Tag Archives: RELATIONS

Why did Britain decide to increase the number of nuclear warheads?

This March was marked by a global nuclear scandal.

Britain, known for its reputation as the quietest nuclear state, seems to have decided to change its approach. In the year when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force and the month of the NPT Review Conference was already set, London suddenly took the initiative to increase its nuclear arsenal.

The Joint Review on Security, Defense, and Foreign Policy officially stated its intention to increase the number of nuclear warheads to 260.

Despite the fact that even with such a 40% increase, the UK still remains at the end of the list of nuclear states in terms of the number of warheads, the trend looks shocking.

In the thirty years since the end of the Cold War, London has consistently followed the path of reducing its nuclear arsenal.

And if in the early 1990s the UK had an arsenal of 500 nuclear warheads, then by 2010 it decided to reduce it to 225, and in the 2020s-to 180 units.

All the more unexpected was the statement about the breaking of such a trend.

This step in the Review is explained by the “changed strategic situation”, which is largely justified by the policy of the Russian Federation. Along with “balancing on the brink of war”, the document lists “political interference, murder, and poisoning, propaganda, and disinformation”, which have long been the tools of Moscow.

London’s decision to build up its nuclear capabilities violates the NPT. This refers to article 6, according to which the nuclear-weapon States “undertake in good faith to negotiate an end to the arms race and… nuclear disarmament”.

In this context, London’s statement that it is committed to continuing on the path of nuclear disarmament and promoting the implementation of the JNR sounds almost mocking.

However, even with the planned build-up of nuclear forces, their modernization, and increased opacity of information about deployed warheads, the UK remains the smallest nuclear state of the official ones, reducing the future gap with France by only 40 warheads.

It seems that Paris is not at all concerned about such a step, because given the current level of defense partnership between the states, the growth of British nuclear power will only free France from unnecessary responsibility for European affairs.

French expert Bruno Tertre defiantly declares that “ now the UK resembles us… An unrepentant and shameless nuclear state that did not hesitate to trumpet an increase in its nuclear arsenal only a few weeks after the entry into force of the NPT.”

In general, France welcomes the situation when the Allies take on greater responsibility.

By the way, the Review recalls that the United Kingdom is one of the two nuclear states (along with the United States) responsible for the security of NATO, which, given the growing strategic challenges associated with the development of new weapons systems, requires greater nuclear capabilities.

Moreover, London declares not only the build-up of nuclear forces, but also the development of the entire range of technical means: cyber, precision weapons, and fifth-generation strike aircraft…

Is this a consequence of Brexit, a bid for leadership in Europe, or just a desire to keep up with the rest of the nuclear five? Or the usual realpolitical-inevitable in the world after 2014, when our eastern neighbor demonstrated to the world the eternal law of the jungle: brute military force is still a key element of politics.

It seems that the British colleagues came to this conclusion after more than five years, but given their initially almost anti-nuclear liberal positions, this speaks volumes.

Probably, even as a certain trend in international relations, which cannot be reversed either by agreements on the destruction of nuclear weapons or by other liberal initiatives.

Joe Biden to attend virtual EU Summit this week

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, invited US President Joe Biden to participate in the EU summit, which will be held on March 25-26 and will be held in an online format.

Michel wrote about this on Twitter.

“I invited the President of the United States to participate in our summit to share with us his vision of our future cooperation. It’s time to restore our transatlantic alliance!”, — wrote Michel.

On the eve of the summit, Michel also held a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He stated that there are differences on many issues and noted that relations with Russia can develop in a different direction only if there is steady progress on issues such as the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, an end to hybrid, and cyber-attacks on member states and respect for human rights.

At the summit on Thursday and Friday, EU leaders are due to discuss the pandemic, especially the problematic vaccination program, as well as a number of other topics, including a strategic discussion of policy towards Russia.

Borrell accused Russia of trying to head towards confrontation with the EU

EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell said Moscow is “more and more” moving away from Brussels.

“It is clear that Russia has embarked on a course of confrontation with the European Union,” the diplomat stressed.

According to him, the issue of relations with Russia remains on the agenda, it will be raised again at the European Council at the end of the week.

Among other things, Borrell recalled the “five principles” of interaction with Moscow, the relevance of which the foreign ministers of the EU countries confirmed at the last meeting.

In 2016, the EU adopted five principles on the basis of which all member states should build relations with Russia: full implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine, strengthening cooperation with the EU’s eastern partners, ensuring energy security in Europe, developing European-Russian cooperation on international issues representing interest for the EU, and support for civil society in Russia.

