It’s time to stop the eastward expansion of NATO,

Ma Xiaolin, dean of and a senior professor of the Institute for Studies on the Mediterranean Rim at Zhejiang International Studies University

[…] But NATO’s expansion will also aggravate tensions and confrontations with Russia, because Sweden and Finland, thanks to their considerable military, economic, financial, diplomatic and soft power, will boost NATO’s strength in a nonlinear way and thus intensify the threat to Russia.

Also, the risk of a nuclear war in Europe is increasing. As soon as the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, Russia warned the Western powers against taking sides, reflecting its deep fear of the machinations of the Western powers and their war of attrition.

Besides, after Sweden and Finland join NATO, the length of the border between Russia and NATO will increase threefold, raising the threat to Russia’s national security and territorial integrity because the two countries, especially Finland, will increase their defense budgets.

No wonder Russia has refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons for strategic containment. As Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said, there could be no more talks of a ”nuclear free” Baltic if the two Nordic countries join NATO.

The Ukraine crisis is essentially a creation of the United States. After the Cold War, the US has used every excuse to expand NATO eastward. It has also prompted European Union leaders to do the same, with the aim of alienating China from the international community and weaken Russia. […]

The Ukraine crisis shows the US can be restrained only if countries ignore, or resist, its call to choose sides. Not only Russia’s traditional partners such as Iran, Venezuela, Belarus and Serbia have ignored the US’ call to indulge in the zero-sum game, but also Hungary, India, South Africa and Israel have openly said they won’t take sides. Most countries may not agree with Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine, but they still don’t want to get involved in major countries’ conflict. […]

In short, in order to restore lasting peace, European leaders have to stop the eastward expansion of NATO and the EU, take Moscow’s strategic security concerns into consideration, and say no to Washington’s instigation. And it’s time they realized that only talks can promote peace and prosperity. Läs artikel