Annual Munich security conferences have been held since 1963. It’s the most important world forum on current and future security issues and challenges.
Numerous heads of state, other senior government officials, high-ranking military ones, along with business, media and other private sectors figures attend.
This year’s conference began Friday, continuing on Saturday. Sergey Lavrov will speak later today, presenting Russia’s views on international security, followed by a Q & A session.
Foreign ministers from Normandy contact group members Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine will discuss renewed conflict in Donbass on the sidelines of the conference.
Lavrov will also hold several bilateral meetings. On Friday, he met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. The US dominated alliance maintains adversarial relations with Russia.
Bilateral cooperation was suspended over Ukraine. Hostile policy toward Russia remains in place. Trump so far hasn’t changed things – other than express lip service intentions.
In February 2007, Vladimir Putin delivered a memorable straight talk address at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy.
“(S)ecurity for one is security for all,” he said, quoting Franklin Roosevelt at the onset of WW II, saying “(w)hen peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.”
Cold War thinking remains, he explained – at the same time denouncing unipolarity, saying “it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making.”
It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.
And this certainly has nothing in common with democracy. Because, as you know, democracy is the power of the majority in light of the interests and opinions of the minority.
…Russia – we – are are constantly being taught about democracy. But for some reason those who teach us do not want to learn themselves. I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world.
He said Washington turned the OSCE “into a vulgar instrument of ensuring the foreign policy interests of one country.”
Powerful words not going down well in Washington or other Western capitals. Putin called unipolarity flawed, unacceptable in today’s world, creating global human tragedies and tensions.
Endless wars rage. “Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of (military) force,” a world of permanent conflicts, making political settlements difficult to impossible.
Fundamental principles of international law are violated, Putin explained, naming America as the world’s leading offender, leaving humanity unsafe.
Putin stressed the urgency to step back from the brink, reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles, wage peace, not war.
He stressed the importance of multi-world polarity, warned against the militarization of space. He called NATO expansion “a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust.”
“(A)gainst whom is this expansion intended,” he asked? Russia seeks cooperative relations with all other countries, “a fair and democratic world order that would ensure security and prosperity not only for a select few, but for all,” he concluded.
Since he spoke, Washington raped and destroyed Libya, Syria and Yemen. It continued endless aggression in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia, along with partnering with three Israeli wars on Gaza and aiding Kiev putschists wage war on Donbass.
The world is less safe today than when he spoke. His warnings went unheeded. Bilateral relations with America are as fraught with dangers as at any time during the Cold War era.
The risk of nuclear war by design or accident remains real.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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