Russia and the Cold War 2.0

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The Cold War 1.0

It is a pure historical fact that “in a sharp reversal of its withdrawal from Europe after 1918, after the end of World War II Washington employed all available tools of public and cultural diplomacy to influence the hearts and minds of Europeans”[1] as a strategy of the US-led Cold War policy against the USSR,[2] and after 1991 against Russia up today. Undoubtedly, the US succeeded after 1990 to transform herself into a sole global military-political hegemonic power – an unprecedented case in the world’s history.[3]

It is usually and generally considered that the end of the USSR and its East European allied states ended the Cold War as a crucial feature of international relations and global politics in the second half of the 20th century. However, in reality, the Cold War was not over in 1989, according to the Western approach, as it was over only its first or original stage and feature (the Cold War 1.0). For 40 years, the Cold War 1.0 as the focal feature in global international politics was fought between the USA and the USSR. However, as the main US’ target in this struggle was not the USSR but, in essence, Russia and as Russia survived after 1989, the US’s administration simply continued the same struggle within the umbrella of a new Cold War or Cold War 2.0. The Cold War 1.0 was the most serious global crisis after WWII as both sides had massive quantities of nuclear weapons and could count on their allies. It is totally wrong arguing that “all that came to an end – completely and completely as a surprise to many – in 1989”[4] as all that did not come to an end. For instance, the NATO did not come to an end but, oppositely, the NATO is after the Cold War 1.0 in the process of unprecedented enlargement. In other words, the Cold War 1.0 is directly prolonged after 1989 by the US’ warmongers just in a new ideological package. We as well as cannot forget that the Cold War 1.0 started in 1949 by the creation of NATO and, therefore, the Cold War 2.0 will be over when the same organization will be dissolved.

The time of the Cold War 1.0 is also called the Age of Bipolarity when the world was divided into two antagonistic armed camps. The USSR feared the US’s imperialism and that the USA would attempt to restore the Western type of political and economic system in East Europe. On another side, the USA feared that the USSR would overrun West Europe. For those fears, both sides sought to defend themselves by building up alliances. Washington as well as tried to contain the USSR (in fact, Russia) by creating a series of military bases around the Soviet perimeter. The most important of those bases have been the bases for the American nuclear bombers.

During the Cold War 1.0, there were several war cases during which two superpowers could directly go to the conflict:

  1. The 1950−1953 Korean War was the first wargame expression of the Cold War 1.0 which carried out the bipolar struggle between two post-WWII superpowers to Asia-Pacific. Occupied in August 1945 by the Soviet and the American troops, the Korean Peninsula became de facto politically divided. During the war, after initial North Korean military success, the Americans counterattacked under the command of General MacArthur and advanced to the border with China. This move resulted in both the Chinese intervention in October 1950 and a stalemate, which was ended by the armistice of Panmunjom in 1953 and the partition of the peninsula along the 38th[5]
  2. From 1945 to 1954 the people of Indo-China were fighting for its liberation from the French colonial oppression. After the defeat at Dien Bien Phu in 1954, the French troops withdraw, but the USA refused to subscribe to the Geneva agreements and built up a counter-revolutionary Government at Saigon under Ngo Dinh Diem. The Second Indo-Chinese War, therefore, erupted from 1957 to 1975. Regardless of massive bombing and deployment of 500.000 troops (including and those from South Korea), the USA failed to break North Vietnamese resistance for freedom and independence. A compromise arrangement in 1973 finally led to the collapse of Saigon in 1975, when the American troops evacuated Vietnam.[6]
  3. Between 1946, when the British and Soviet troops withdraw from Iran, and 1955, the Middle East was not so much affected by the Cold War 1.0. However, after the 1955 Baghdad Pact, which was seen in the Soviet eyes as a threat to its southern borders, and the 1956 Suez War, the general situation in the region became drastically changed. When the USA intervened in Lebanon in 1958, the USSR came forward in support of Syria. Moscow as well as supported the Arab states against the US-backed Zionist Israel during the Arab-Israeli Wars in 1967 and 1973 and build up its naval forces in East Mediterranean to be a counterbalance to the US’s Sixth Fleet. The Cold War 1.0, nevertheless, divided the Middle East into two antagonistic blocs (the Zionist Israel vs. Arabs) with some formally neutral states who have been trying to keep a balance between these two focal blocs.[7]
  4. In January 1961, two years after the Cuban Revolution, the US’s administration broke off diplomatic and other relations with the new Cuban Government of Fidel Castro – a leader of the Cuban Revolution. Three months later, an invasion of Cuba by the Cuban exiles from Florida, organized by the CIA, failed. On October 14th, 1962, a US’s monitoring plane discovered the Soviet missiles and missile sites in Cuba, the American President Kennedy proclaimed a “quarantine” of Cuba and warned Moscow that the USA would immediately retaliate against the USSR if the missiles are going to be used. The USSR’s authorities agreed on October 26th of the same year to withdraw the missiles. Nevertheless, the real threat of nuclear war in this particular case was a turning point in the history of the Cold War 1.0.[8]  

