settlement of the Ukraine question a prerequisite for the resumption of any negotiations: what would be the point of considering new agreements as long as the violations of the commitments made in the framework of the OSCE in Helsinki then, subsequently, in Paris and Vienna?

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