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Interaction with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)

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  • March 01, 2023
    Round Table

    Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) organised an interaction with a three-member delegation from the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) led by Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Director, GCSP on 1 March 2023. The interaction was chaired by Ambassador Sujan R. Chinoy, Director General, MP-IDSA. Senior scholars, research analysts, and interns of the institute were in attendance.

    Executive Summary

    The manifold implications of the Russia-Ukraine conflict have questioned the nature of European security and its tenets. With no resolution in sight, the human, economic and political costs are mounting. A roadmap for reconstructing peace and security in Europe can be through Confidence Building Measures, subregional arms control, and a dialogue on the principles of European security.

    Detailed Report

    Amb. Chinoy began the interaction by introducing the delegation to the various research facets and training modules of MP-IDSA. In his remarks, Amb. Chinoy stated that the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict has been felt beyond the borders of Europe, where geo-security has taken precedence over geo-economics. The conflict has resulted in the questioning of the nature of European security. He highlighted overlapping loyalties and complex interdependencies in a globalised world, wherein, India shares cordial relationships with both Russia and the United States, as does Germany with China. He emphasised the importance of ending the conflict and stated that India is well-positioned to mediate a resolution.

    Amb. Greminger introduced the audience to the functioning of GCSP and the dialogue space it offers. He stated that the current status of the war in Ukraine can be comprehended in four phases, starting with the Battle for Kyiv, followed by the Battle for Donbas, a successful counter-offensive in Kharkiv and Kherson, and finally, the war of attrition.

    Amb. Greminger presented five possible scenarios. First, the highly likely continuation of the ongoing high-intensity warfare. Second, a continuing low-intensity conflict. Third, an escalation through military means in the South, destruction of strategic civilian infrastructure, cyber attacks, and, although unlikely, the use of nuclear weapons. Fourth, an unlikely scenario could be conflict termination through a one-sided victory. Finally, a favourable scenario could be a negotiated conflict resolution that covers territorial issues in Crimea and Donbas, war crimes, and reparations.

    Amb. Greminger discussed the implications of the conflict and emphasised that it has had a significant impact on peace in Europe. He first highlighted the human costs of the conflict, including eight million refugees, 90,000 civilian casualties, as well as skyrocketing inflation and acute food insecurity. Secondly, he drew attention to the critical damage to civilian infrastructure. Thirdly, he discussed the economic consequences, including energy insecurity and trade disruptions. Finally, he focused on the political consequences of the conflict, stating that the world is moving towards a "Cold War 2.0" where deterrence will dominate the landscape of European security. He also observed that security will continue to be focused on territorial defence, resulting in high defence budgets. Amb. Greminger emphasised the changing nature of cooperation on other agendas, including transnational issues and dealing with complex geographies.

    He presented a roadmap for reconstructing peace and security in Europe. First, he stressed the need for the Russian Federation to respect international law and territorial sovereignty. Second, he suggested that trust can be rebuilt through Confidence and Security Building Measures (CSBMs). Third, the United States’ negotiated response to Russia should include military risk reduction and subregional arms control. The fourth step should involve a dialogue on the principles of European security itself. This should be followed by a review of the status of "bridge" countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, and Moldova) that share geographical proximity with Russia, as well as the role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in those countries. Lastly, he emphasised the importance of considering the future role of Russia in the European security order. He concluded that peace and stability in Europe can only be achieved through cooperation with Russia, not without it.


    Amb. Chinoy emphasised that it is highly improbable that any of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) could completely overpower one another. He specifically noted that the collapse of Russia in this context is nearly impossible. He further discussed the current period of great uncertainty due to the suspension of the New START Treaty. According to him, if neither side is willing to make concessions, it will only lead to an escalation of the conflict and a one-sided victory will become even less likely. Amb. Chinoy concurred with Amb. Greminger that peaceful negotiation is the most viable option. However, he pointed out that conditional negotiation is not possible. He emphasised that territorial control is an essential aspect of the negotiation, and the illegal occupation of Indian territories by Pakistan and China provides a common ground for discussion.

    Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Bipin Bakshi (Retd.) highlighted that of the likely scenarios presented by the speaker, only one discusses the end of the conflict. He also discussed the role of external support to Ukraine.

    Dr. Rajorshi Roy raised a query on the future of European commitment to Ukraine.

    Mr. Om Prakash Das inquired about the characteristics of ‘Cold War 2.0.’

    Dr. Jason Wahlang raised a query about Europe’s reactions to China’s Peace Plan for Ukraine.

    Amb. Chinoy discussed the pre-conditions for Russia and Ukraine to negotiate the end of war and the possibilities of who would lead the Ukrainian front for negotiation.

    The discussion ended with a Vote of Thanks by Amb. Chinoy.

    Report was prepared by Ms. Richa Kumaria, Intern, Non-Traditional Security Centre, MP-IDSA.