Ukraine Must Not Become a New Berlin Wall

In a new statement a leadership group from the US, Russia, Poland, Germany and the UK calls for a Joint Contact Group to address the crisis in Ukraine, for the territorial integrity of Ukraine to be respected, and for a new approach to building mutual security in the Euro-Atlantic region.

Read the full statement here.

How to Respond to Putin

Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP argues in ‘How to Respond to Putin’ that Russia’s actions in Ukraine will have had serious wider implications and the only way to stand up to Putin is through robust and targeted economic sanctions.

The full article is available on the European Leadership Network (ELN) website here.

MPs criticise UK refusal to attend nuclear weapons conference

The Guardian today reports that Britain will not attend an international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, ministers will tell the Commons on Wednesday.

The decision will anger MPs across the political spectrum who say Britain should participate in the conference, due to be held in Mexico on Thursday.

“We should be there. I cannot understand why we are not [going]“, said James Arbuthnot, Conservative chairman of the Commons defence committee and a former defence minister.

Sir Nick Harvey, the Liberal Democrat MP and former armed forces minister, said the British refusal to attend the conference was a “disgrace”. He sharply attacked the government’s refusal to attend another conference last year in Oslo on the consequences of a nuclear conflict.

[Read the full article here]

Time to write the rules for cyber and drone challenges

Des Browne and Michael Shank published the op-ed ‘Time to write the rules for cyber and drone challenges’ on CNN on 3 February 2014. The full article is available here.

Iran has begun implementing the Joint Plan of Action over its nuclear program. The United States and Russia are cooperating in the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. And the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded late last year to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for its “extensive efforts to eliminate chemical weapons.” The past few months have clearly underscored what can be achieved when the international community works together on weapons of mass destruction.

But while the response to Syria’s use of chemical weapons and Iran is laudable and should now be leveraged to strengthen international law, treaties and monitoring mechanisms more broadly, the reality is that newer challenges are evolving even as the international community works to get a handle on longstanding threats. And although these threats come in a variety of forms, there are two in particular that will require the same kind of concerted effort.

[Read full article here]