ef. According to Thomas Greminger and Yves Rossier, the current danger of war in the Ukraine is much lower than has been and is being claimed in many Western media in recent weeks and to this day. This can be found in an article that was published in various Swiss newspapers on 1 and 2 February 2022.
Thomas Greminger, Lieutenant Colonel in the General Staff of the Swiss Army, was Secretary General of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from 2017 to 2020 and today heads the Geneva Center for Security Policy.
Yves Rossier was State Secretary in the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and Swiss Ambassador in Moscow from 2017 to 2020.
Yves Rossier is being quoted as saying: “I do not expect a Russian military invasion of Ukraine.” Even if Russian troops were concentrated on a larger scale, the technical and military preparations on the border “did not indicate an invasion”. In addition, an invasion would also have to be prepared propagandistically. “I don’t see any signs of this in the Russian media”, so the former Swiss ambassador in Moscow.
Thomas Greminger is being quoted as saying: “Currently, I don’t see any strategic interest on either side to let an armed conflict happen.” For Greminger, the many aggressive statements that have been heard for weeks are the part of diplomacy, that has been granted open access to the public. But there was “a lot of rhetorical swaggering”. It is true that provocations or actions that are perceived as such could also trigger an escalation. But neither side has “currently the strategic intention to bring about an armed conflict”.
Greminger referred to a fundamental dilemma of European security policy. On the one hand, the principle of the right of states to self-determination applies, including the right to decide on a military alliance of their choice. On the other hand, the principle of “indivisibility of security” applies. This means that the increase in one’s own security must not reduce the security of another state (see also box "The OSCE’s Istanbul Charter for European Security"). However, according to Greminger, this is exactly what could happen if Ukraine joins NATO.
With their assessment, Yves Rossier and Thomas Greminger confirm the analyse by Ralph Bosshard in this newspaper (Current Concerns No. 28/29 of 21 December 2021 and No. 2 of 7 February 2022). •
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