Peace or War – Russia and the US on two different geopolitical maps

HELSINKI, (BM) – In a February 26 article by Hufvudstadsbladet, Matts Andersén expresses concern about the growing risk of nuclear war. His anxiety is absolutely justified. All nuclear countries are modernizing weapons, and French President Emmanuel Macron recently stated that the EU cannot remain a mere spectator in this arms race.

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Macron speaks inconsistently. In one of his speeches to officers, Macron, according to France 24, said in early February that the EU should act more directly in order to stop the buildup of nuclear weapons and to arrange a treaty that would limit the development of medium-range nuclear weapons, as the United States recently withdrew from the US Russian INF Treaty.

At the same time, Macron said that the EU could not create a defense and security project without a political discussion aimed at gradually restoring trust between Europe and Russia. Unfortunately, Macron also advocated the formation of a more coordinated defense strategy of the EU, in which the nuclear weapons of France (Europe’s only nuclear power after Brexit) would play a central role.

At the annual security conference in Munich in February, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov emphasized that it is in Europe that the crisis of confidence is most felt, and that the structure and spirit of the Cold War is gradually being restored. He cautioned that tensions were rising, and NATO’s military infrastructure, which was expanding eastward, along with large-scale military exercises, created an atmosphere of unpredictability. He recalled the proposal that Russia made to the permanent members of the UN Security Council (USA, Russia, China, France, Great Britain): it called for an independent summit to honestly and openly exchange views on how to maintain peace for future generations.

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By contrast, Mark Esper, the US Secretary of Defense, has focused on preparing to participate in “high-intensity conflicts with Russia and China.”

Aggressive US policy will not lead to anything good. When the Defender 2020 large-scale exercises began, Esper participated in a military re-enactment at the command center in Omaha, where the US military pretended to use nuclear weapons in response to a Russian nuclear attack.

Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev linked the exercises in Omaha with the US withdrawal from the INF Treaty. He stated that by training soldiers to respond to an enemy attack with a nuclear weapon, the authorities convinced citizens that such an attack was likely and that negotiations on an arms control treaty were meaningless. Instead, the state relies on arms buildup.

Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Defense Alexander Sherin, in turn, said that Moscow would be foolish to attack European countries with nuclear weapons, because then Russia itself would suffer from radioactive contamination.

Michael T. Klare, a professor emeritus at Hampshire College in the United States who specializes in research on peace and global security, recently published an article based on his latest book, “And Hell Breaks Free: The Pentagon’s View on Climate Change” (All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s Perspective on Climate Change). He argues that a nuclear war, which is becoming more likely, will erupt in the Arctic region, where the US and NATO will launch large-scale Cold Response 2020 exercises in March (Cold Response 2020).

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For geopolitical reasons, Finland has established dialogue based relations with Russia. So why are we silent now? Why our government will not support the proposal of Russia in the UN Security Council? Why won’t Finland sign the UN nuclear ban treaty? Why do we ignore the OSCE, the most suitable organization in order to breathe new life into an open dialogue on security policy between Europe and Russia?

Experts publishing the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists magazine claim in an annual report: “A nuclear war that puts an end to civilization — whether it will be launched intentionally or by mistake — is now a very real possibility … To believe that we have overcome the nuclear threat is to believe in an illusion.”


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Editorial team / Inosmi / Lea Launokari

The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.