Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Sometimes it seems we are never going to be able to stop one country or a bloc of them from threatening others and scaring the pants off the rest of us in the process. A few days ago Russian media carried what the chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces, Army General Yuri Baluyevsky, told a conference in Moscow:

Мы ни на кого не собираемся нападать, но считаем необходимым, чтобы все наши партнеры четко понимали и ни у кого не было сомнения в том, что для защиты суверенитета и территориаль-
ной целостности России и ее союзников будут применены Вооруженные силы, в том числе и превентивно, и в том числе с использованием ядерного оружия, в случаях оговоренных доктринальными документами России.
We are not about to attack anybody, but we consider it essential for all our partners to understand clearly and for no doubt to be in anybody's mind that in order to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia and its allies, the armed forces will be deployed both preemptively and with nuclear arms in cases specified in Russia's doctrine.
Военная сила может быть и должна быть применена для демонстрации решимости высшего руководства страны отстаивать ее интересы, и как крайняя мера, массированно - тогда, когда окажутся неэффективными все остальные средства. Military might can and must be used to demonstrate decisiveness of the country's highest leadership to defend the country's interests, and as a last resort, massively when all other means have proven ineffective.

The decision by the US to build missile interception installations in the Czech Republic and Poland was an incredibly stupid move. As the Americans discuss this and the status of US forces assigned to the installations in both countries, Russia, both the leaders and ordinary Russians, are watching the developments with concern. Why Washington had to provoke this unfortunate state of affairs is hard to understand. Russia had repeatedly signaled readiness to collaborate with the United States, and Washington should have turned over a new leaf in international relations with Russia at its side.

by Anthony Williamson on Tue Jan 22nd, 2008 at 06:41:13 AM EST

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