Throughout 2020 the ELN has lent its support to an extended series of detailed senior expert discussions led by ELN members Sergey Rogov and Alexey Gromyko on how NATO and Russia might reduce the risk of inadvertent conflict. The experts group has comprised some 30 people including retired diplomats and military officers from the United States, Russia and Europe. The recommendations that have come out of these discussions, signed by 145 people from 20 countries, including 48 ELN network members, call on leaders in the US, Russia and Europe to demonstrate the political will necessary to take a number of urgent actions in order to reduce the risks of military conflict. The full text in English, Russian, French and Polish can be found here. The Conversation article, quoting the recommendations and the ELN letter to the Times of London, can be found here.
Putin’s words reflect a general freeze in relations between Russia and the west that has been developing over some years. This prompted a group of former US, European and Russian diplomats, generals, researchers and political figures, supported by the European Leadership Network (ELN), to write a letter to the UK’s Times newspaper on December 8 to call for action in Moscow and for Nato to restore talks on how to impose limits on military activity in Europe.
The ELN experts recommend a series of measures suggesting that “these steps can contribute to an atmosphere, in which resolution of those difficult political issues becomes more achievable”.