However, it turned out that the developments in guidance and delivery systems for the US’s nuclear warheads made the American policies obsolescent in general while at the same time the NATO’s bloc began to loosen, particularly since 1958 when France, under the President General de Gaulle, refused to accept the US’ political leadership, and in 1960 when erupted the Sino-Soviet dispute.   

A Post-Cold War 1.0 Global Politics

By NATO’s globally aggressive policy and its eastward enlargement after the official end of the Cold War 1.0 (1949−1989), the Russian state’s security question re-emerged as one of the major concerns in Russia.[9] However, in fact, for the NATO and its motor-head in the face of the USA, the Cold War is still on agenda of the global arena as after 1990 the NATO’s expansion and politics are directly directed primarily against Russia[10] but in perspective against China as well. Nevertheless, a fact that the NATO was not dissolved after the end of the Soviet Union (regardless on all official explanations why it was not) is the crucial argument for the opinion that the Cold War is still reality in the world politics and the international relations after 1989 as Cold War 2.0. 

It has to be noticed that the USSR was simply dissolved by one man-decision – a General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, who, concerning this matter, made a crucial deal in October 1986 with the US administration at two days bilateral meeting with the US President Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik in Iceland.[11] It is a matter of fact that the USSR was the only empire in the world’s history which became dissolved by its own Government as the rest of the world’s empires were destroyed either from the outside after the lost wars or from the inside after the bloody civil wars or revolutions.[12]

There are in our opinion three main hypothetical reasons for M. Gorbachev’s decision to simply dissolve the Soviet Union:

  1. Personal bribing of M. Gorbachev by the Western Governments (the USA and the EC).
  2. M. Gorbachev’s wish to prevent further economic exploitation of Russia’s federal unit by the rest of the Soviet republics that was a common practice since the very beginning of the USSR after the Bolshevik (anti-Russian) (counter)Revolution and the Civil War of 1917−1921.
  3. M. Gorbachev’s determination to transform the Russian Federation, which will first get rid of the rest of the Soviet tapeworm republics, into economically prosperous and well-to-do country by selling its own Siberia’s natural resources (gas and oil) to the West according to the global market prices.

In order not to spoil very good business relations with the West, the Russian foreign policy since 1991 up to 2000, was totally soft and even subservient to the West to whose mercy Moscow left the rest of the world including and the ex-Soviet republics with at least 25 million of the ethnic Russian population outside the Russian motherland. For the matter of comparison, Belgrade in 1991 also left all other Yugoslav republics to leave the federation free of charge, at least for the second hypothetical M. Gorbachev’s reason to dissolve the USSR, but with one crucial difference in comparison with the Russian case in the same year: the ethnic Serbs outside Serbia were not left at mercy, at least not as free of charge, to the Governments of the newly (anti-Serb and neo-Nazi) proclaimed independent states emerged on the wreck of (anti-Serb and dominated by Croatia and Slovenia) ex-Yugoslavia.[13] That was the main “sin” by Serbia in the 1990s and for that reason, she was and still is sternly fined by the West.[14]

 Russia’s National Identity and State’s Security: From Ivan the Terrible to the Cold War 2.0

Russia’s security and foreign policy after the dissolution of the USSR is a part of a larger debate over Russia’s “national interest” and even over the Russian new identity.[15] Since 1991, when her independence was formalized and internationally recognized, Russia has been searching for her national identity, state’s security and foreign policy.

