Anförande av Olof Palme den 21 oktober 1985 med anledning av högtidighållande av FN:s 40 års jubileum,

[…] Förenta nationerna är samtida med atombomben. I förti år har det varit vårt gemensamma öde att leva under kärnvapenhotet, med  risk för total förintelse av civiliserat liv på jorden.

Det finns ingen mer brådskande uppgift än att försöka minska, och i sista hand undanröja, denna risk.

Förhandlingar har givit vissa konkreta resultat. Men på det hela taget fortsätter kärnvapenrustningen ohejdad. Huvudansvaret för  att stoppa och vända denna olycksbådande process ligger hos kärnvapenmakterna själva. […]

Vi bör överväga  möjligheten att i folkrätten förbjuda användning av kärnvapen som en del i en process som leder till allmän och fullständig nedrustning. Läs talet

As Sweden gets ready for NATO, will its approach to nuclear weapons change?

Jens Petersson, Senior advisor on peace and disarmament issues at the United Nations Association of Sweden

With Sweden and Finland on a fast track to become members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the consequences for Sweden’s traditional stance on disarmament issues are now becoming more obvious. Many voices asked for a debate on these issues before Sweden applied for membership, but it is not until now that signs of such public discussion have been broadly seen. Sweden’s new alignment raises several questions also on the international level.

In a letter of intent dated July 5, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde wrote to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that “Sweden accepts NATO’s approach to security and defense, including the essential role of nuclear weapons, intends to participate fully in NATO’s military structure and collective defence planning processes and is willing to commit forces and capabilities for the full range of Alliance missions.” […]

Swedish disarmament proponents have harshly criticized this new step. The Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society, the Swedish Physicians against Nuclear Weapons, and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, headed by Swedish-born Beatrice Fihn, made a joint statement on July 12, when the Swedish letter of intent was made public by Swedish Television (SVT). “Sweden is … willing to offer capacity to the ‘full range of the alliance missions.’ This includes use of nuclear weapons, which would be a violation of international law,” the three organizations wrote and then continued: “In addition, Sweden is opening up to accept and receive nuclear weapons on Swedish territory. We cannot interpret it in any other way.”

There is an alternate interpretation of the letter of intent, however: Sweden is still likely to adopt policies similar to those of Norway and Denmark, which feature declarations on not allowing the stationing of nuclear weapons on the countries’ territories (at least not in times of peace). Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson made such a promise in parliament on May 16, echoing a decision by the Social Democratic Party the day before. […]

Following Swedish public television’s disclosure of the letter of intent sent to NATO, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to SVT via email.

“As long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance,” the ministry wrote, echoing well known NATO language, and continued: “NATO members are covered by the organization’s nuclear doctrine, where nuclear weapons are the last and ultimate part of the Alliance’s deterrence capability. … NATO is a defense alliance. A membership in NATO does not mean that Sweden must place nuclear weapons on its territory.” Läs artikel

Neutralism returns – and gets more powerful,

Stephen Kinzler, journalist , academic

Make way for the Abstainers. It’s the new band in town, though they play geopolitics, not music.

When the United Nations voted to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 35 countries, representing half the world’s population, abstained. Soon afterward the UN passed an American-backed resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. Fifty-eight countries abstained.

War in Ukraine has galvanized the US-led NATO. It has also, however, led a growing number of countries to conclude that they have no stake in a European conflict or a confrontation with Russia. President Biden summons them to “the battle between democracy and autocracy,” but they remain noncombatants. When pressed to support NATO’s campaign against Russia, they reply, like Bartleby the Scrivener, “I would prefer not to.” […]

Even some countries whose support we have usually had in the past, like Israel, Mexico, and Indonesia, have refused to join us in sanctioning Russia. So have almost all African and Latin American countries. The Ukraine war has made them more skeptical of the United States and more reluctant to support American positions in the world.

Many countries recoil from us-versus-them confrontations like the one Biden is now promoting. They prefer to resolve disputes through compromise and to maintain good ties even with countries they fear or dislike. Besides, Biden’s insistence that he is leading a global war against autocracy is hard to take seriously as he kowtows to Saudi Arabia, where dissent is punished by beheading or dismemberment. Läs artikel

Ukraine Needs Solutions, Not Endless War,

Steven Simon, senior analyst at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft,

Ukrainian forces’ impressive military performance has reinforced the view that an outright victory against Russia is possible. But an unqualified Ukrainian win that dislodges the Russian forces from eastern Ukraine is increasingly improbable. Grinding attrition that makes dangerous escalation a tantalizing option for both countries is more likely. Accordingly, a ceasefire and separation of forces should be a priority for the United States and its allies. The United States has the tools and experience to make it happen. […]

Neither side can fulfill its maximal war aims: Russia cannot conquer all of Ukraine and Ukraine cannot comprehensively eject Russian forces. Each side also needs minimal assurances. Ukraine needs guarantees that Russia won’t keep trying to wipe it from the map while Russia won’t permit NATO to deploy along its border. These are not unreasonable requirements. Ukraine is an internationally recognized sovereign country. Notwithstanding the disingenuously false pretexts Russian president Vladimir Putin has offered, it is Ukraine’s tilt towards the West that has driven his war, which implicates genuine Russian interests. Both countries require security guarantees.

