The Growing Divide

Over the last year the divide between Russia and the West has been steadily increasing. Matters have come to a head just recently when party leader Vladimir Putin suspended Russia’s involvement in the CFE agreement (Conventional Forces In Europe). This was a key post cold war settlement and Putin’s decision has been seen as a dangerous political message. It is quite obvious now that the brief meetings between Putin and President George Bush did not amount to much. Can we see the escalating situation as a renewed Cold war?

Whether or not we are seeing history repeat itself, a re-occurrence of “containment” or just some claims for equal treatment from Moscow; this matter is bound to have some serious repercussions. The United Nations Security council for one is going to fall victim to this new political episode. Important matters such as Iran, Korea and the future of Kosovo are currently being pressed through the UN negotiations. If Vladimir Putin’s aggression continues than we may see the re-emergence of the notorious and infamous Russian veto vote in the United Nations. The political stand off or stalemate as we may call it will only produce harmful effects which will hamper peace efforts in the United Nations. Having said this we must also be aware of the weakened state of the Russia.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 the country shrunk in size, strength and power. It lacks the ability to play the war of words with the United States. This new aggressive Russia also lacks the much needed allies to pursue such a policy. However what we are seeing here is definitely a renewal of will. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, Russia backed of from the political limelight. It focused more on cooperation with the West alongside peaceful co-existence.

As party matters collapsed into internal affairs with Boris Yeltsin and the following presidents – Russia’s problems became more internalized. The international scene became a smaller sphere of influence for Russian affairs. Now Russia stands up to the West for the first time, in a very long time. We find ourselves asking questions of the past. Can there once again be two power blocs? Will there be a balance of terror? Is this the beginning of a second Cold war?

Shahryar Malik

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  1. #1 by salman on October 31, 2007 - 10:25 pm

    yes,the possibilities are great and with putin seeming more confident facing bush is more worrying.it seems that russia has some conspiritual sabotage in preparation;both countries have always been against one another no matter what it seems to be like:on the previous summit in moscow when bush complains to putin about his domestic policies not being democratic enough putin showed more confrontation by stating that he was comfortable with what he did.tension is surely rising,YET what we seem to forget is that it will be long before any of this can build up to rivalry and then a cold war.russia still remains economically unstable and tries to derive all its strength from the little oil and gas sales that it has.to face america it will need power,resources and MONEY.if russia doesnt find its buddies in the EU to help it,there will be nothing to intimidate USA.long before(in about 20 to 30 years)russia will get back up on its feet we will be seeing much more powerful superpowers emerging,like china and maybe india,who will set the balance of alliances or ruin it.america might just drown in its own mess,their economy has been predicted to collapse in twenty years,when they run out of resources and energy AND when they wont be able to sell their only produce,weapons.based on this we might never see any thing like a reenactment of the cold war.EVEN if both countries get to be on the top of the world as superpowers,at the same time,in the futture,and wish to struggle for it they wont be stupid enough to repeat history by spending their nations worth on armaments;theyll be too scared.knowing that neither one will attack the other they will find other ways of venting their aggression;maybe use their allies as pawns or strive to attain as much as water,crop and land that will be left on earth(please keep in mind that in about 20 to 30 years global warming would have for long had its affects).as a result to predict the occurence of a second cold war,based on present events,is almost absurd.

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