The 9th Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS-2021), organised by the Russian Ministry of Defence, opened on Wednesday in Moscow. The forum will discuss global and regional stability issues, as well as various aspects of security in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
Conference participants will address information security, "post-INF" (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) and the situation in Europe, as well as the role of the military in fighting the new coronavirus infection.
More than 600 guests will take part in the forum, including defence ministers, chiefs of general staff, military delegations, representatives of the expert community from various states, as well as representatives of the CIS, CSTO, UN, OSCE, ICRC and the Arab League.
At the opening of the conference, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin addressed the participants and guests of the forum. Putin noted that despite some positive signals, the turbulence of geopolitical processes is increasing.
"The erosion of international law continues. Attempts to use force to push interests and to strengthen one's own security at the expense of others do not stop. Regional armed conflicts, risks of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the activity of cross-border criminal groups, drug trafficking and cyber criminals cause serious concern. International terrorism remains a particular threat", he said.
Putin stressed that the scale and global nature of these problems require joint efforts of all states. "And such, collective work, of course, must be carried out on the basis of international law, the goals and principles of the UN Charter," he assures.
The Russian President added that "Russia never forgets about the responsibility it bears for the security and prosperity of neighbouring countries" with which it is brought together by "unbreakable historical, cultural, human ties" and also assured of its intention to further contribute to the de-escalation of regional conflicts and the strengthening of peace and stability.
"Your representative meeting is dedicated to the most important issues of today's politico-military agenda. Strengthening global security and the sustainable development of our civilization depend on their resolution, on finding effective joint responses to common challenges," the President said. “In conclusion, I would like to wish you fruitful work and all the best. I am confident that the conference participants will have interesting discussions, and that the proposals and initiatives will serve to strengthen international security and stability," he added.
The UN Secretary-General also welcomed the participants.
Reports on key international security issues were delivered by Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Shoigu, Director of the Russian Federal Security Service Alexander Bortnikov, Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin.
In his welcoming speech, the Russian defence minister described the trends of recent years in the field of international security; among them: the formation of global coalitions, the division of the world into "insiders" and "outsiders", the increasing role of sovereign states in ensuring the security of citizens, the use of aggressive economic pressure as a means of forcing changes in the policies of sovereign states, the large-scale deployment of missile defence systems and their coupling with strike weapons.
Sergei Shoigu spoke about the current state of Russia's international cooperation in defence and security, and announced the signing of new agreements "on the margins" of the forum that would "open up opportunities for the development of mutually beneficial cooperation".
Shoigu recalled that the conference was taking place on a memorable date - June 22 marks the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (WWI). The Defence Minister invited the gathering to honour the memory of all those killed at the fronts of the Great Patriotic War and World War II with a moment of silence.
"Hypersonic technology, digitalisation, and robotisation are coming to the forefront in the development of new weapons. Space and cyberspace are becoming increasingly involved in a military confrontation. Space and cyber commands whose main task are not defensive but rather planning and conducting offensive operations in their respective spheres are being created within the armed forces of a number of countries.
The careful treatment of international commitments is being replaced by unilateral sanctions and the imposition of a kind of order based on rules invented by nobody knows who. The world is rapidly plunging into a new confrontation that is far more dangerous than during the Cold War," said the Minister.
The military worldwide, more than any other professional community, understands that war is a disaster. Shoigu added that "the Moscow conference brings together true professionals in the field of security and the prevention of armed conflicts in every region of the world".
The conference will include seven plenary sessions. On June 23, sessions were be held on the following topics: "Strategic Stability: Transformation and Prospects," "Asia-Pacific in the Context of Global Politics," "The Role of Military Agencies in Combating the New Coronavirus Infection COVID-19," and "Information Security: Problems and Solutions.
On 24 June, the following plenary sessions addressed the these topical issues: "Military and military-technical cooperation in Africa and the Middle East as a major factor in strengthening regional security", "Military cooperation as a tool to counter regional challenges and threats in Latin America and the Western Hemisphere" and "European security: trends and prospects".
On the margins of the conference, the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, Army General Sergey Shoygu, held a number of bilateral meetings with the heads of defence agencies from a number of foreign countries.