Sunday, February 11, 2007

Star wars is -- reality.

Consider the POSSIBLITY space weapons were used on 11. Septemeber 2001
in New York City, Washington (Pentagon) and Shanksville (Pennsylvania)


"Star wars is no longer a fantasy – it is a reality....
... the militarisation of outer space could have unpredictable consequences
for the international community, and provoke nothing less than
the beginning of a nuclear era. "

Nuclear Era? What were the original russian words he used?

Speaker: Putin, Vladimir W.

President, Russian Federation

Nation / Organisation: Russian Federation

Speech at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy

02/10/2007 - 10 feb 2007

(The speech was held in Russian. Find the English translation below.)

Thank you very much dear Madam Federal Chancellor, Mr Teltschik, ladies
and gentlemen!

I am truly grateful to be invited to such a representative conference that
has assembled politicians, military officials, entrepreneurs and experts
from more than 40 nations.

This conference’s structure allows me to avoid excessive politeness and
the need to speak in roundabout, pleasant but empty diplomatic terms. This
conference’s format will allow me to say what I really think about
international security problems. And if my comments seem unduly polemical,
pointed or inexact to our colleagues, then I would ask you not to get
angry with me. After all, this is only a conference. And I hope that after
the first two or three minutes of my speech Mr Teltschik will not turn on
the red light over there. Therefore. It is well known that international
security comprises much more than issues relating to military and
political stability. It involves the stability of the global economy,
overcoming poverty, economic security and developing a dialogue between
civilisations. This universal, indivisible character of security is
expressed as the basic principle that “security for one is security for
all”. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said during the first few days that the
Second World War was breaking out: “When peace has been broken anywhere,
the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.” These words remain
topical today. Incidentally, the theme of our conference – global crises,
global responsibility – exemplifies this. Only two decades ago the world
was ideologically and economically divided and it was the huge strategic
potential of two superpowers that ensured global security. This global
stand-off pushed the sharpest economic and social problems to the margins
of the international community’s and the world’s agenda. And, just like
any war, the Cold War left us with live ammunition, figuratively speaking.
I am referring to ideological stereotypes, double standards and other
typical aspects of Cold War bloc thinking. The unipolar world that had
been proposed after the Cold War did not take place either. The history of
humanity certainly has gone through unipolar periods and seen aspirations
to world supremacy. And what hasn’t happened in world history? However,
what is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, at the
end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of
authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making. It is world
in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day
this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for
the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within. And this
certainly has nothing in common with democracy. Because, as you know,
democracy is the power of the majority in light of the interests and
opinions of the minority. Incidentally, Russia – we – are constantly being
taught about democracy. But for some reason those who teach us do not want
to learn themselves. I consider that the unipolar model is not only
unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world. And this is not only
because if there was individual leadership in today’s – and precisely in
today’s – world, then the military, political and economic resources would
not suffice. What is even more important is that the model itself is
flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for
modern civilisation. Along with this, what is happening in today’s world –
and we just started to discuss this – is a tentative to introduce
precisely this concept into international affairs, the concept of a
unipolar world. And with which results? Unilateral and frequently
illegitimate actions have not resolved any problems. Moreover, they have
caused new human tragedies and created new centres of tension. Judge for
yourselves: wars as well as local and regional conflicts have not
diminished. Mr Teltschik mentioned this very gently. And no less people
perish in these conflicts – even more are dying than before. Significantly
more, significantly more! Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained
hyper use of force – military force – in international relations, force
that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. As a
result we do not have sufficient strength to find a comprehensive solution
to any one of these conflicts. Finding a political settlement also becomes
impossible. We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic
principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a
matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system.
One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has
overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the
economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other
nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this? In international
relations we increasingly see the desire to resolve a given question
according to so-called issues of political expediency, based on the
current political climate. And of course this is extremely dangerous. It
results in the fact that no one feels safe. I want to emphasise this – no
one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a
stone wall that will protect them. Of course such a policy stimulates an
arms race. The force’s dominance inevitably encourages a number of
countries to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, significantly
new threats – though they were also well-known before – have appeared, and
today threats such as terrorism have taken on a global character. I am
convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously
think about the architecture of global security. And we must proceed by
searching for a reasonable balance between the interests of all
