Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Believe It Or Not, Two Of The Smallest Actors In Europe Are Bullying Russia

By Andrew Korybko | EurasiaFuture | 2019-06-02

It sounds absurd at first listen, but Malta and Kosovo — two of the smallest actors in Europe — are bullying Russia by preventing its military overflights to Venezuela and attacking one of its UN staff members, respectively, which appear to be part and parcel of an American-backed perception management plan to weaken Moscow’s soft power and ultimately undermine its Afro-Eurasian “balancing’ act.

The Mainstream Media is full of stories about Russia supposedly “bullying” smaller nations, while Alt-Media never tires of talking about how the US is doing the same, but neither of them have yet to address the curious fact that two of the smallest actors in Europe have recently bullied Russia. Malta prevented Moscow from making military overflights to Venezuela, while Kosovo just attacked one of its UN staff members with impunity. Although both incidents were separately reported on in the Mainstream and Alternative Medias, they haven’t been tied together as part of the same American-backed perception management plan to weaken Moscow’s soft power. There’s a prevailing notion that Great Powers are supposedly too strong to be bullied by small states, let alone an entity that Russia doesn’t even recognize as “independent”, but that line of thinking has been debunked after what Malta and Kosovo recently did to Russia, which makes Moscow look weak in the eyes of the world.

That’s not just the author’s own interpretation either, since the popular Alt-Media outlet South Front published a piece about the Kosovo incident in which they analyzed the following (bold text is from the original):

“The goal of the action was to demonstrate to the Serbs that they would receive and can receive no real support from Russia. This provocation is intended to demonstrate to the Balkans, Europe and the entire world that the current Russian political leadership has no real will and instruments to impact the situation in the Balkans… All waiting for a Russian response. In the established situation, Russia would save its face in the event of changing the current language of statements to the language of ultimatums and real actions against both the Kosovo and Albanian leadership. If Russia sit down under this provocation, its positions on the international scene would be undermined. Russia would lose its image among the Serbs even further, and the “European integration” concept would get an additional momentum.”

South Front is correct in its assessment, even if it’s hinting at a “wishful thinking” outcome of Russia actually doing something tangible to Kosovo in response. That’s not going to happen, exactly as it also didn’t when it came to Malta’s provocation either.

Russia simply doesn’t have the political will to kinetically respond to either of them, let alone disproportionately, which isn’t necessarily a sign of weakness in and of itself for those who understand these realistic limitations but could easily be framed as such for the unaware and very impressionable international audience. The intent in doing so is to craft a “David vs. Goliath” narrative of European “underdogs” “standing up” to Russia and even to President Putin personally, which in turn is designed to disrupt Moscow’s Afro-Eurasian “balancing” act by inspiring other countries and especially Great Powers to test the limits of its responses. In tangible terms, some of Russia’s new partners and even traditional rivals alike might start playing “hard ball” with it to see how far they can go in promoting their interests at Moscow’s strategic expense, which could undermine its carefully crafted foreign policy precisely at the point when it’s experiencing two very sensitive systemic transitions at home and might therefore cause many unexpected problems for it.

June 2, 2019 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 2 Comments

States of hope and states of concern

By Bjorn Hilt | International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War | January 11, 2016

At the UN General assembly last fall there was an essential vote on the future of mankind. Resolution number A/RES/70/33 calling for the international society to take forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations had been submitted by Austria, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Ireland, Kenya, Lichtenstein, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela. For that, these countries deserve our deep respect and gratitude. The resolution reminds us that all the peoples of  the world have a vital interest in the success of nuclear disarmament negotiations, that all states have the right to participate in disarmament negotiations, and, at the same time, declares support for the UN Secretary – General’s five-point proposal on nuclear disarmament.

The resolution reiterates the universal objective that remains the achievement and maintenance of a world without nuclear weapons, and emphasizes the importance of addressing issues related to nuclear weapons in a comprehensive, inclusive, interactive and constructive manner, for the advancement of multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations. The resolution calls on the UN to establish an Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) of willing and responsible states to bring the negotiations on nuclear disarmament forward in this spirit.

When voted upon at the UNGA a month ago, on December 7, 2015, there was a huge majority of states (75 %) that supported the resolution, namely 138 of the 184 member states that were present. Most of them are from the global south, with majorities in Latin-America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific. After having shown such courage and wisdom, they all deserve to be named among the states of hope, states that want to sustain mankind on earth.

Only 12 states voted against the resolution. Guess who they are: China, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, and the United States. What is wrong with them? Well, they are either nuclear-armed states or among the new NATO member states. They are the states of concern in today’s world. It is hypocritical that states that claim to be the protectors of freedom, democracy, and humanity constitute a small minority that refuse to enter into multilateral, inclusive, interactive and constructive negotiations to free the world from nuclear weapons. Among the three other nuclear-armed states, India and Pakistan had the civility to abstain, while the DPRK was the only one to vote “yes.”

Despite the reactionary, dangerous, and irresponsible position of the 12 states of concern and the tepid attitude of the abstainers, the OEWG was established by an overwhelming majority of the UNGA. The OEWG will convene in Geneva for 15 working days during the first half of 2016. The OEWG has no mandate to negotiate treaties to free the world of the inhuman nuclear weapons, but has clearly been asked to discuss and show how it can be achieved. Surely, the nations of hope that voted in favor of the OEWG will take part in the work. We can hope that at least some of the states of concern and some of the abstainers come to their senses and take part in this essential work for the future of mankind.

Participation in the OEWG is open for everyone and blockable by none. No matter what the states of concern do or don’t do, there is good reason to trust that the vast majority of nations of hope together with civil society from all over in the fall will present an outcome to the UNGA that will turn our common dream of a world free of nuclear weapons into a reality—perhaps sooner that we dare to believe.

January 11, 2016 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment