Munich, Feb 13 (AFP) Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev today said that strains between Russia and the West have plunged the world into a “new Cold War”.
With tensions high over the lingering Ukraine conflict and Russia’s backing of the Syrian regime, Medvedev said: “All that’s left is an unfriendly policy of NATO against Russia”.
“We can say it even more clearly: We have slid into a new period of Cold War,” he said, speaking at the Munich Security Conference.
“Almost every day we are accused of making new horrible threats either against NATO as a whole, against Europe or against the US or other countries.”
Medvedev criticised the expansion of NATO and EU influence deep into formerly Soviet-ruled eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War.
“European politicians thought that creating a so-called belt of friends at Europe’s side, on the outskirts of the EU, could be a guarantee of security, and what’s the result?” he said. “Not a belt of friends but a belt of exclusion.”
He added that “creating trust is hard … but we have to start. Our positions differ, but they do not differ as much as 40 years ago when a wall was standing in Europe.”
He urged better East-West dialogue, citing the “shining example” of the historic meeting of Pope Francis and Russian Patriarch Kirill in Cuba.
Medvedev added that “in the 1960s we were on the brink of nuclear apocalypse, but the two enemy sides understood that no conflict of political systems was worth the lives of people.”
NATO general secretary Jens Stoltenberg had earlier addressed the forum on the subject of tensions with Russia, vowing a firm stance while also offering dialogue.
“We have seen a more assertive Russia, a Russia which is destabilising the European security order,” he said.
“NATO does not seek confrontation and we don’t want a new Cold War. At the same time our response has to be firm.”
NATO was now “undertaking the biggest reinforcement to our collective defence in decades, to send a powerful signal to deter any aggression or intimidation. Not to wage war, but to prevent war.”
Stoltenberg charged that “Russia’s rhetoric, posture and exercises of its nuclear forces are aimed at intimidating its neighbours, undermining trust and stability in Europe.”
He stressed that “for NATO, the circumstances in which any use of nuclear weapons might have to be contemplated are extremely remote” and cautioned that “no-one should think that nuclear weapons can be used as part of conventional conflict”.
The NATO chief said that “some are concerned that we are sleepwalking toward escalation with Russia… I understand those concerns but I do not share them.”
He urged a “more constructive and more cooperative relationship with Russia… I strongly believe that the answer lies with both more defence and more dialogue.
New Delhi, Nov 4 2015 Future conflicts will require a more integrated multi-state and multi-agency approach as the security of a nation is no longer confined to preserving territorial integrity but encompasses economic, energy and food security, President Pranab Mukherjee said today.
Security areas like economic, energy, food, health, environmental and several other dimensions are important for security of a nation, he said while addressing members of 55th batch of National Defence College.
The members of the team of the course comprise members from all the three armed forces, IAS, IPS and officials from friendly nations.
Recalling the words of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, while inaugurating the NDC in 1960, the President said, “defence is not an isolated subject. It is intimately connected with the economic, industrial and many other aspects in the country and is all encompassing”.
“Intensive research and quality analysis in all fields and disciplines is thus a pre-requisite which calls for a holistic approach to studies across a vast spectrum of disciplines,” he said.
He said the role of the armed forces has expanded far beyond traditional military matters with the revolutions in military affairs and globalisation.
“It is clear that future conflicts in the complex defence and security environment will require a more integrated multi-state and multi-agency approach,” Mukherjee said.
“There must be a conscious effort to strengthen the underlying linkages and not divide them into watertight compartments. Adopting such an approach will yield rich dividends. At the same time, one must not lose sight of the larger picture and keep the primary objective always in focus,” he said.
Mukherjee, who has earlier served as Minister for Defence and External Affairs, said the global environment today poses numerous challenges to the world because of its dynamic nature.
“The astonishing pace at which events have unfolded in the recent past could not have been foreseen a decade earlier,” he said.
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