The intellectual circles in Russia have debated very much over the content of the Russian national self-identity for centuries. In essence, there were formed two opposite groups and political forces in this matter:

  1. On one hand, there were/are those who believe that the Russian culture is a part of the European culture and as such the Russian culture can accept some crucial (West) European values in its development, as the case of the time of the Emperor Peter the Great (1672−1725)[16] This group, we could call them as the “Westernizers”, have never negated the existence of Russia’s specific characteristics as a Eurasian country, but have always believed that staying within the framework of the “Russian spectrum” is equivalent to the national suicide (a “fear of isolation” effect).
  2. However, on another hand, there are those who have tried to preserve all traditional Russian forms of living and organizing, including both political and cultural features of the Russian civilization, not denying at the same time that Russia is a European country too. This, we can name them as the “patriotic” group, or the “Patriots”, of the Slavic orientation, partly nationalistically oriented, have believed and still believes that the (West) European civilizational and cultural values can never be adjusted to the Russian national character and that it is not necessary at all to be done concerning the Russian national interest (a “fear of self-destruction” effect).

A confrontation of these two groups characterizes both Russian history in general and present-day political and cultural development in particular. A very similar situation is, for instance, in Serbia today as the society is sharply divided into the so-called supporters of the “First” (“patriotic”) and the “Second” (“western”) Serbia.

At the moment, the basic elements of the Russian national identity and state’s policy are:

  1. The preservation of Russia’s territorial unity.
  2. The protection of Russia’s interior integrity and her external (state’s) borders.
  3. The strengthening of Russia’s statehood particularly against the Cold War 2.0 NATO’s Drang nach Osten policy.
  4. The protection of the Russian diaspora at the territory of ex-USSR in order not to experience a destiny of the Serbs outside Serbia after the violent destruction of ex-Yugoslavia by the West and their regional client- regimes.

The post-Soviet Russia rejected in the 1990s the most significant element in her foreign policy that has historically been from the time of the Emperor Ivan the Terrible (1530−1584) the (universal) imperial code – constant expansion of its territory or, at least, the position of a power that cannot be overlooked in the settlement of strategic global matters.[17]

We have to remind ourselves that the growing power of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, which gained its independence from the Mongols in 1480 under Ivan III, was at first exerted in the east and south-east. Novgorod became subjugated in 1478 and Pskov soon after that. Russia’s conquest of the Khanate of Kazan in 1552 opened the way to advance across the Urals and into Siberia. The conquest of the Khanate of Astrakhan in 1556 gave the control of the Volga River and opened a way to the Caspian Sea. It was the fur trade that tempted enterprising Russian deeper and deeper into Siberia until the Pacific coast was finally reached in 1639 and the Russian hold was established over the whole of North Asia. During the second half of the 17th century, Russia turned her attention to the recovery of West Russia from the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (the Commonwealth of Two Nations according to the Union of Lublin signed in 1569)[18] when substantial territorial gains were made up to 1686 as Kiev and the middle Dnieper lands have been liberated and returned back to Russia. The Cossacks of the lower Dnieper transferred their allegiance from Poland to Russia in 1654, and their territory, known as Zaporozh’ye, was legally incorporated into Russia by free-will of its inhabitants.

During the late 16th century and the 17th century, the Russian colonization spread southwards across the Oka River. Nevertheless, the isolation remained one of the focal problems at that time for Russia as it existed a great potential demand for the products of Russia’s forest among Western maritime powers. However, Russia could not profit from those demands because hostile the Kingdom of Sweden, the Ottoman Sultanate, and the Commonwealth of Two Nations (Poland and Lithuania) simply blocked both oversea and overland trade communication system with West Europe. The British merchants opened the northern way to the White Sea and the Russian Emperor Ivan the Terrible established the port of Archangel in 1584. Nonetheless, this seaport was available for the Russian trade only during the short summer season. The Emperor Peter the Great put as his focal task to break through the Baltic and after the Great Nordic War in 1700−1721, which Sweden started, Russia obtained Swedish territory of present-day Estonia and Latvia and at such a way acquiring the medieval Baltic seaport of Riga that was followed soon by the founding another one in the Baltics – St. Petersburg in 1703.