participants in the international dialogue. Especially since the
international landscape is so varied and changes so quickly – changes in
light of the dynamic development in a whole number of countries and
regions. Madam Federal Chancellor already mentioned this. The combined GDP
measured in purchasing power parity of countries such as India and China
is already greater than that of the United States. And a similar
calculation with the GDP of the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and
China – surpasses the cumulative GDP of the EU. And according to experts
this gap will only increase in the future. There is no reason to doubt
that the economic potential of the new centres of global economic growth
will inevitably be converted into political influence and will strengthen
multipolarity. In connection with this the role of multilateral diplomacy
is significantly increasing. The need for principles such as openness,
transparency and predictability in politics is uncontested and the use of
force should be a really exceptional measure, comparable to using the
death penalty in the judicial systems of certain states. However, today we
are witnessing the opposite tendency, namely a situation in which
countries that forbid the death penalty even for murderers and other,
dangerous criminals are airily participating in military operations that
are difficult to consider legitimate. And as a matter of fact, these
conflicts are killing people – hundreds and thousands of civilians! But at
the same time the question arises of whether we should be indifferent and
aloof to various internal conflicts inside countries, to authoritarian
regimes, to tyrants, and to the proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction? As a matter of fact, this was also at the centre of the
question that our dear colleague Mr Lieberman asked the Federal
Chancellor. If I correctly understood your question (addressing Mr
Lieberman), then of course it is a serious one! Can we be indifferent
observers in view of what is happening? I will try to answer your question
as well: of course not. But do we have the means to counter these threats?
Certainly we do. It is sufficient to look at recent history. Did not our
country have a peaceful transition to democracy? Indeed, we witnessed a
peaceful transformation of the Soviet regime – a peaceful transformation!
And what a regime! With what a number of weapons, including nuclear
weapons! Why should we start bombing and shooting now at every available
opportunity? Is it the case when without the threat of mutual destruction
we do not have enough political culture, respect for democratic values and
for the law? I am convinced that the only mechanism that can make
decisions about using military force as a last resort is the Charter of
the United Nations. And in connection with this, either I did not
understand what our colleague, the Italian Defence Minister, just said or
what he said was inexact. In any case, I understood that the use of force
can only be legitimate when the decision is taken by NATO, the EU, or the
UN. If he really does think so, then we have different points of view. Or
I didn’t hear correctly. The use of force can only be considered
legitimate if the decision is sanctioned by the UN. And we do not need to
substitute NATO or the EU for the UN. When the UN will truly unite the
forces of the international community and can really react to events in
various countries, when we will leave behind this disdain for
international law, then the situation will be able to change. Otherwise
the situation will simply result in a dead end, and the number of serious
mistakes will be multiplied. Along with this, it is necessary to make sure
that international law have a universal character both in the conception
and application of its norms. And one must not forget that democratic
political actions necessarily go along with discussion and a laborious
decision-making process. Dear ladies and gentlemen! The potential danger
of the destabilisation of international relations is connected with
obvious stagnation in the disarmament issue. Russia supports the renewal
of dialogue on this important question. It is important to conserve the
international legal framework relating to weapons destruction and
therefore ensure continuity in the process of reducing nuclear weapons.
Together with the United States of America we agreed to reduce our nuclear
strategic missile capabilities to up to 1700-2000 nuclear warheads by 31
December 2012. Russia intends to strictly fulfil the obligations it has
taken on. We hope that our partners will also act in a transparent way and
will refrain from laying aside a couple of hundred superfluous nuclear
warheads for a rainy day. And if today the new American Defence Minister
declares that the United States will not hide these superfluous weapons in
warehouse or, as one might say, under a pillow or under the blanket, then
I suggest that we all rise and greet this declaration standing. It would
be a very important declaration. Russia strictly adheres to and intends to
further adhere to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
as well as the multilateral supervision regime for missile technologies.
The principles incorporated in these documents are universal ones. In
connection with this I would like to recall that in the 1980s the USSR and
the United States signed an agreement on destroying a whole range of
small- and medium-range missiles but these documents do not have a
universal character. Today many other countries have these missiles,
including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Republic of
Korea, India, Iran, Pakistan and Israel. Many countries are working on
these systems and plan to incorporate them as part of their weapons
arsenals. And only the United States and Russia bear the responsibility to
not create such weapons systems. It is obvious that in these conditions we
must think about ensuring our own security. At the same time, it is
impossible to sanction the appearance of new, destabilising high-tech
weapons. Needless to say it refers to measures to prevent a new area of
confrontation, especially in outer space.

Star wars is no longer a fantasy – it is a reality. In the middle of the
1980s our American partners were already able to intercept their own
satellite. In Russia’s opinion, the militarisation of outer space could
have unpredictable consequences for the international community, and
provoke nothing less than the beginning of a nuclear era.

