Berlin, Germany (Welttexpress). At the summit meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Rio de Janeiro, several statements by Sergei Lavrov sent shivers down the spines of many listeners. According to the Russian Foreign Minister, the world is currently experiencing the almost complete destruction of the foundations of the system for containing the risks of a nuclear conflict.

On the sidelines of the meeting in Rio de Janeiro on 21 and 22 February 2024, Lavrov explained that the barriers against an accidental slide into nuclear war, negotiated by mutual agreement between the USSR and the United States during the Cold War and so carefully constructed, are currently being dismantled by the irrational actions of the West. In other words, everything that was feared on both sides of the systemic conflict during the worst days of the Cold War is happening.

All the carefully constructed obstacles to preventing nuclear war in the form of arms limitation treaties such as ceilings on intercontinental ballistic missiles and on the number and effectiveness of nuclear warheads, and later in the form of agreements to dismantle nuclear weapons and delivery systems, as well as the associated treaties on confidence-building measures, armed forces transparency and mutual verification of compliance with the agreements – all of this has been unilaterally and systematically dismantled step by step by the USA since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, and has been consigned to the dustbin.

In the preceding 50 years of the Cold War, amidst an equilibrium of terror and total mutual annihilation, entire generations of diplomats from the USA and the USSR ultimately worked successfully to create a modicum of mutual security. This was not achieved with more or better weapons. Rather, the right path to the goal began with the search for mutual understanding and the willingness to see the situation from the opponent’s point of view, to recognise where the opponent’s red lines run and to understand and respect why this is so and not otherwise.

It was also important for both sides to realise that if progress is to be made in creating a security system that is acceptable to both sides, the red lines or the opponent’s greatest concerns must be taken into account. To put it in a nutshell, my security must not be achieved by making the other side more insecure, as this would only lead to a new arms race and even more insecurity. Rather, the aim at the time was to create a framework in which my security is also the security of the enemy. If you achieve this, then opponents can also become security partners.

Recognising the opponent as an equal negotiating partner is essential for successful peace work against the backdrop of the possibility of total nuclear annihilation on both sides! Next comes the mutual willingness to show understanding for the situation of the opponent, for its history and culture, for its economic and political problems and, wherever possible, to identify areas of common interest and co-operation. From the mid-1980s, diplomats and politicians from both sides co-operated successfully in all of this within the framework of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), thus preventing the world from turning the Cold War between the superpowers into a hot one and instead bringing it to an end.

Today, 33 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, there is nothing left of these peace policy measures, treaties and agreements. One agreement after another has been kicked into the dustbin by a new, neo-conservative warrior caste in Washington. The US exceptionalists, as representatives of the only remaining superpower around the globe, openly demonstrated their military dominance in an attempt to underpin their hegemonic claims.

But today, thousands of nuclear warheads and associated intercontinental delivery systems still exist on both the US and Russian sides. But the barriers to their accidental deployment, the treaties and agreements, the mutual reviews and everything else that was supposed to prevent an unplanned nuclear war during the Cold War no longer exist. And the forum in which mutual understanding and confidence-building measures were institutionalised, the CSCE, has unfortunately degenerated into a cheap propaganda tool of the US/NATO and EU against Russia.

In this situation, large-scale US/NATO manoeuvres have begun near the Russian border. They are fuelling an already tense situation due to the war in Ukraine. At the same time, the USA has recently held exercises for the first use of nuclear weapons and swung its nuclear truncheon in all directions of the world. Against this backdrop, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov lamented in talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rio de Janeiro how Washington is trying to incite its allies in Western Europe against Russia under the fictitious pretext of an aggression allegedly planned by Russia against NATO’s eastern border. It is “not hard to guess what this could lead to”, said Lavrov.

Originally, the format of the G20 meetings was not created to discuss global problems, but as an opportunity for closer contact between Western countries and the Global South. Representatives of China expressed the hope that no geopolitical issues would be raised during the meetings, but on the contrary, the summit would contribute to strengthening solidarity and cooperation between the participants and make a positive contribution to global economic growth and development.

However, the host of the meeting, Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira, said that the summit’s agenda was dedicated to global security issues as well as issues of reform of international organisations that have shown their inefficiency and inability to solve the problem for which they were once created. This list includes the UN, the IMF and the World Bank – these institutions have adapted to their Western masters and have become their moneybags. Lavrov recalled, for example, that the IMF had transferred a total of 15.7 billion dollars to Kiev in 2023 as part of the financing programme for Ukraine approved by the G7. This significantly exceeded the IMF’s total six-month lending volume to the rest of the world.

In addition to warning of nuclear threats facing the world, Lavrov also pointed out that Western countries have received the news of Putin’s interview with American journalist Tucker Carlson with seething anger because the truth, so carefully hidden by the Western mainstream media, has finally come out for millions of people to hear.

He explained that the West was pushing its infamous “rules” instead of international law. “Such a policy is based on neo-colonialism, the desire for dominance in the political, economic and humanitarian spheres under the guise of beautiful phrases,” Lavrov said. At the instigation of the West, the foundations of international dialogue and international communication are being undermined.

At the same time, the West is looking for criminal ways to confiscate the state assets and private property of other countries, while US companies are buying up farmland in Ukraine on a grand scale. At the same time, the Ukrainians themselves are being used by President Vladimir Zelensky as “consumables” (cannon fodder).

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