What was done by Peter the Great for the Baltics was achieved in the south by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great (1762−1796).[19] She fought wars in 1768−1792 which led finally to the destruction of the Khanate of Tatars in the Crimean Peninsula and the substitution of Russian for the Ottoman control along the north shores of the Black Sea, in the Crimea, around the Sea of Azov, and across the adjoining steppes.[20] The city of Odessa, founded in 1794, soon became for the region of the Black Sea what the city of Archangel was for the White Sea and St. Petersburg for the Baltic Sea – the focal seaport for the Russian exports. From 1772 to 1815 the Russian state’s borders advanced some 960 km at the expense of the Commonwealth of Two Nations. By three waves of partitions (1772, 1793, 1795)[21] Russia received the biggest portion of Poland-Lithuania, and after the Napoleonic Wars, the Congress of Vienna agreed to the Russian Emperor Alexander I (1801−1825) to become a King of a reconstituted the Kingdom of Poland (known as the Polish Congress Kingdom) with its own Government and Polish administration.[22] As a consequence of the Russian geopolitical influence, Russia became after the Congress of Vienna the strongest Great Power in continental Europe.      

However, after the Cold War 1.0, Yeltsin’s Russia accepted the US’ global role of the new world’s Third Rome[23] and the US as the only global hegemonic power.[24]  For the matter of illustration, the US has today 900 military bases in 153 countries around the world. A servant position of the Yeltsin’s Russia to the West was clearly proved during the NATO’s barbaric destruction of Serbia in 1999 – a fact which simply legitimized the NATO’s policy of the US’ global imperialism.   

Nevertheless, from a historical point of view, it can be said that the US’ imperialism started in 1812 when the US’ administration proclaimed the war to the UK in order to annex the British colony of Canada.[25] However, the protagonists of a “Hegemonic Stability Theory” argue that “a dominant military and economic power is necessary to ensure the stability and prosperity in a liberal world economy. The two key examples of such liberal hegemons are the UK during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the USA since 1945”. [26]

Geopolitical position

The Russian Federation, which appeared on the political map of the world in the early 1990s, represents today extremely influential global actor in international relations. In terms of foreign policy, it is a Russian geopolitical concept of the Near Abroad,[27] which is a traditional sphere of the Russian national and security interest.[28] In geopolitical terms, Russia is an island surrounded by an ocean of different countries that stretch from Finland to Korea, which separates Russia from the European and the Asian centers. A very important factor is also the size of the impact area, which extends from the larger section of the manual on the territory of Eurasia and also immediately adjacent to all key Eurasian players: on west and north with the EU, on the south with the Islamic world and with India in the east with the dynamically developing the People’s Republic of China. 

Russia has the access to those actors still of considerable interest in the Near Abroad, which stands for the post-Soviet republics, which after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 formed the Commonwealth of Independent States (the CIS). It was established by the heads of state of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Between December 8th and December 21st, 1991, the 3 original signatories were joined by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. When Georgia joined in 1993 all of the former republics of the USSR excluding the Baltic States had become members of the CIS with the headquarters in Minsk (Belarus).[29] At that time, the primary intention of President B. Yeltsin of Russia was to create an international framework that will fully serve the Russian political, economic, and military interests. The most closely level of integration within the community of CIS is between Russia and Belarus, which results in economic, security and cultural links of these two countries.

The CIS, as a matter of fact, was created on the demise of the USSR for the focal purpose to maintain diplomatic, security, and economic connections between some of the successor states of the ex-Soviet Union. However, the CIS is undermined by the pro-NATO/EU orientation of Ukraine and Georgia and the military cooperation is today coordinated through the Collective Security Treaty Organization (the CSTO) which is comprised of Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The main geopolitical task of all of these states is to struggle against the US’s imperialism and NATO’s militarism for the free and democratic world of equals.

