NATO and Russia Battle Over European Defense Shield at Youth G8/G20 Summit

In the Defense Committee of the G8 & G20 Youth Summits, delegates are debating the critical issue of international security on the second day of negotiations. Unlike real politicians, the delegates are not giving up when the topics get difficult.

The first theme of interest is the European defense shield. All the G8 representatives are aware that
as the Cold War and arms race are over, there are rising shared threats that require cooperation from both Russia and NATO. Moreover, there is a solid alliance between NATO and Russia and there is significant room for similar opportunities in the future. NATO asserted: “The European
Shield is part of a non-negotiable duty to defend its European continental.” This is what is claimed in the threats, originating in the greater Middle East, and this, in turn, raises legitimate security concerns on the part of Russia. The Western delegates affirmed: “The security of Europe depends on Russia.”

The proposals that were put on the table have focused on restarting the NATO-Russia Council dialogue, pursuing a deeper strategic partnership. This means, first of all, temporary agreement as a starting point for concrete dialogue, to work out further technicalities regarding radar targeting data for the European continent.

The G8 wants to improve practical cooperation between NATO and Russian militaries, through
exercises, exchanges, and training programs. Another element of this plan is building trust, through information sharing, about patrols in Europe and in proximity to all NATO and Russian
borders. In the long-term, the goal is to reach zero patrolling levels along all NATO-Russia and Japan-Russia borders.

Every delegate agreed with the implementation of transparency between the Russia and NATO, but there was disagreement between Russia and Canada and Russia and Japan for how to carry this out in practice. Russia rejected the proposal ultimately. From Russia's perspective, it’s not safe to share this kind of information with states with which there could be territorial tensions.

For the second half of the day, delegates debated the security of international waterways. The G8 nations have recognised that they are incurring ever increasing costs, because of the illegal activities in the international waterways; they also admitted that regional states do not currently have the ability to defend their own waterways. That’s why they agreed with sharing a supervision plan, in which international waters are free and safe.

On the last day of negotiations on Thursday, conditions seem to be good to achieve consensus and a shared great plan for international security.