And we have come forward more than once with initiatives designed to
prevent the use of weapons in outer space. Today I would like to tell you
that we have prepared a project for an agreement on the prevention of
deploying weapons in outer space. And in the near future it will be sent
to our partners as an official proposal. Let’s work on this together.
Plans to expand certain elements of the anti-missile defence system to
Europe cannot help but disturb us. Who needs the next step of what would
be, in this case, an inevitable arms race? I deeply doubt that Europeans
themselves do. Missile weapons with a range of about five to eight
thousand kilometres that really pose a threat to Europe do not exist in
any of the so-called problem countries. And in the near future and
prospects, this will not happen and is not even foreseeable. And any
hypothetical launch of, for example, a North Korean rocket to American
territory through western Europe obviously contradicts the laws of
ballistics. As we say in Russia, it would be like using the right hand to
reach the left ear. And here in Germany I cannot help but mention the
pitiable condition of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.
The Adapted Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe was signed in
1999. It took into account a new geopolitical reality, namely the
elimination of the Warsaw bloc. Seven years have passed and only four
states have ratified this document, including the Russian Federation. NATO
countries openly declared that they will not ratify this treaty, including
the provisions on flank restrictions (on deploying a certain number of
armed forces in the flank zones), until Russia removed its military bases
from Georgia and Moldova. Our army is leaving Georgia, even according to
an accelerated schedule. We resolved the problems we had with our Georgian
colleagues, as everybody knows. There are still 1,500 servicemen in
Moldova that are carrying out peacekeeping operations and protecting
warehouses with ammunition left over from Soviet times. We constantly
discuss this issue with Mr Solana and he knows our position. We are ready
to further work in this direction. But what is happening at the same time?
Simultaneously the so-called flexible frontline American bases with up to
five thousand men in each. It turns out that NATO has put its frontline
forces on our borders, and we continue to strictly fulfil the treaty
obligations and do not react to these actions at all. I think it is
obvious that NATO expansion does not have any relation with the
modernisation of the Alliance itself or with ensuring security in Europe.
On the contrary, it represents a serious provocation that reduces the
level of mutual trust. And we have the right to ask: against whom is this
expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our western
partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those
declarations today? No one even remembers them. But I will allow myself to
remind this audience what was said. I would like to quote the speech of
NATO General Secretary Mr Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at
the time that: “the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army
outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security
guarantee”. Where are these guarantees? The stones and concrete blocks of
the Berlin Wall have long been distributed as souvenirs. But we should not
forget that the fall of the Berlin Wall was possible thanks to a historic
choice – one that was also made by our people, the people of Russia – a
choice in favour of democracy, freedom, openness and a sincere partnership
with all the members of the big European family. And now they are trying
to impose new dividing lines and walls on us – these walls may be virtual
but they are nevertheless dividing, ones that cut through our continent.
And is it possible that we will once again require many years and decades,
as well as several generations of politicians, to dissemble and dismantle
these new walls? Dear ladies and gentlemen! We are unequivocally in favour
of strengthening the regime of non-proliferation. The present
international legal principles allow us to develop technologies to
manufacture nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. And many countries with
all good reasons want to create their own nuclear energy as a basis for
their energy independence. But we also understand that these technologies
can be quickly transformed into nuclear weapons. This creates serious
international tensions. The situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear
programme acts as a clear example. And if the international community does
not find a reasonable solution for resolving this conflict of interests,
the world will continue to suffer similar, destabilising crises because
there are more threshold countries than simply Iran. We both know this. We
are going to constantly fight against the threat of the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction. Last year Russia put forward the initiative
to establish international centres for the enrichment of uranium. We are
open to the possibility that such centres not only be created in Russia,
but also in other countries where there is a legitimate basis for using
civil nuclear energy. Countries that want to develop their nuclear energy
could guarantee that they will receive fuel through direct participation
in these centres. And the centres would, of course, operate under strict
IAEA supervision. The latest initiatives put forward by American President
George W. Bush are in conformity with the Russian proposals. I consider
that Russia and the USA are objectively and equally interested in
strengthening the regime of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass
destruction and their deployment. It is precisely our countries, with
leading nuclear and missile capabilities, that must act as leaders in
developing new, stricter non-proliferation measures. Russia is ready for
such work. We are engaged in consultations with our American friends. In
general, we should talk about establishing a whole system of political
incentives and economic stimuli whereby it would not be in states’
interests to establish their own capabilities in the nuclear fuel cycle