The Russian Federation is a legal successor of the USSR. Russia is the leading member of the CIS, recognized de facto after 2014 as a superpower by the West, inherited the Soviet foreign representatives and much of its military from the ex-USSR. Collective security as a system of international security under which all Member States agree to take joint action against states that attack[30] is the focal purpose and task of the CSTO.

The Near Abroad 

For Russia, the Near Abroad is of the most important significance sphere of Russian influence and national interest at the time of the Cold War 2.0. Russia retains its influence in Central Asia, from which it never left even after the collapse of the USSR. In this region, it can be traced certain economic dependence on Russia, which is given by the fact that Russia largely controls the production and transportation capacity of energy resources in the region. Central Asian countries also need Russian support in order to ensure their safety and security because of their military and security capabilities are insufficient to protect their countries from the activities coming from the Islamist fundamentalists, separatist, extremist and terrorist groups.

In East Europe and the Caucasus, Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014 show efforts to provoke Russia and to carry out anti-Russian policy fully backed by the West (the USA, the EU, the NATO). An anti-Russian course of these countries is a part of the Western Russophobic geopolitical strategy after 1991 to do the same what they already succeeded in the case of ex-USSR. It means clearly that the focal geopolitical target of the West during the Cold War 1.0 was not the USSR itself but rather Russia. Now, during the Cold War 2.0, the West is using as much as possible countries from the Near Abroad for their anti-Russian policy like Georgia or Ukraine taking into account as well as the strategic importance of both these countries in the Black Sea region.[31]

In the eyes of the US’ administration in Washington, the area of Near Abroad is seen in particular as the extension of the corridor between East Europe, the Caribbean, and Central Asia, which may on one hand serve for the relocation of the US’ and the NATO’s military arsenal in a sensitive area of a Greater Middle East, but from other hand,  to use the regional countries for the exploitation and the transport of oil and gas, especially from the Caspian Sea region.[32]                                                          

In both Georgia and Ukraine, the politics of Russophobia after B. Yeltsin lost power in Moscow, open the possibility to join the NATO. However, the Russophobic foundation of the prospect of eventual integration into the NATO, or in the case of Ukraine as well as into the EU, seriously complicated the internal political and economic instability especially in the case of Ukraine. Consequently, in the years 2003−2006 and 2014 in Ukraine have been decommissioned the political elite which was striving for the good and compromised relations with Russia based on the preservation of the Ukrainian national interest and prosperity. In Ukraine, the political situation is also very much influenced by a high degree of the economic depending on Russia for the supply of the energy resources as, for instance, Ukraine covers its gas needs from some 40% through imports from Russia.

In general, The Western propaganda machinery is spoken about the Russian interference in the Ukraine´s policy of international affairs as allegedly the Ukrainian President V. Yanukovich put forth a number of demands which the EU would have to accept before Ukraine would sign the Association Agreement with the EU including the joint modernization of the Ukrainian gas transport system and the revision of the EU’s position on the construction of economically unsound facilities for the transportation of natural gas to Europe, bypassing Ukraine.                                                                                                                 

On the other hand, the future of the CIS in the original form was constantly from its beginning under the open question as the West is trying everything to destabilize and finally disintegrate this form of cooperation. Russia is, as a matter of fact, the center of gravity within the CIS’ countries, which is based on the potential and real growth of the Russian economy and, therefore, geopolitical influence. Russia has leading priorities and focal political and economic role in the CIS as, for instance, the US has in the NATO or Germany in the EU. The CIS already formed alternative multi-ethnic entity and gravity center between the EU and China while the BRICS’ future is to play the same role between the EU and the USA.[33] As a matter of prediction, Russia is going to play a role of the “bridge” between Europe and Asia, which had its importance in relation to North America and its NAFTA free trade zone, but, probably, only if Russia would be able to ensure her political, economic, and security interests in the eastern part of Eurasia.

