- The main goal of GUAM is to establish space of stability and integration in the Black sea – Caspian Sea region; space of partnership, based on the European standards, criterias and practice. While implementing this main goal, we are using two main avenues of cooperation: 1) elaboration, signature and implementation of GUAM format multilateral legal instruments, and 2) generation, elaboration and implementation of GUAM projects and programs. Our member states’ top foreign policy priority is approximation to the European Union. We are under the same policy instrument of European Union – European Neighborhood and soon will be under new one – Eastern Partnership.
- This opens new perspectives of our cooperation with EU, as we are ready to offer our well-institutionalized network of cooperation to EU for implementing latter’s goals and objectives under the umbrella of Eastern Partnership, thus promoting values and principles of European cooperation beyond current EU borders and contributing to better cost – effectiveness of implementation process.
- All regional initiatives have their comparative advantages and disadvantages: one may compare BSEC and GUAM, it gives clear comparative picture;
- What is comparative advantage of BSEC? This is full-pledged regional cooperation organization serving as an universal platform for regional cooperation, including all regional players, with their varying agendas and ambitions – it is excellent platform for exchanging views and ideas for cooperation through well-institutionalized structure of cooperation. At the same time it faces dramatic lack of consensus reaching capacity – for obvious reasons.
- GUAM can capitalize on the experience of BSEC; ideas discussed, but not implemented in BSEC can be picked up and implemented in GUAM; On the other hand, implementing projects and programs of cooperation, GUAM is contributing to better understanding in BSEC, as consolidated GUAM position means that consensus should be reached not between 12, but between 9;
- Disadvantage of GUAM is the limited participation; it is not definitely universal platform of regional cooperation. Advantage – good capacity of reaching consensus and consequently opportunity to develop regional cooperation and regional projects more smoothly and effectively; that creates positive impact to the activities of neighboring regional initiatives.
- About developments since Russian-Georgian war of last year and it’s implications on regional cooperation:
- After that war we live in different world: Russian officials call it new reality and state they’ll not retreat. Sometimes new realities definitely emerge in international relations, although it makes great difference, whether one country, even such a big and powerful, is trying to impose so called “new reality” to international community, or this new reality is elaborated and sealed by whole international community, as it happened in Helsinki in 1975;
- Consequently, current position of Russian Federation is considerably limiting the capacity of international organizations to develop activities in general and concrete projects and programs of cooperation in particular;
- As a consequences of this war, which resulted in the occupation of Georgia’s 20% of territory, Russia violated, among others, basic documents of BSEC – to name a few, Bosphorus Declaration of 25 June 1992 and BSEC Charter, ratified also by Russian Parliament. What was the reaction of the BSEC Organization? There was no reaction, by my knowledge. Does it mean that authority and reputation of this Organization is downgraded? Does it mean that atmosphere in the Organization was deteriorated and capacity to implement common projects was reduced? What about implementation of main regional projects of BSEC, like Black Sea transport ring? The answer is clear; there are very limited perspectives for their implementation, if any. As a result, there is there limited trust to any document signed in BSEC format, because it can be violated anytime.
- In this light, I would like to attract attention to the fact, that Russian Federation is negotiating with the Government of France the purchasing of “Mistral” class large battleship, which is universal amphibious vessel, capable of carrying helicopters on board. It is for experts to answer, whether this contract, if “Mistral” is purchased and deployed in the Black Sea, is in compliance with BlackSeaFor Documents and Black Sea Fleet Agreements. In my humble individual opinion this action will in no way contribute to the Black Sea naval security.
- How this war affected GUAM? Position of GUAM further consolidated, based on GUAM basic documents, first and foremost “Joint Declaration of the heads of state of the ODED-GUAM on the issue of conflict settlement”. GUAM member states aligned themselves with the respective EU statements, thus consolidating their common platform of cooperation.
- Those who are interested in GUAM to visit our web-site – www.guam-organization.org in order to find more information about our organization – both basic and operational.
Odessa, 04 Nov 2009