but they would still have the opportunity to develop nuclear energy and
strengthen their energy capabilities. In connection with this I shall talk
about international energy cooperation in more detail. Madam Federal
Chancellor also spoke about this briefly – she mentioned, touched on this
theme. In the energy sector Russia intends to create uniform market
principles and transparent conditions for all. It is obvious that energy
prices must be determined by the market instead of being the subject of
political speculation, economic pressure or blackmail. We are open to
cooperation. Foreign companies participate in all our major energy
projects. According to different estimates, up to 26 percent of the oil
extraction in Russia – and please think about this figure – up to 26
percent of the oil extraction in Russia is done by foreign capital. Try,
try to find me a similar example where Russian business participates
extensively in key economic sectors in western countries. Such examples do
not exist! There are no such examples. I would also recall the parity of
foreign investments in Russia and those Russia makes abroad. The parity is
about fifteen to one. And here you have an obvious example of the openness
and stability of the Russian economy. Economic security is the sector in
which all must adhere to uniform principles. We are ready to compete
fairly. For that reason more and more opportunities are appearing in the
Russian economy. Experts and our western partners are objectively
evaluating these changes. As such, Russia’s OECD sovereign credit rating
improved and Russia passed from the fourth to the third group. And today
in Munich I would like to use this occasion to thank our German colleagues
for their help in the above decision. Furthermore. As you know, the
process of Russia joining the WTO has reached its final stages. I would
point out that during long, difficult talks we heard words about freedom
of speech, free trade, and equal possibilities more than once but, for
some reason, exclusively in reference to the Russian market. And there is
still one more important theme that directly affects global security.
Today many talk about the struggle against poverty. What is actually
happening in this sphere? On the one hand, financial resources are
allocated for programmes to help the world’s poorest countries – and at
times substantial financial resources. But to be honest -- and many here
also know this – linked with the development of that same donor country’s
companies. And on the other hand, developed countries simultaneously keep
their agricultural subsidies and limit some countries’ access to high-tech
products. And let’s say things as they are – one hand distributes
charitable help and the other hand not only preserves economic
backwardness but also reaps the profits thereof. The increasing social
tension in depressed regions inevitably results in the growth of
radicalism, extremism, feeds terrorism and local conflicts. And if all
this happens in, shall we say, a region such as the Middle East where
there is increasingly the sense that the world at large is unfair, then
there is the risk of global destabilisation. It is obvious that the
world’s leading countries should see this threat. And that they should
therefore build a more democratic, fairer system of global economic
relations, a system that would give everyone the chance and the
possibility to develop. Dear ladies and gentlemen, speaking at the
Conference on Security Policy, it is impossible not to mention the
activities of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE). As is well-known, this organisation was created to examine all – I
shall emphasise this – all aspects of security: military, political,
economic, humanitarian and, especially, the relations between these
spheres. What do we see happening today? We see that this balance is
clearly destroyed. People are trying to transform the OSCE into a vulgar
instrument designed to promote the foreign policy interests of one or a
group of countries. And this task is also being accomplished by the OSCE’s
bureaucratic apparatus which is absolutely not connected with the state
founders in any way. Decision-making procedures and the involvement of
so-called non-governmental organisations are tailored for this task. These
organisations are formally independent but they are purposefully financed
and therefore under control. According to the founding documents, in the
humanitarian sphere the OSCE is designed to assist country members in
observing international human rights norms at their request. This is an
important task. We support this. But this does not mean interfering in the
internal affairs of other countries, and especially not imposing a regime
that determines how these states should live and develop. It is obvious
that such interference does not promote the development of democratic
states at all. On the contrary, it makes them dependent and, as a
consequence, politically and economically unstable. We expect that the
OSCE be guided by its primary tasks and build relations with sovereign
states based on respect, trust and transparency. Dear ladies and
gentlemen! In conclusion I would like to note the following. We very often
– and personally, I very often – hear appeals by our partners, including
our European partners, to the effect that Russia should play an
increasingly active role in world affairs. In connection with this I would
allow myself to make one small remark. It is hardly necessary to incite us
to do so. Russia is a country with a history that spans more than a
thousand years and has practically always used the privilege to carry out
an independent foreign policy. We are not going to change this tradition
today. At the same time, we are well aware of how the world has changed
and we have a realistic sense of our own opportunities and potential. And
of course we would like to interact with responsible and independent
partners with whom we could work together in constructing a fair and
democratic world order that would ensure security and prosperity not only
for a select few, but for all. Thank you for your attention.

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posted by u2r2h at 7:46 PM


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