China

It can be said that Russia is a natural partner for China, a fact which results primarily from two factors: 1) the length of the common border (about 4300 km), and 2) their rapid economic growth. The axis of their bilateral cooperation is particularly founded on cooperation in the field of energy, which stems from the excitement strategy of China’s energy needs.[34] Russia becomes China’s oil and gas (but also of other raw materials) natural supplier as they are located in the regions that are not too far away from China, and, therefore, Russia is one of the key Chinese partners in their provision. For instance, in the first decade of a new millennium, Chinese oil import from Russia was at least 10% of total Chinese oil imports, but since the year 2010, the volume of deliveries of Russian oil had increased more (in 2010 it was 60 million tons). The increase in oil supplies in the future may also occur through commissioning Angarsk-Nakhodka oil pipeline, which could have led turning into the Chinese city Dacin in the Far East. A Russian Gazprom also foresees the construction of two pipelines that would deliver in the future to China about 40 billion cubic meters of gas annually.[35]

During the last decade, the increase in the direct supply of electricity from Russia to China dramatically became improved from 500 to 900 million kWh per year to 18 billion kWh per year. It is calculated the increase of China-Russia bilateral trade in 2010 to $60 billion per year compared to $100 billion in 2020 per year. The bilateral cooperation also contributes to the export of Russian weapons, which is now 45% directed to China. The military-political cooperation is on very stage since 2005 when at that time came to higher level of organization of joint Russian-Chinese military exercises obviously at the US’s expense.[36] It would likely further disrupt the functionality of the common foreign and security policy of the Western countries and their East European satellites.

The West

The end of the Cold War 1.0 gave the US and Russia new opportunities to cooperate. Russia took over the permanent seat (with full veto power) previously held by the Soviet Union at the United Nations Security Council (the UNSC). The Cold War 1.0 had created gridlock in the Council, but the new arrangement meant rebirth in the UN’s action. Russia was also invited to join the informal G-7 gathering of the world’s largest economic powers making it the G-8. The USA and Russia also found ways to cooperate in securing “loose nukes” in former Soviet territory, although there is still much to be done on this issue.

However, two periods of Russia-West relations during the Cold War 2.0 exist: 1) From 1991 to 1999; and 2) From 2000 up today. The turning point in those relations became NATO’s banditry aggression of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) in March-June 1999.

Nevertheless, during the first 10 years after the end of the Cold War 1.0, the history of B. Yeltsin’s Russia is characterized by very harmonious (symphonic) economic and political relations with the West, especially with Germany in the area of economic cooperation. The results of such Russia-West relations from 1991 to 1991 were an impressive Russian state’s gold reserves (500 billion €), buying real estate properties all over the Mediterranean littoral by the Russian citizens, huge Russian financial investments in Europe, and, finally, the Russian blindness on the NATO’s and the EU’s aggressive foreign policy at the Balkans, the Middle East and Central Asia.[37]      

Russia’s foreign policy is surely a part of her national and cultural identity as for any other state in history. From 1991 up to 1999, Moscow accepted the Western academic and political propaganda as a sort of “new facts” that:

  1. Russia is reportedly no longer a global super or even military power, although its considerable military potential is undeniable and very visible.
  2. Russia allegedly has no economic power, although it has by the very fact an enormous economic potential.
  3. Russia, as a consequence, cannot have any significant political influence which could affect the new international relations established after 1991, i.e. the NATO’s World Order (the NWO), or better to say – the global Pax Americana.[38]

B. Yeltsin’s Russia became transformed into a Western kind of a client state in political terms, especially with regard to the questions of global politics. For instance, the Kosovo Question was de facto solved in 1999 by NATO’s aggression on the FRY with B. Yeltsin’s silent approval. One can say that as a matter of compensation, V. Putin’s Russia in 2008 succeeded to obtained the Western de facto approval for Russia’s protectorate over the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia which self-proclaimed independence from Georgia[39] what, if it happens on that way, is going to be a clear proof of a new Russia’s position in the global politics after the Yeltsin’s time.

