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New ELN Paper on ‘Avoiding War in Europe’

Aug. 26, 2015 (EIRNS)—The European Leadership Network, London, has issued another dramatic appeal calling for the immediate convocation of the NATO-Russia Council to discuss a set of measures that can stop the escalation of the heated situation in Europe. Measures urgently recommended are:

  1. Set out the principles and procedures for communication that should be observed during encounters between military vessels and aircraft;

  2. Require each side to give timely hazard warnings if military exercises and live weapons fire are to take place in a vicinity where military assets of the other side are operational;

  3. Commit each side to communicate in a timely fashion about the maneuvering intentions of military vessels and military aircraft.

Modelled on the U.S.-China agreement, this set of measures would also contain a list of actions to be avoided. These would include: Avoiding simulations of attacks by aiming guns, missiles, fire control radar, torpedo tubes or other weapons in the direction of military vessels and military aircraft encountered. And the agreement would:

  1. Agree on the radio frequencies to be used for communication, and the signals vocabulary to be used if spoken language difficulties between commanding officers or masters are encountered;

  2. Contain a provision for an annual assessment meeting, led by senior military officers, of any events relating to the application of the agreement in practice.

This agreement would provide a multilateral agreement that builds on and expands two existing agreements that apply to the United States and Russia. These are the Agreement on the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (1972), and the 1989 Agreement on Prevention of Dangerous Military Incidents. This would provide a concrete multilateral method to more effectively manage some of the threat risks which exist at present in Europe.

The new ELN appeal has been signed by: Malcolm Rifkind (former U.K. Foreign Secretary and former Defense Secretary); Des Browne (former U.K. Defense Secretary); Vyacheslav Trubnikov (Former Director, Russian Foreign Intelligence); Igor Ivanov (former Russian Foreign Minister); Adam Daniel Rotfeld (former Polish Foreign Minister); Paul Quiles (former French Defense Minister); Özdem Sanberk (former Turkish Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs); Volker RÂ∏he (former German Defense Minister); Alexei Gromyko (Deputy Director of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences); Tarja Cronberg (former Finnish MEP and former Director of the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute); Ana Palacio (former Spanish Foreign Minister); Igor Yurgens (Chairman of the Board of the Institute of Contemporary Development, Vice President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs); Tony Brenton (former British Ambassador to Russia); Hikmet Cetin (former Turkish Foreign Minister).