Valéry Giscard d’Éstaing: the most important neighbour of Europe is Russia
In his address to the participants of Conference «Yalta-Potsdam-Helsinki-Belgrade: in search for safe world order», that was held in Belgrade, ex-President of France (1974-1981) Valéry Giscard d'Éstaing appraised the efforts of politicians to bring peace to the post-war Europe. He also shared his vision of the current political situation on the planet.
In opinion of the third President of the Fifth Republic, the principles of co-existence that appeared in the post-war world (Resolutions of Yalta and Potsdam Conferences, and founding of the UNO) were undoubtedly useful and served the cause (the UNO was a creation of Yalta and Potsdam). He also emphasized that «in recent decades countries-members of the UNO didn’t approach United Nations enough for resolution of some problems (perhaps somebody will not agree with this opinion)...».
Valéry Giscard d'Éstaing believes that another important event of the post-war years was the creation of OBSE. Ex-President remembered his conversation with a famous Czech politician: «When I asked him how important the Helsinki agreements were he replied with a short phrase — ‘That was the beginning of everything». Valéry Giscard d'Éstaing concluded that «it is possible to identify two creative milestones: the first one is the one that made the peace, the second one is the one that initiated the beginning of European awareness about necessity for peaceful functioning and cooperation in Europe...’.
Speaking about the present days Valéry Giscard d'Éstaing explained that current issues and contradictions of relations follow the destruction of the bipolar world that was created in XX century. «The United States had their own allies, the Soviet Union had their own. This world has vanished. There are only the United States of America, the first world economic and military superpower...».
Also, according to ex-President of France, current spots of tension in the world are mostly connected with globalization, namely with the way how fast the globalization is developing on the planet: «We’ve been looking for globalization and probably the movement has been too quick. The evolution of the world is going towards certain openness but there are still significant differences in development of countries. We can’t regulate the differences by means of conflicts. They should be regulated evolutionary».
At the same time Valéry Giscard d'Éstaing proposes ways to solve the identified issues and draws attention of participants of the conference to the reliable international institute whose potential has not run out yet: «I don’t think we should follow the idea of creating a powerful world structure. Besides, such a structure already exists in a way — this is the United Nations Organization».
In his speech Valéry Giscard d'Éstaing speaks about harmonization of international relations and calls for the world leaders «... to accept cultural differences, differences in standards of living, in national projects, in religion that exist in the world». In his opinion «... the regulating system cannot be only a limiting one. It should be a system that would take different relations into full consideration».
Speaking about the Syrian problem and the refugee problem, ex-President of the Fifth Republic sees their solution first of all in restoration of peace in Syria. And here he again assigns the key role to the UNO and Security Council. He sees positive development in activity of these institutions. «Look what’s going on in Syria at the moment. Today all permanent members of Security Council have reached an understanding. Just recently, two years ago there was no such an agreement. Today every party agrees, that is, on the one hand the US, Great Britain and France come closer to Russia and its partners...» concludes Valéry Giscard d'Éstaing. Then he continues: «The most important neighbor of Europe is Russia. Our relations should be cordial. Sometimes we may not agree with each other and take different positions; all of that should be discussed and in any case we should avoid quasi-conflict situations like those we face for the recent two-three years and which are not so necessary in my opinion».