Published On: Thu, Mar 5th, 2015

Russia invites NATO Members to Security Conference: Experts warn about Risk of unwanted Nuclear War

Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : Russia has invited all NATO member States and the NATO leadership to attend a security conference in mid-April, said the Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov. The invitation comes against the backdrop of deteriorating relations between members of the Atlantic Alliance and Russia. Meanwhile, during a recent symposium, experts warned about the risk of a military escalation that includes the use of nuclear weapons, whether it be wanted or unwanted. 

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Thursday that NATO cannot be the sole guarantor of freedom and security in a modern world, reports the Russian Tass news agency, Antonov added that some countries now are trying to impose their policy and position on others and that latest developments show how imperfect the world is.

NATO_LOGO_roops_NEOIn 2008 NATO and the UN signed a Secretariat Coordination Treaty that implies that NATO has become the de facto military enforcement instrument of the international body, even though NATO is not representative of UN members or their individual rights or policies. The signing of this treaty was largely omitted by most media.

Russia has since the reunification of Germany repeatedly complained that it perceives NATO’s eastwards expansion and the deployment of anti-missile systems directed against Russia along its borders as a potential threat and as a violation of the agreements which led to the reunification of Germany.

This position has, among others, been stressed by the last Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev. It was confirmed by the former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas who stressed that the understanding that NATO would not expand eastwards was by all sides understood as “the essence of peace”.

The dispute was to some degree mitigated by the Russian – NATO cooperation within the NATO’s “Partnership for Peace” program which has largely been suspended since the eruption of the conflict in and about Ukraine in 2014. The Tass news agency quotes Antonov as saying that:

“Some countries and even associations, such as the European Union, venture to define who and how should behave themselves on the international arena. If anyone voices another stance, which is different from that of Washington, Brussels and Ottawa, then they try to punish this country. … This is what is happening in regard to Russia today.”

Antonov stressed that there today is a lack of confidence between the countries and that it would be difficult to mend the international security system which has been seriously undermined by the actions of the United States and its allies in the international arena.

He added, however, that the potential of Russian – U.S.’ relations has not yet been exhausted although he never, in his entire diplomatic career that relations had been has difficult as they were today. Antonov stressed that the Ukrainian crisis affects security throughout Europe.

International law with regard to the situation in Ukraine is difficult and subject to interpretation rather than regulation. On one hand there is the principle of non-interference into internal affairs which has been undermined, practically by financing policy groups and NGOs and legally by constructs such as the “responsibility to protect”.

One the other hand there is the principle about the invulnerability of national borders. This principle, on the other hand, is being contradicted by the equally valid right to self-determination as seen in the Crimean referendum and Crimea’s accession into the Russian Federation; Or the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence. International law is, on other words, highly subjective and based on policy and  constructs about apparent “legitimacy” rather than legality and law.

It is within this climate that Russia invited NATO members to attend a security conference in Moscow in mid-April. Antonov noted that Moscow has invited all NATO member States as well as the leadership of the Alliance. He added that some countries had confirmed their participation but that the names of these countries and participants would be announced later.

Experts warn about the risk of unwanted nuclear war. Several analysts would note that the deterioration in relations between NATO and Russia poses an acute risk for a military escalation which could include the use of nuclear weapons and escalate into a conflict of global reach regardless whether it is wanted or unwanted.

During a two-day symposium at the New York Academy of Medical Sciences on February 28 and March 1, 2015, several internationally renown experts warned about the risk about a potential escalation of the situation in Ukraine and the involvement of nuclear weapons due to mutual distrust and nuclear forces being on hair-trigger alert.

The symposium, organized by the Dr. Helen Caldicott Foundation was attended by internationally renown experts, including Theodore Postol, Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology, and National Security Policy, MIT, Max Tegmark, Professor of Physics, MIT, Alan Robok, Distinguished Professor, Department Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University, Holly Baker, Department of Anthropology, University of Washington, Hans Kristensen, Federation of American Scientists, John Feffer, Institute of Policy Studies, and many others.

CH/L – nsnbc 05.03.2015

Watch the live steam of the Symposium HERE.

About the Author

- Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and former independent political consultant on conflict, conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. In March 2013 he established nsnbc as a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

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  1. That is just about the best and sanest news in a very long time that Russia is taking the initiative to and inviting all NATO Members to a Security Conference in Russia…and already in April, I may we have the 70 years remembrance of the end of WW2 already in May a war where more than 60 million died. Who on Earth can say no to attend? When the alternative is a further moving towards WW3… would anyone have on his conscience that he/she did not do his/her outmost to save us all from the disaster that a nuclear war would be?

    • Bente, I second that, unequivocally. The problem is that there is a lack of political pressure from within the populations. Have a look at some nsnbc statistics. Even though nsnbc readers are educated above average, the articles which were persistently represented in the top-ten most read over the last year were 1) An April 1st joke about bull semen in energy drinks 2) Important articles about vaccines which seem less important when you think about the prospect of human extinction due to a nuclear war. It will take a long time before we reach a point where media like nsnbc have achieved to reverse Maslov’s pyramid of stupidity which is reinforced my corporate and state funded media, Hollywood etc… But, as long as there is life there is hope. Maybe we have a chance to reverse the Western egocentric culture. I wonder whether Maslov really has a cross cultural validity or if it is more valid in cultures like those we see in the Free West. ;) It is us who have to push our politicians to act reasonably and we have to push hard because those who are pushing in the opposite direction own 99,9% of the money.

  2. Todd Perry says:

    If the US would stop poking at Russia everytime they turn around when they have done nothing wrong and have been in the right then it would not be so bad.
    US helped over throw the UKraine governement the n put a Nazi in power who stated he will exterminate every man, woman and child of Russain decent there and has been doing so still today.
    Its a wonder that Russia did not send tropps into the Ukraine to save its people being slaughtered.

  3. David says:

    Well with fools like Obama and Kerry and Cameron and Merkel heading up the Western camp I dont think this will come to much. Remember what Obama said about China in the last State of the Union….why should the USA allow China determine conditions in its own sphere. My guess is the West will rebuff this Russian initiative…why let Russia lead the way towards a resolution? These Western demagogues and fools (and bankers tools) will want to be the ones to initiate and impose their own terms. Wish I could be more hopeful; and I do hope I am mistaken; but for now I have lost all faith in our Western misleaders.

    • DAVID: You are right about Cameron, Kerry, Obama and don’t forget the neo-cons in the Obama administration. But adding Merkel to that club isn’t correct or fair. Regardless whether you like her and her party or not isn’t the issue. The issue is that all German governments, all Germman MPs are confronted with the fact that Germany, 70 years after WWII still has not regained independence and internal as well as external sovereignty from Washington and London. The Merkel and Hollande governments are leading a continental European effort towards closer ties with Russia but it is obstructed by the USA/UK and UK-agents within the EU. I advise you to read some of the articles here in nsnbc which go into many details about these issues. There is hope David, but with nuclear armed madmen as “friends” who won’t leave after 70 years it doen’t matter if it is a Merkel, Kohl,Brandt, Schröder or Gysi at the helm. One has to tread carefully when one is crossing a minefield. ;)

      • David says:

        Hi Steven
        Everything I see and hear of Merkel tells me another story entirely than the one you relate. To my perception the EU has and is cooperating in the USA led coup in Ukraine and the provocations against Russia. Merkel certainly ought to be doing as you suggest; but thus far she has supported the USA/NATO annexation of Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia.

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