According to the latest available reports, talks between Russia and the United States, and Russia and NATO will begin before mid-January, on the texts of the two draft agreements on security guarantees presented by Russia to the U.S. and NATO on Dec. 15. January 12 in Geneva is under consideration for the NATO-Russia talks, and before that, possibly January 10, for the bilateral U.S.-Russia meeting. This is critical diplomacy, which Russia has initiated. But also critical to stopping the countdown to World War III is the activation of citizens everywhere against the policy of brinksmanship and encroachment against Russia and China.
A barrage of warnings has come from Russia in the past 36 hours. President Vladimir Putin told Rossiya-1 TV on Dec. 26, that the talks dare not have a “destructive agenda” in which the United States and NATO, “will indulge in endless talk about the necessity of negotiations, but will do nothing but pump a neighboring country with state-of-the-art weapons systems and build up threats to Russia, and we will have to do something with these threats.”
Putin explicated the meaning of the “red line” which he has set. He said, “I want everyone both in our country and abroad, our partners to clearly understand: the matter is not in a line we don’t want anyone to cross. The matter is that we have nowhere to step back.” He stressed, “They have driven us to such a line, excuse my language, that we have nowhere to move.” He pointed to the risks of new missile systems deployed at a distance of four to five minutes’ flight to Moscow. “Well, where are you going to go now? They have simply driven us to the state when we must say: stop!” Putin went on, that this is the reason Russia’s initiative on security guarantees was made public for all nations to see.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov spoke sternly on Dec. 26, saying that January “is when it will become clear whether the Americans are ready to give a substantive response, or they will opt for protracting the process and for seeking to initiate a policy of years-long talks.” We need “an urgent, concrete solution….”
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said today, in an interview published today in the Russian Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn (Foreign Policy) journal, among other points, that, “when we say that NATO facilities and all kinds of activities which are provocative for Russia need to be rolled back to the positions that existed in 1997, when the NATO-Russia Founding Act was signed, we are not bluffing.”
Reviewing these remarks and other developments today, Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche stressed that our job is to make sure that a large portion of people in every country possible, understands what is going on. We are in a countdown of extreme danger, with no “wiggle room” left. We are “close to a point of no return.”
The Schiller Institute posted a rush memorandum, “Are We Sleepwalking into Thermonuclear World War III?” on Christmas Eve, for circulation during the holiday period. This is currently being updated as an even more comprehensive dossier of the actual chronology of what created the dangerous strategic showdown with Russia.
Zepp-LaRouche stressed the need to make known the extreme danger, and also that there are solutions. The best anti-war policy involves working together on common, urgent tasks, and that means a modern health system in every nation. Look at the Afghanistan emergency in that way. Afghanistan “is a branching point.” Either there will be the necessary interventions to save lives and save the nation, or it will be an “unmitigated disaster … that marks a decay into barbarism.” We will lose all of our humanity, knowing what is coming and not doing anything about it. Acting on this, and on other humanitarian crises, as well as on the war danger, is one and the same task, as the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites addresses.
The situation is grave. The Russian leaders are speaking out in unmistakable terms. If we co-mobilize with a growing number of people, we can bring about MAS—mutually assured survival.