Prominent German-Russian Role in Effort To De-Escalate Tensions Between Russia and NATO
March 4, 2012 • 9:44AM

Munich Security Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger, former German ambassador to London and Washington, and Igor Ivanov, former Russian Foreign Minister, are working through the Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative (EASI), which emerged from the MSC (formerly the Wehrkunde), to create a system of consultation and cooperation between the NATO and Russia missile defense systems, both of which are to keep their independent status though. The concept has been endorsed by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who has proposed a joint NATO-Russia missile defense excercise this spring. It may well be that the agreement in principle (but not on paper), which Putin referred to in his interview with the foreign press two days ago, has to do with the EASI.

Ischinger has also called for the creation of a diplomatic structure for finding non-military ways of defusing Southwest Asian conflicts, modelled on the late-Cold War Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).