Tag Archives: Cold War

NATO-Russia: dual track approach

Brussels 14.06.2021 “…Today I really look forward to welcoming all the NATO Leaders to our summit. We meet at a pivotal moment for our Alliance. And today we will open a new chapter in our transatlantic relations.
The Leaders will discuss a wide range of issues, among them Russia” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said ahead of the Summit.

“Our relationship with Russia is at its lowest point since the end of the Cold War. This is due to Russia’s aggressive actions. I am confident that the NATO Leaders will confirm our dual track approach to Russia: strong defence combined with dialogue. I’m sure that the NATO Leaders will welcome the opportunity to consult with President Biden ahead of his meeting with President Putin”.

https://twitter.com/jensstoltenberg/status/1404346633249247235?s=20 .

“We will also address China. There are of course opportunities and we need to engage with China on issues like climate change, arms control.But China’s military build-up, growing influence and coercive behaviour also poses some challenges to our security. We need to address them together as an Alliance.

“On this background, NATO Leaders will today agree an ambitious forward-looking agenda, the NATO 2030 agenda.
This is about how to reinforce our collective defence, how to strengthen our resilience, and sharpen our technological edge. And for the first time in NATO’s history, also make climate and security an important task for our Alliance. To do all of this, we need to resource our higher level of ambition.Therefore we need to invest more. I welcome that we are on a good track. We now have seven consecutive years of increased defence spending across European Allies and Canada. And these Allies have added in total 260 billion extra US dollars for defence.

“I am also confident that NATO Leaders will agree to invest more together, to meet our higher level of ambition. This is a force-multiplier and it demonstrates the unity of our Alliance.
So all together I’m absolutely certain that the decisions we will make today, they will send a strong message of unity, of resolve and that we are making NATO stronger in an age of global competition”.

Berlin Wall fragments sales at BRAFA

The 65th edition of BRAFA art fair, which will take place from 26 January until 2 February 2020 in Brussels, Belgium, will be celebrated in a highly original manner with the exclusive exhibition and sale of five segments of the Berlin Wall.

The proceeds from the sale will be split among five beneficiaries (associations and museums) in the areas of cancer research, the social integration of people with disabilities and the preservation of art heritage. This initiative is only possible due to BRAFA’s nonprofit status which it has retained for 65 years and allows for greater investment in the arts and support of other non- profit organisations.

BRAFA’s visitors have come to expect a different guest of honour every year. These have included international museums, foundations and artists, who have all added their own unique touch to the event. In 2020, the art fair is choosing an innovative approach, launching an unusual initiative on the occasion of the 65th BRAFA in the form of a charity sale of original segments of the Berlin Wall.

These segments were already acquired in 2018, in anticipation of the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 2019. They were taken from the Hinterlandmauer, or the 68-km ‘inner wall’ that blocked off the border strip to East Berlin. The segments were dismantled by the armed forces of the former German Democratic Republic, or East Germany, during the demolition works following the Fall of the Berlin Wall. They were subsequently acquired and re-used by a public works company that is based in a Berlin suburb. The segments, which are 3.8 m tall and 1.2 m wide, weighing 3.6 tons each, feature graffiti on both sides by anonymous street artists from different periods.

Macron diagnoses NATO clinically dead

French Emmanuel Macron’s pessimistic diagnosis of NATO “brain dead” has caused the shock waves among Europeans, but apparently that’s a risk the French president is prepared to take, launching alam over non-compliance of some of the Alliance members with democratic standards, namely Turkey belligerent actions. (Image: archive).


In an interview with The Economist magazine, Macron also warned Europeans could no longer rely on the United States to defend its allies and they needed to take security into their own hands. 

Although French President has long urged Europe to think of itself as an autonomous “sovereign power”, his verdict on the archaic 70-year old Alliance, conceived father the WWII in a totally different political context, Germany’s Angela Merkel assessed as too “drastic”. 

Emmanuel Macron is convinced that the assessment is needed to wake up Europeans to engage in polemics ahead of NATO’s December 4 summit in London. 

The franc criticism of NATO came shortly after the grand national funeral to Jaque Chirac who stood against NATO invasion of Iraq. The admiration of French nation to late Chirac for his independent foreign policy, distancing V Republic from American military adventures, known as “wars for oil’ has certainly inspired President Macron to undertake Gaullist stance against the U.S. military might.


The Kremlin was among the enthusiastic observer’s of Macron’s assessment of NATO state of affairs. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova described Macron’s verdict as “golden (precious) words” constituting the “precise definition of the current state of NATO.”