A European source in Brussels on the eve of the EU MFA Council meeting told reporters that the participants will prepare a strategic discussion on European-Russian relations, which will become one of the central topics of the EU summit on March 25-26.

In February, after his visit to Moscow, Borrell for the first time himself came up with an initiative for new anti-Russian sanctions over the case of Alexei Navalny.

EU calls on Turkey to refuse to withdraw from the Convention on the Protection of Women

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell has called on the Turkish authorities to abandon their decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women. A message about this appeared on the website of the EU External Relations Service.

According to him, Istanbul’s actions caused misunderstanding in Brussels, as the convention was “a fundamental element of human rights, peace, security and equality in the 21st century” and was intended to protect the inviolability of women from outside encroachments.

The diplomat also expressed hope that Turkey will reconsider its decision in the future and evaluate the actions of the world community to combat domestic violence.

Turkey withdrew its signature under the relevant document on March 20, while the country’s leadership promised to fight for women’s rights in accordance with “their traditional values.”

The Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence was adopted in 2011. The document defines psychological, physical, and sexual violence, forced abortion, marriage, and sterilization as criminal offenses. It was signed by 47 states, but only 33 ratified.

The Vatican rocked by another sex scandal

In the Vatican, a serious scandal broke out related to sexual violence against students of the proseminar, in which priests are accused. On Wednesday, a young Italian man appeared before a tribunal in the Vatican, who revealed shocking evidence of rape, sexual harassment, and use by a Catholic pedophile.

All this took place in an educational institution located in the heart of the capital of the Catholic Church — in the proseminar named after St. Nicholas. Pius X, who trains boys as priests of the Catholic Church in the course of his studies. It was another day of the trial that had been going on since October last year against two Italian priests in connection with their sexual use of pupils in the proseminar, located right on the territory of the Apostolic capital.

The first defendant is 28 — year-old Gabriele Martinelli, who is charged with sexual abuse of a young student, as well as the use of force and threats against him.

These crimes occurred in 2007-2012 when the current priest was the senior coordinator of the activity of the inhabitants of the educational institution and had not yet been ordained. He became a priest in 2017 in the town of Como. Both the criminal and his victim were minors at the time of committing the disgusting acts.

The other accused is the 71 — year-old former rector of the proseminar, Priest Ernesto Radice, who is accused of covering up these acts. He was rector for 12 years.

This is the first trial initiated on charges of sexual crimes on the territory of the Vatican. Therefore, it is clear that it has a huge resonance far beyond its walls.

As we have already written, the students of this church school for future priests not only sit in class but also participate in the liturgical rites in St. Peter’s Cathedral as acolytes, some sing in the boys ‘ choir of the Sistine Chapel during papal services. Many children from devout Catholic families dream of getting there to study for the priesthood.

A key role in the publication of the scandalous case was played by a young Pole, Kamil Ya., who lived in a boarding school for high school students when he was 15 years old, but then he was removed from there. It was he who witnessed the rapes, which he informed the management of the educational institution.

However, they did not believe him at first. He was forced to tell the author of the book, later published in Italy, and also on the air of the RAI television program in 2017. It was these publications that led to a large-scale scandal and the beginning of the investigation in the Vatican.

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The Pole must give new testimony to representatives of the Catholic Themis on March 26.

And on Wednesday, a 30-year-old man, the victim of Priest Martinelli, testified before the tribunal for three hours. He spent six years in the proseminar, which he described as a series of rapes and sexual relations under the coercion of a “guardian” in the room where he lived with his peers, as well as in other areas of the building.

“It was a shock, I felt paralyzed,” a man who had been at the school since 2006 told the Vatican tribunal. “My roommates were either asleep or pretending to be. No one stood up and asked, “What are you doing? “the young Italian admitted.

He said that he told the rector that he was a victim of rape, and in response, he heard threats against him. When the unfortunate young man left the Vatican, he wrote letters to the bishops to whom the proseminar is subordinate but received no response. According to him, the hierarchs ignored the accusations thrown at him and silenced them.

A letter he wrote to Pope Francis in 2017, which was supposed to be handed over, was destroyed. It did not reach the pontiff. Nevertheless, the bitter truth could not be hidden. In addition, Pope Francis has set a course to eradicate this evil in the bosom of the Catholic Church.

Sexual scandals and allegations of pedophilia have flared up outside the Vatican in recent years. However, what happened and has now come to the surface is not only striking in its cynicism but also speaks of the confidence of the people involved in sexual crimes, who bear the rank of holy fathers, in their impunity.

But there is ancient wisdom written in the biblical texts: everything secret becomes clear. This means that the punishment will not pass the criminals.