Lavrov speaks out against NATO at UN


The Living Force
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According to the US idea, the Arab NATO will bring together six Persian Gulf states, Egypt and Jordan.

Feb. 25, 2019 - Lavrov questions Washington’s push to cobble together doubtful ‘Arab NATO’ bloc

Lavrov questions Washington’s push to cobble together doubtful ‘Arab NATO’ bloc

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov © Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

The United States is trying to impose the creation of the so-called Arab NATO, the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), despite serious doubts of its possible members, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

The steps have been made to reshape geopolitical landscape in a way to obstruct the natural development of events and try to contain the formation of new growth centers,
Lavrov told a conference dubbed International Cooperation in a Troubled World, organized by the Valdai International Discussion Club in partnership with the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.

One of the examples is the Middle East Strategic Alliance, which now [US President Donald] Trump’s administration is trying to impose on the Persian Gulf states plus Jordan and Egypt while overcoming very serious doubts of potential members, and here Israel is also pursuing its interests around this initiative," Lavrov said.
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The Living Force
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Georgian leader Salome Zurabishvili said that the cooperation "is aimed at contributing to the preservation and establishment of peace and stability in the region".

March 6, 2019 - Georgia-NATO cooperation is not directed against Russia, says president

Georgia-NATO cooperation is not directed against Russia, says president

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili © Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili stated that the cooperation between her country and NATO is not directed against Russia or any other country, she said at a plenary session of the Georgian parliament in Tbilisi on Wednesday in her annual report on the situation in the country, televised live by the Georgian Public Broadcasting.

"Georgia is actively cooperating with NATO; the course for integration in the alliance is the sovereign right and the choice of our country. I also want to state that the cooperation between Georgia and NATO is not directed against Russia or any other country," she stated.

Zurabishvili highlighted that "the cooperation between Georgia and NATO is aimed at contributing to the preservation and establishment of peace and stability in the region."

The cooperation between Georgia and NATO
Georgia has cooperated with NATO since the late 1990s. In November 2002, President Eduard Shevardnadze stated at a summit in Prague the country’s wish to become a member of the Alliance. The next president, Mikheil Saakashvili, confirmed this intention. The new government which came to power after the victory of the Georgian Dream coalition in October 2012 continued the course for integration with NATO, but still the new authorities called "the gradual normalization of relations with the Russian Federation without damaging Georgia’s territorial integrity" as "the most important task" of the Georgian foreign policy.

In 2015 and 2016, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Tbilisi. He affirmed that Georgia is a NATO member, but noted that he cannot name any exact date of the country’s accession to the alliance. In late March this year Stoltenberg will visit Georgia again and take part in the "NATO-Georgia Exercise 2019" that will be held not far from Tbilisi.

In late January the Georgian Ministry of Defense reported that 23 countries already stated the readiness to take part in these drills that will be held as part of the package of cooperation between Georgia and NATO (adopted at a summit in Wales in 2014). The drills are directed at supporting the conformity of the Georgian Defense Forces with the standards of the Alliance.

A dissenting opinion
Still, a number of local politicians oppose the course for Georgia’s accession to the military-political bloc. The former parliamentary speaker and head of the Democratic Union - Common Georgia party Nino Burjanadze is most active on this issue. She repeatedly stated that neither the US, nor NATO can solve Georgia’s vital problems. She believes that these problems can be solved only through the massive normalization of relations with Russia.


The Living Force
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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is coming to Washington, D.C., on April 4. We’re organizing a peace festival to unwelcome them.

Why? NATO is coming to DC to mark 70 years since its creation on April 4, 1949. NATO is the largest military alliance in the world with the largest military spending (roughly three-quarters of the world total) and nuclear stockpiles. While claiming to “preserve peace,” NATO has violated international law and bombed Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya. NATO has exacerbated tensions with Russia and increased the risk of nuclear apocalypse. The notion that supporting NATO is a way to cooperate with the world ignores superior non-deadly ways to cooperate with the world.

Wednesday, April 3 at St. Stephen’s Church
, 1525 Newton St NW, Washington, D.C. 20010:
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.: Screenprinting for Justice Workshop with The Sanctuaries DC, and Nonviolent Action Prep with Nadine Bloch of Beautiful Trouble (munch on vegan snacks, make art, and plan for the April 4 protest). If you’re a nonviolent activism trainer and want to help, please fill out this form.
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Keynote Speeches + Biting Comedic Entertainment with Lee Camp(Full list of speakers)
8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: Spoken word by Eleanor Goldfield and live music by Eric Colville& Ryan Harvey & Megaciph.
5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.: Screenprinting, Art Exhibits & Activity Booths + Vegan Food & Drink