AUŠTREVIČIUS: Skripal case is Putin’s demonstration of power

Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS, MEP (ALDE, Lithuania) comments on double agent Sergei Skripal poisoning, and subsequent eviction of 23 Russian diplomats from London, announced by Prime Minister Theresa May, who called it “a reckless and despicable act”.

Skripal betrayed dozens of Russian agents to Britain before being arrested in Moscow and later jailed in 2006. He was freed under a spy swap deal in 2010 and took refuge in Britain.

ALDE group of European Parliament has been following Sripals case, Guy Verhofstadt called for a “common EU response”.

Skripal betrayed dozens of Russian agents to Britain, tracked, arrested and jailed in 2006. However was pardoned and released under a spy swap deal in 2010 and took refuge in the UK.

Russians were “too naive”…

Dr Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann OPINION

The philosopher Schopenhauer’s Three Stages of Truth:
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

Declassified cables examined by academics from Georges Washington University (https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2017-12-12/nato-expansion-what-gorbachev-heard-western-leaders-early) proves that Western leaders gave multiple assurances to Soviet Union that NATO should not enlarge to the East and this promise was made to also secure Soviet support for German unification. American and German (the most pro-enlargement) but also French and British Governments later have not kept the numerous promises they made to the Russian government, and pushed for NATO enlargement.

Vladimir Putin recently underlined that Russian officials were too naïve at that time since these assurances were not written clearly in treaties. The declassified documents prove that everything was done by the Western  political leaders a that time,  Bush, Gates, Baker, Kohl, Gensher, Woerner, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Major,  to make believe the Soviet government in these assurances. This latest research work reinforces the Russian interpretation and “Realists” academics, that the “West ” did not give a proper place to Russia in the new European security architecture, but tried to take advantage of the situation. The objective was to weaken further Russia, instead of bringing it into a “New Concert of Nations”, like Metternich and Talleyrand did with France after the Fall of Napoleon, in order to bring more stability to the European continent and overcome divisions.

We can bet this episode will be considered by future historians, as the biggest geopolitical mistake made by European politicians. But when you look at the Ukraine crisis and the alignment of most European governments on the Euro-Atlanticist priorities, in contradiction with their rational interest and those of the European nations they are in charge of, what is new ?

It is time for change and work for European strategic autonomy, in the form of cooperation between sovereign nations from “Brest to Vladivostok”, outside EU and NATO frameworks unless they can reform. However, these organizations were created during the Cold war, their paradigm are obsolete and face huge difficulties to reform properly since member states do not share the same European finalities. There are still many hurdles to overcome but this is the only reasonable project for the next decades and the only way to preserve the European civilization in the multipolar world.

Dr Pierre-Emmanuel Thomann –  Geopolitician – President of Eurocontinent


Amb.Grushko leaves Brussels for MFA Moscow

NATO underlines good professional relations with leaving for Moscow Alexander Grushko as Russia’s permanent representative to NATO and congratulates him on his appointment as the Russian deputy foreign minister.

Some experts consider Andrey Kelin as a probable candidate to replace Amb.Grushko. Kelin came to prominence while representing Russia in OSCE (2011-2015). However the others consider Kelin as far too sophisticated diplomat for the vacancy. The relations between Russia and the West has been at its lowest since Cold War times, and there is also a guess that the next ambassador candidacy will reflect the need to articulate Russian position in much more vigorous style, than of classical diplomacy language. The other possibility will be an appointment of one of prominent Russian nationalist politicians, as it was the case with Dmitry Rogozin, who preceded Amb.Grusko as an envoy to NATO. Rogozin’ style was characterised by a strong accent on public relations, and mediatisation of Russian foreign policy. Rogozin was also a pioneer of social networks use in diplomacy, especially active in Twitter microblog.


Strong NATO "good for US"

“We agree that NATO is a bedrock of security both for Europe and for the United States. Two World Wars and a Cold War have taught us all that peace in Europe is not only important for Europeans, but is also important for the prosperity and the security of North America,” – said Jens Stontenberg, NATO’s Secretary General in his addresse to US President Trump in the White House.

“So a strong NATO is good for Europe, but a strong NATO is also good for the United States.”

“And therefore I welcome the very strong commitment of the United States to the security of Europe.”


Stoltenberg to release NATO report 2016

Jens Stoltenberg

The Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg will hold a press conference at NATO Headquarters on Monday 13 March 2017 at 12:30. On this occasion, the Secretary General’s Annual Report for 2016 will be released to the public.

Among the major issue is the NATO-Russia relations, appearing at its lowest since Cold War times.