There is also a widespread assumption that because the opposing leaders (especially Putin) are disinclined to negotiate, talks will emerge only from the war of attrition now underway when both combatants are exhausted. This view does not offer a stable interim solution to a profound geopolitical feud. Both sides have serious concerns that could lead to a sharp and swift escalation. Läs artikel

Turkey again requests legal assistance against Tampere man that insulted Erdoğan,

Turkey is again trying to hold a dual citizen of Turkey and Finland residing in Tampere responsible for insulting its president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The latest request for mutual legal assistance arrived at the Finnish Ministry of Justice shortly after Erdoğan began publicly setting out the conditions for his country to support Finland’s membership of Nato. Turkey has previously requested the extradition of the Tampere man once before, but the Ministry of Justice denied the request in 2021. The request for mutual legal assistance is dated 23 May in Turkey.

The man is accused by Turkey of posting derogatory pictures of the President and derogatory comments about him on Facebook, according to the prosecutor. The man from Tampere has repeatedly denied the crime. Läs artikel

Ryssland stoppar gas till Lettland,

Enligt företagets uttalande på meddelandetjänsten Telegram handlar det om att Lettland ska ha brutit mot avtalet.
”I dag har Gazprom stoppat gasleveranserna till Lettland på grund av brott mot villkoren”, skriver företaget.
Beskedet kommer enligt Reuters dagen efter att det lettiska energiföretaget Latvijas Gaze klargjort att man vill betala för gas i euro, snarare än i rubel, vilket Ryssland krävt. De säger sig dock köpa gasen från ett annat ryskt företag än statliga Gazprom. […]
Ryssland har redan tidigare stoppat alla gasleveranser till Polen, Bulgarien, Finland, Nederländerna och Danmark, som alla har vägrat att betala för gasen i ryska rubel på ett speciell ryskt konto, vilket president Putin krävt. Läs artikel

New Deal to Resume Grain Exports through Ukrainian Ports ‘Beacon of Hope’ for Easing Global Food Crisis, United Nations Political Affairs Chief Tells Security Council,

[…] India’s representative similarly underscored the importance of equity, affordability and accessibility when it comes to food grains, stressing that “open markets must not become an argument to perpetuate inequity.”

Also speaking today were representatives of the United Arab Emirates, France, China, Ghana, Norway, Mexico, Ireland, Gabon, Brazil, Slovakia, Germany, Poland, Italy and Romania, as well as a representative of the European Union, speaking in observer capacity. […]

Ronaldo Costa Filho  (Brazil) Council President for July, spoke in his national capacity to reiterate the call for the parties to act with restraint and prevent further civilian casualties as a side effect of the hostilities.  The agreement announced last Friday brought with it the hope that political solutions can be achieved and negotiations between the parties resulted in a concrete response to an urgent problem.  The two agreements in Istanbul paved the way for the resumption of exports of grains and fertilizers and the reintegration of the two countries to international markets.  However, he echoed the disappointment expressed by other Council members over its inability to reach consensus on a presidential or press statement.  Nonetheless, he welcomed the parties’ active engagement in the negotiations and urged both sides to avoid actions that could jeopardize the implementation of the agreements.  Although the last few months seem to have downplayed the role of diplomacy in dealing with the crisis, “it is precisely in the face of the greatest challenges that we must remain committed to the spirit of the United Nations and devote all our efforts to achieving lasting peace,” he stressed, adding:  “Let us not be carried away by the impulse to close the doors to dialogue.”  The Istanbul accords point to a viable path.  The Council’s priority must be the immediate resumption of direct negotiations between the parties to end hostilities. Läs protokollet

The U.S. is welcoming Finland and Sweden to NATO. That’s a mistake,

Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis, U.S. Army, retired

[…] While enlarging NATO might seem like a wise thing to do in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it doesn’t take much sober analysis to conclude that adding yet more NATO members is likely to have the opposite effect of what the secretary general hopes.

