Are the two separate agreements signed in Istanbul last Friday by Russia and Ukraine with the United Nations and Turkey that pave the way for the export of 22 million of Ukrainian grain which remained blockaded in three Black Sea ports, as well as the export of Russian grain and fertilizer, really a "beacon of hope" for millions of starving people, or just an illusory dream?
"We’ve laid out for the leadership of Iran what we’re willing to accept in order to get back into the JCPOA" US president Joe Biden said at a press conference in Jerusalem on July 14. "We’re waiting for their response. When that will come, I’m not certain, but we’re not going to wait forever."
"The decisions we have taken in Madrid," North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said as a summit of the alliance's members closed in Madrid on June 30, "will ensure that our Alliance continues to preserve peace, prevent conflict, and protect our people and our values."
At the end of May, I came to Helsinki as the 20th Ambassador of China to Finland. At the moment I arrived, I was deeply impressed by the beautiful scenery of Helsinki and the Finns’ honest and hospitality immediately. Later I called on the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and presented the Letter of Credence to President Sauli Niinistö on 2 June.
Many people, both at home and abroad, have wondered about the easy and unbothered way in which Finland has left its military non-alignment policy behind. Nostalgia for the past seventy years, with its assertions of neutrality, politics of friendship, and bridge-building, is limited in a tense new world.
The decision by Finland to apply for membership in NATO stems from obvious and unarguable security concerns engendered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Indeed, this decision is so predictable from the Realist perspective on international relations that it will surely be used in future textbooks.
As a European-American in New York following the news on both sides of the Atlantic, I can readily see the flow of opinion from the US to Europe and the US pressure with regard to Russia and Ukraine. Those who hesitate will soon find themselves in the spotlight of American Media. Combined with political leverage, this seems to be working well.
Finnish Public Service Media has the legal and professional mandate to reflect a diversity of opinions and provide an information platform that is not reflective of a political agenda. This is not happening with the English language Yle platform.
In their reports from the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine until the end of April, 60% of their articles promoted a pro-Nato or pro-military alignment perspective. Conversely, less than 7% could be construed as being anti-Nato or anti-military alignment.
It's deeply unfortunate that even some MPs in the Left Alliance are now publicly advocating Finnish membership of NATO.
An Atlanticist hybrid of US power and British ‘diplomacy’, NATO is a deeply pro-capitalist and imperialist organization. From the start, it has used the ideology of an external enemy – first the USSR, now Russia – to attack and repress socialist ideas and politics at home and in what were once the colonies.
The events in Ukraine have opened a debate in many countries about NATO membership, with Russia already threatening peace in the Baltic region. Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has expressed her intention to hold a referendum on Scotland’s independence by the end of 2023. If she is serious about holding a referendum by then, NATO alignment is something that Scotland must consider carefully over the next year.