MOSCOW, APRIL 25, PIR PRESS. “Today a member of the PIR Center Executive Board, a member of the IMEMO (Institute of World Economy and International Relations) Directorate, Army General, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Hero of Russia Vyacheslav Trubnikov celebrates his 75th birthday. Vyacheslav Ivanovich, having reached the greatest heights of public service, you remained open to new ideas, plans and actions. We are happy to work with you for almost ten years! You are a source of soft, but mighty and attracting power, which is especially important in relations with the new generation of specialists – those who will construct a new world. Many well-known and beginning diplomats and military men, scientists and journalists throughout Eurasia are grateful for your inspiration and support, for your wise and precise judgement. We wish you good health, optimism and high spirits! We look forward to new meetings with you! Keep it up!” – PIR Center Director Albert Zulkharneev.
Vyacheslav Trubnikov is a regular lecturer at PIR Center International Schools on Global Security. He shares his vision of Eurasian security architecture, of the role of India in the 21st century and the future of intelligence activities. Today we are publishing the summary of ideas of Vyacheslav Trubnikov, which he presented at the meeting with the School participants on April 13, 2019.
Eurasian Security in the Global Context. Summary of remarks by Amb. Vyacheslav Trubnikov
The Eurasian security architecture is shaped by the global context. At this time, that context includes instability, a lack of transparency, a degradation of old alliances, and the lack of established norms of the nascent polycentric world order.
Europe is increasingly thinking about creating its own, European, collective security system instead of the Euro-Atlantic system. It is hard to say whether the Europeans will prove to have sufficient political will and financial resources to establish a parallel security system rather than relying solely on NATO.
The Eurasian security architecture is now taking shape in three distinct forms: the Belt and Road Initiative (promoted by China); security in the Indo-Pacific region (a US idea that aims to counterbalance the growing Chinese influence in Eurasia), and Russia’s EAEU project.
NPT review process. We are unable to propose any algorithm for the NPT Review Conference that would guarantee a successful outcome. The risk of failure in this case is an integral part of the process. All else aside, it takes a lot of political will for any recommendations to be implemented. One cannot demand political will from one’s partners. It takes a certain fortuitous turn of events, a positive climate for a Review Conference to make progress. When a conference is held in such a fraught political climate, it is difficult, if not outright impossible, to expect a successful outcome. That is why we should be very realistic about the ongoing process, keep calm, and carry on. These efforts are a major factor that keeps irresponsible regimes in check. They are an opportunity to draw the international spotlight to failures and violations of international agreements.
The future of intelligence. Technology vs humans. The future of intelligence is becoming increasingly complex because of the growing range of various tasks the intelligence agencies are facing. There are two conflicting trends in intelligence. One is that technology is the answer to all our problems. The other is that without human intelligence, a network of agents on the ground, it is impossible to get an accurate picture. I subscribe to the latter point of view. We can get all kinds of intelligence imagery from space. I saw with my own eyes the photos taken by US spy satellites 30 or 40 years ago: you can see the tracks left by the boots of our patrol guard at the Murmansk naval base on those photos. The quality of the imagery is absolutely stunning! But it’s impossible to tell from those photos the identity of the guard wearing those boots, where exactly he was walking, or to what end. In order to answer those questions, one needs to understand what’s going on in the heads of the leadership of our potential adversary. One needs to understand the motives that drive them. From times immemorial, spies have always been instrumental to upholding national sovereignty. And that is why human intelligence will never become obsolete. It will continue to evolve in line with the new requirements formulated by the political leadership. Read more on the PIR Center website (in English)