Instead of lowering the chances of war, the membership of Finland and Sweden would increase the risk of future conflict for the entire alliance; adding two more triggers for Article 5 — the provision in the NATO charter that stipulates that an attack on one is an attack on all — would add to the risk of war for the entire alliance. That would be an unwise course in any case, but it’s particularly ill-advised given that it would make Finland and Sweden more vulnerable, as well.

Russia poses no realistic threat to Sweden or Finland. Since World War II, Russia hasn’t exhibited the slightest interest in territorial acquisition in either country, and in fact, Finland and Russia were on friendly terms during the Cold War. In contrast, Russia was consistently and emphatically clear for 15 years that it regarded any NATO expansion along its border in either Ukraine or Georgia as an existential threat that it would use force to prevent — and in fact has done so twice (Georgia 2008 and Ukraine 2014). Thus Georgia and Ukraine had reason to fear a Russian attack. Finland and Sweden don’t. […]

If the two became NATO members and the alliance went to war with Russia in the future, both countries would be thrust almost immediately into an armed conflict whether they wanted to be or not — and even if their national interests weren’t otherwise threatened. Given their status as NATO members, the Kremlin would almost certainly attack airfields and ports in both countries to prevent other allies from using their facilities to stage attacks against Russia. Läs artikel

Sergej Lavrovs Afrikabesök ett ”diplomatiskt smart drag”,

Sergej Lavrov har inte stormat ut från några möten under sin resa i Afrika. I stället har han fikat, planterat träd, och lovat samarbete. Den ryske utrikesministern anses spela det diplomatiska spelet smartare än många ledare i väst – i alla fall på kort sikt.

– Vi tror inte på att vara fiender … sa Ugandas president Yoweri Museveni under en presskonferens utanför hans residens i tisdags tillsammans med Rysslands utrikesminister Sergej Lavrov, innan han pausade med fingret i luften.
Ett ögonblink, två. Löven rass­lade. Sedan fortsatte fingret sin bana.
– … med andras fiender, nej. Vi vill välja våra egna fiender.
Det var ett klassiskt budskap från den 77-årige ledaren. Han tänker inte bryta kontakten med Ryssland bara för att de har startat ett krig, och för att det passar EU. Under trettiosex år vid makten har Museveni lärt sig att manövrera stormakter för egen vinning. Läs artikel

Blinken says he had ’frank’ discussion with Russian foreign minister in first call since Ukraine war began,

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Friday for the first time since Moscow launched its war in Ukraine in late February.

In what the top US diplomat described as ”a frank and direct conversation,” Blinken said he ”pressed the Kremlin to accept the substantial proposal that we put forth on the release of Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner.”
That proposal, which has been on the table since June, includes an offer to swap convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, CNN reported earlier this week. Läs artikel
Speaking at a press conference at the State Department, Blinken declined to say whether he thought Russians were more or less likely move on the proposal following the conversation, nor would he describe how Lavrov responded.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that Lavrov ”strongly suggested” to Blinken that the United States should return to a mode of ”quiet diplomacy” regarding a possible prisoner exchange ”without speculative information stuffing.”

War games in boreal forest spotlights changing security architecture of the North,

Vladimir Putin said he wanted a stop to the expansion of NATO, but with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one can now witness a stronger military cohesion between U.S. and European allies. So also in the North where the traditionally non-aligned countries Sweden and Finland are inviting for increased international exercise volume with key partners in the transition period to membership this summer and autumn.

Ryske (Finnish for “crash through”) is the largest army exercise north of the Arctic Circle. It takes place deep in the boreal forest between Sodankylä and Kemijärvi, some 90 km from the Russian border. Alakurtti, home to one of Russia’s two Arctic brigades, is about 145 km east of the training ground where U.S., Finnish and Norwegian troopers now are exercising. […]

“We train with key partner nations in order to build technical and procedural interoperability,” said Commander of the Guard Jaeger Regiment, Colonel Jukka Kotilehto.

“The objective is to enhance U.S. and Finnish land units’ capabilities to operate in Arctic environment,” he added. Läs artikel

NATO members Turkey, Hungary call for Ukraine ceasefire talks,

Turkey and Hungary, NATO’s most Russia-friendly members, called for ceasefire talks to end the war in Ukraine.

Turkish Foreign Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban made the appeals in statements to the press on Thursday.   Çavuşoğlu, speaking in Turkey’s capital Ankara, said a deal this month to export Ukrainian grain could help establish trust between Russia and Ukraine, providing a foundation for peace talks.

”Now it’s time to focus on a cease-fire,” Çavuşoğlu said at a news conference with Georgian Foreign Minister lia Darchiashvili, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency. “As Türkiye, we will continue our efforts to make parties return to the diplomacy table as soon as possible.”

Orban, who has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin 13 times over the years, said the European Union needed to focus on peace talks rather than winning the war. Läs artikel