Dass es diese geheime Konferenz gab, war bekannt. Dass die Russen auf dieser Konferenz mit Atomwaffen gedroht haben, ist auch nicht neu, aber bislang waren die Einzelheiten unbekannt und hier ist der guten alten Tante TIMES seit langem wieder einmal ein Scoop gelungen. Es war am 18. März 2015 im deutschen Torgau, als sich hochrangige Militärs aus Russland und den USA zu einem Plausch getroffen haben und wo die Russen auf Weisung von Russlands Außenminister Laberdoof drei Eckpfeiler gesetzt haben:
- Versuche die Nato Russland die Krim wegzunehmen, werde man solchen Vorhaben „entschlossen, inklusive Einsatz der Atomstreitmacht“ entgegentreten.
- Unterstütze die Nato die Ukraine weiter mit Waffen, würde Russland das als „weiteres Vordringen der Nato zur russischen Grenze“ werten. Russland würde darauf mit einer „energischen Antwort“ reagieren.
- Für das Baltikum würden dieselben Bedingungen wie für die Ost-Ukraine gelten. Verstärke die Nato dort ihre Präsenz, sei Russland zum Handeln gezwungen – was auch den Einsatz von Nuklearwaffen beinhalten kann.
Hier der TIMES-Artikel im Volltext:
Putin: try to take Crimea away and there’ll be a nuclear war
Secret meeting of Kremlin elite and US top brass reveals Russian threat toWest.
Ben Hoyle reports
The Ukraine crisis has brought the world closer to nuclear war than at any point for a generation, according to an account of a secret meeting between Russian and American military and intelligence figures.
As President Putin celebrated the anniversary of the annexation of Crimea on March 18 with an appearance at a concert outside the Kremlin, a group of retired Russian generals sat down in Torgau, Germany, with a group of their American counterparts. The assembled Russians once ran the interior ministry, the military directorate in charge of nuclear weapons, the GRU (Russian military intelligence) and the FSB (the main successor agency to the KGB). The American individuals present had similar backgroundsin the military, CIA and Defence Intelligence Agency.
Behind closed doors, over two days, the Russians delivered a series of blunt warnings from Moscow that reveal just how precarious Europe’s security has become over the past year, and how broad the gulf between the Kremlin and the West now is.
The US party at the Elbe Group talks appears to have been surprised to discover that Russian security experts believe that the US is bent on estroying their country — and that Russia is both entitled and fully prepared to use nuclear force to defend itself. That point of view reflects both Mr Putin’s assessment of Russia’s vulnerabilityand the KGB background shared by him and his closest advisers, according to Kremlin insiders.
Swaggering nuclear rhetoric has increasingly permeated Russian life. In a recent documentary, Mr Putin said that when he gave the instruction to annex Crimea, he also ordered that Russia’s nuclear forces be placed on full alert.
He has referred to Russia’s nuclear might many times since the Ukraine crisis began, including in remarks to a group of school children in August, when he reminded them that “Russia is one of the leadingnuclear powers”, and “it’s best not to mess with us”.
Notes of the Elbe Group meeting indicate some areas where the Kremlin is open to dialogue, namely on the “future nature and composition ”of the contested territory in eastern Ukraine which, the generals say, Russia wants to see become “an autonomous entity in a confederated Ukraine”.
However, they also showthe detailed thinking behind the nuclear bluster.
Among the “key messages delivered by Russian participants” was a warning that any military move by the West on Crimea would trigger a Russian response, possibly involving nuclear force. “The United States should also understand it would also be at risk.”
The Russian delegation said that any Nato build-up in the Baltics would prompt an increase in Russia’s “nuclear posture”, according to notes drawn up by a US participant. The warning is baldly recounted: “Russia will use its nuclear weapons against Nato.”
When discussing possible Russian action in the Baltics, it reported: “Russian members mentioned a spectrum of responses from nuclear to non-military.”
The most trenchant Russian remarks on eastern Europe were delivered by the former military intelligence chief Valentin Korabelnikov, who remains a senior adviser to the defence ministry. Since the GRU masterminded the annexation of Crimea, he is likely to have been involved in the planning. He said that the biggest threat to Russia was US activity along its borders, according to notes taken by Kevin Ryan, are tired US brigadier-general who served as defence attache in Moscow.
Russia regards the US as an ailing superpower which is trying to create crisis situations to preserve its position of strategic superiority around the world. Nato expansion to the borders of Russia, including “Nato troop deployments in eastern Europe and the Balkans” could lead to unpredictable situations. “For nuclear powers, this is particularly dangerous.”
Russia also believes that “Ukraine could be a launching point” for unleashing fascist and Islamic extremist groups against Moscow. The “fight for resources in the Arctic” was another Russian security concern.
The Elbe Group forum was set up to improve mutual understanding between the two countries’ military and intelligence agencies, and has met six times in five years.
The Russian delegation was briefed by Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, about what messages to deliver to the Americans, according to its leader, Anatoly Kulikov, the former minister of the interior. Mr Kulikov said that Mr Putin had been briefed.
Both delegations agreed that there was a growing risk of an accidental clash between Russian and US or Nato troops in eastern Europe which could lead to “unintended escalation” and devastating consequences for the world at large.
In language that recalled the darkest days of the Cold War, they urged their respective administrations to set up a military hotline to defuse such escalations by allowing “both sides to quickly and accurately establish the facts surrounding an accident” so that commanders on the ground could “communicate with each other inamanner that avoids combat”.
The report’s conclusions, written from a US perspective, emphasise Russia’s interest in trying to involve the USin legitimising the new status quo in
Ukraine. The American conclusions play down the threat of nuclear attack, suggesting that the Russians “threaten nuclear war in an effort to shock the US back to the table”.
More than 6,000 people have been killed since a Russian-backed uprising began in east Ukraine a year ago. The fighting is in a lull at the moment, with a ceasefire largely holding, but there are widespread concerns that violence will flare again with the arrival of summer.
President Obama has so far resisteda growing clamour in Washington to provide Kiev with lethal military aid to defend itself against the rebels.
PS: Dazu noch der Artikel von Seite 1 der TIMES und der TIMES-Leitartikel von gestern.
Na das macht doch richtig Laune darauf, dem verfickten Vladolf Putler die Krim wieder wegzunehmen. Zu diesem TIMES-Artikel gibt es noch diese Grafik: