Moscow Security Conference—A Very Dangerous World
April 26, 2017 (EIRNS)—The VI Moscow Security Conference, which runs through April 27, began this morning with opening remarks delivered by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and a welcome message read to the conference from President Putin. The many speakers presented a stark picture of the crisis situation facing mankind.
According to the Defense Ministry, more than 750 guests are in attendance, including Defense Ministers, delegations of military departments, experts from 86 countries, as well as leadership of the UN, OSCE, SCO, CIS, CSTO, and ICRC.
In his opening remarks, Shoigu said that while terrorism is widely discussed, coordination in fighting terrorism has not been established, and decisions necessary to eradicate it have not been made. Because of this, he said, refugee flows are increasing, and insurgents flow with them, pointing to terrorist incidents across Europe. He pointed to the absence of results in stabilization of Libya, where national statehood has been destroyed by collective efforts of the West.
On Syria, Shoigu said:
"We consider the missile attack to be a blatant violation of international law. Besides, Washington’s move posed a life-threatening danger to our military servicemen who have been combating terrorism in Syria. In light of such actions, we have to take additional measures to ensure the security of our forces,"
he said. Even so, Shoigu went on, if the U.S. is serious about eliminating ISIS, "We are ready to support its efforts," adding that it is "only possible to destroy the IS in Syria through joint actions by all interested countries."
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov added that the strike "exacerbates the current problems and postpones the prospects of setting up a broad anti-terrorism front," comparing the current situation with the false intelligence in 2003 regarding Iraq, which led to the country’s destruction and the emergence of ISIS, adding that there are now "similar incautious steps."
The Russians repeated their demand for a full investigation of the chemical weapons charges in Syria.
Lavrov also warned that the deployment of the US/NATO missile defense systems may actually be lowering the threshold for nuclear war:
"The anti-missile umbrella may increase the illusion of invulnerability and impunity, and lead to the temptation of taking unilateral steps in the resolution of global and regional problems, including the reduction of threshold of nuclear weapons use."
On Ukraine, Lavrov said:
"Unfortunately, it is the party of war that prevails in Kiev: armed provocations are continuing on the contact line, which is proved by the reports of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. The blockade of Donbass causes damage not only on this region, but also to entire Ukraine."
On Korea, Lavrov said,
"We share the global community’s consolidated position on North Korea’s policy; however, there is no doubt that plans to use military force, which are starting to be voiced, are fraught with disastrous consequences for the Korean Peninsula and the entire Northeast Asia."