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posted by n1 on Monday November 10 2014, @04:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the same-conflicts,-different-century dept.

Arthur Bright reports in the Christian Science Monitor that the European Leadership Network has chronicled some 40 incidents over the past eight months, saying that Russian forces seem to have been authorized to act in a much more aggressive way. "Russian armed forces and security agencies seem to have been authorized and encouraged to act in a much more aggressive way towards NATO countries, Sweden and Finland" in a way that "increases the risk of unintended escalation and the danger of losing control over events," ELN warns.

The report cites three incidents in particular as having "high probability of causing casualties or a direct military confrontation between Russia and Western states." The first occurred in March, when a passenger flight out of Copenhagen, Denmark, had a near miss with a Russian surveillance plane that did not transmit its position. The second was the capture of an Estonian border agent by Russian security in September. The report also summarizes a incident last month where Swedish naval patrols undertook a broad search for what was widely speculated to be a Russian submarine in the Stockholm archipelago. The New York Times writes that the report adds credence to former Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev's comments over the weekend, during the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, that the world seems "on the brink of a new cold war." Mr. Gorbachev warned that “Bloodshed in Europe and the Middle East against the backdrop of a breakdown in dialogue between the major powers is of enormous concern.”

The report has three main recommendations: The Russian leadership should urgently re-evaluate the costs and risks of continuing its more assertive military posture, and Western diplomacy should be aimed at persuading Russia to move in this direction; All sides should exercise military and political restraint; All sides must improve military-to-military communication and transparency. "To perpetuate a volatile stand-off between a nuclear armed state and a nuclear armed alliance and its partners in the circumstances described in this paper is risky at best. It could prove catastrophic at worst."

 
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  • (Score: 2) by GungnirSniper on Monday November 10 2014, @08:55PM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Monday November 10 2014, @08:55PM (#114621) Journal

    Russia, world's largest energy producer, must be laughing at the anti-nuclear energy crowd in Europe now. By shutting down nuclear power, Europe is even more dependent on outside energy. Their Euros are being used to buy Russian gas and oil, and that money is being used to beef up the Russian military. What is Europe to do? Freeze to death, or give in to some of Russia's demands?

    Or do they buy more from Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other far-away places?

    Aside from France and the UK, it seems Europe is largely anti-nuclear [wikipedia.org]:
    Austria built a nuclear plant, but never turned it on.
    Belgium has 7 reactors, but will shut off 3 by 2015. The 7 supply only 9% of power needs.
    Germany is slated to close all nuclear plants by 2022, and rely further on French nuclear power or Russian gas.
    Ireland cancelled its plan in the 1970s and never built a plant.
    Italy closed the last of its 4 plants in 1990.
    Spain has had a moratorium in place since 1983.
    Sweden halted its phase-out in 2010, and will allow new reactors only to replace existing ones.
    Switzerland will phase out its last plant in 2034.

    I'd go on, but you get the idea. Russia's military spending is still under that of the combined EU, so this isn't an immediate problem but a longer-term, strategic one.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10 2014, @09:48PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10 2014, @09:48PM (#114642)

    [In October 2014,] wind power alone generated some 126 percent of the energy needed to power every home in Scotland.

    [...]Solar chipped in too, with roof-mounted solar contributing between 30-40 percent of power needs to homes that have it installed, even through a cold October.

    [First Minister Alex Salmond's] plan is to ramp up renewable energy to provide 100 percent of Scotland's entire energy requirements by 2025, [gizmag.com] and generate as much again from non-renewable sources for export, primarily to England.

    .
    ...meanwhile, you're stuck on plants that take a decade to build and which produce weapon materials and tons of high-level radioactive waste.
    ...and are the most expensive way ever devised to boil water.

    -- gewg_

  • (Score: 2) by Geotti on Wednesday November 12 2014, @02:59AM

    by Geotti (1146) on Wednesday November 12 2014, @02:59AM (#115060) Journal

    Aside from France and the UK, it seems Europe is largely anti-nuclear

    You can add Hungary [yahoo.com] to the list (first link I found).