Thursday, April 4

Plans include a procession from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial to a rally at Freedom Plaza, and nonviolent demonstrations outside the NATO meeting. Plans are subject to change when we learn when and where NATO is meeting. Tentatively, we plan to meet at the MLK Memorial at 11 a.m. and hear speakers until noon. At noon we will set off to Independence Ave, then up 17th Street to a right on Constitution Ave., up 15th Street to a right on Pennsylvania Ave, then two blocks to Freedom Plaza. We will be there until 3 p.m. for a rally with speakers and music. (Full list of speakers)

Other No to NATO events in Washington DC:
Saturday, March 30
@ 1:00 p.m. Rally at Lafayette Park
Saturday, March 30 @ 7:30 p.m. Songs of Struggle
Sunday, March 31 Concert for Peace and to End War
Sunday, March 31
Anti-NATO Conference
Monday, April 1
Meeting of the International Network “No to War – No to NATO” at the AFSC Office 1822 R St. NW 10:00 to 3:00
Tuesday, April 2 No to NATO – Yes to Peace and Disarmament Counter-Summit
Thursday, April 4 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Black Alliance for Peace program at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, 5301 N Capitol St., NE, Washington D.C. “No Compromise, No Retreat in the Fight to End Militarism and War”

Lodging for the nights of 2nd and 3rd is available.

Other No to NATO events elsewhere:
March 21-27
: Solidarity trip to Belgrade
March 30: Conference and Rally in Saskatchewan
April 4: No to NATO action, Parliament Hill, Ottawa (details to be announced)
April 4: No to NATO events in Oslo, Norway
April 7: Conference in Florence, Italy
Monthly: NATO protests in Toronto

Our Message: War is a leading contributor to the growing global refugee and climate crises, the basis for the militarization of the police, a top cause of the erosion of civil liberties, and a catalyst for racism and bigotry. We’re calling for the abolition of NATO, the promotion of peace, the redirection of resources to human and environmental needs, and the demilitarization of our cultures. Instead of celebrating NATO’s 70th anniversary, we’re celebrating peace on April 4, in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech against war on April 4, 1967, as well as his assassination on April 4, 1968.

The Case Against NATO: While Donald Trump once blurted out the obvious: that NATO is obsolete, he subsequently professed his commitment to NATO and began pressuring NATO members to buy more weapons. So, the notion that somehow NATO is anti-Trump and therefore good would not only be silly and practically amoral on its own terms, it is also at odds with the facts of Trump’s behavior. We are planning an anti-NATO / pro-peace action at which opposition to the militarism of NATO’s dominant member is welcome and necessary. Here are the Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO no matter what Trump does.

NATO has pushed the weaponry and the hostility and the massive so-called war games right up to the border of Russia. NATO has waged aggressive wars far from the North Atlantic. NATO has added a partnership with Colombia, abandoning all pretense of its purpose being in the North Atlantic. NATO is used to free the U.S. Congress from the responsibility and the right to oversee the atrocities of U.S. wars. NATO is used as cover by NATO member governments to join U.S. wars under the pretense that they are somehow more legal or acceptable. NATO is used as cover to illegally and recklessly share nuclear weapons with supposedly non-nuclear nations. NATO is used to assign nations the responsibility to go to war if other nations go to war, and therefore to be prepared for war. NATO’s militarism threatens the earth’s environment. NATO’s wars fuel racism and bigotry and erode our civil liberties while draining our wealth.

NATO Expansion Over the Years:

We must say: No to NATO, Yes to peace, Yes to prosperity, Yes to a sustainable environment, Yes to civil liberties, Yes to education, Yes to a culture of nonviolence and kindness and decency, Yes to remembering April 4th as a day associated with the work for peace of Martin Luther King Jr.


The Living Force
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More European allies in NATO increased defense spending in 2018, with sharp rises in the Baltics, Poland and the Netherlands, but only six governments met a target sought by the United States - while Germany lagged and Canadian outlays fell.

March 14, 2019 - NATO edges toward Trump's spending demands, Germany lags

Polish soldiers take part in NATO military defence exercise Anakonda 2018, at military range near Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, November 16, 2018. Cezary Aszkielowicz/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS

Polish soldiers take part in NATO military defence exercise Anakonda 2018, at military range near Drawsko Pomorskie, Poland, November 16, 2018. Cezary Aszkielowicz/Agencja Gazeta via REUTERS

European allies have tried to deflect threats from U.S. President Donald Trump, who last year demanded countries double NATO’s defense spending goal of two percent of economic output. They say security is not just about spending targets.

NATO’s 2018 annual report showed on Thursday that the U.S.-led alliance moved closer to a pledge to dedicate 2 percent of national economic output on defense every year, with European allies reaching the 1.51 percent level, a five-year high.

“We face a paradox,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference as the report was released. “At a time when some are questioning the strength of the transatlantic bond, we are actually doing more together ... than ever before.”

Trump, as the alliance’s de facto leader, has made defense spending a priority after years of defense cuts following the 1945-90 Cold War. He has questioned NATO’s value to Washington.
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