Since Russia formally has lost all the attributes of a superpower after the dissolution of the Soviet Union (at least in the 1990s), her political elite has in the early 1990s become oriented towards closer association with the institutional structures of the West – in accordance with her officially general drift towards liberal-democratic reform. Till 1995, Russia had become a member of almost all structures of the NATO, even of the Partnership for Peace Programme what is telling the best about the real aims of the Yeltsin Russia’s foreign policy up to 2008 when a new Russia of V. Putin finally decided to defend her own national interest, at least at the doorstep (in the Caucasus) of her own home. In May 1997 Russia signed the NATO-Russia Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security, which meant de facto that she accepted NATO as the core of the Euro-Atlantic system of global security.[40]

For the matter of comparison with the USA, in October 1962, at the height of the Cold War 1.0, the United States and the Soviet Union came to the brink of a real nuclear war over the placement of the USSR’s missiles in the island of Cuba – a courtyard (not even a doorstep) of the USA. It was the closest moment the world ever came to unleashing the WWIII.[41] In other words, during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the US Kennedy’s administration was ready to invade the independent state of Cuba (with already the US’ military base on the island) and even to go to WWIII against the USSR if necessary as Washington understood Cuba as a courtyard of the USA.

Whether or not the ruling structures in Russia had expected a more important role for their country in its relations with the new partners since 1995 there have been certain stagnation in the relations with the West, accompanied by the insistence on the national interests of Russia. In practice, this was manifested in the attempts to strengthen the connections with the CIS’ countries with which Russia had more stable and secure relations. However, the state of relations within the CIS, accompanied with a very difficult economic and politically unstable situation in some of the countries in the region, prevented any organizational or other progress in this direction. Still, the CIS has remained the primary strategic focus for Russia, especially when it comes to the insolent expansion of NATO towards these countries (NATO’s Drang nach Osten).[42]

Final remarks

There is a number of arguments made to support the standpoint that the relationship between Russia and the West after 1990 is best described as a New Cold War or the Cold War 2.0. as, in fact, the Cold War 1.0 never ended.[43]  

In the end, I will express several basic conclusions in relations to the topic of contemporary Russian relations with the NATO, or better to say, to the debate of the main issue of present-day Russian foreign policy – between the West and herself:

  • The post-Soviet Russia was at least until the 2008 Georgian Crisis politically very deeply involved in the Western system of international relations and cultural values that were basically giving to Moscow a status of the Western client partner on the international scene of the NATO’s World Order after the Cold War 1.0.
  • A full victory of the Russian “Westernizers” up to the end of 1999 allowed them to further westernize Russia according to the pattern of the Emperor Peter the Great with the price of Russia’s inferiority and even servility in the international relations. For that reason, the West succeeded in the 1990s to encircle Russia with three rings of her enemies: the NATO at the West, the Muslim Central Asian states at the South and China at the South-East.
  • The West was buying Russia’s inferiority in the 1990s at the international scene by keeping perfect economic relations with Moscow that was allowing Russia, especially her tycoons, to become enormously reach. These harmonious West-Russia political-economic relations were predicted to be broken only under two circumstances: A) If the Russian “Patriots” with take political power in Kremlin (what, in fact, happened from the very early of 2000), or B) If the West will introduce serious economic-political sanctions against Russia (what, actually, occurred since 2014).
  • Up to now, concerning Europe, the South-East Europe experienced a full degree of the Washington-led NATO’s World Order policy as it is totally left to the Western hands by Moscow and the region is already incorporated into the NATO’s World Order as a part of the Western (the NATO & the EU) Cold War 2.0 concept of the Central and East Europe as a buffer zone against Russia.[44] Nowadays, the Republic of North Macedonia is on the agenda of the US’s punishment for any closer relations with Russia (the “Turkish Stream”). As it was in the case of Serbia in 1999, the US’ sponsored regional Albanians are the instrument of destabilization, in this case, of Macedonia as an overture to the territorial secession of the Albanian-populated West Macedonia which is going to be put, like Kosovo, under the NATO’s total occupation. Recently, the US’ administration publicly announced to put Serbia under the sanctions for Serbia’s signing economic agreement of cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union and for the baying from Russia a set of S-400 rocket launchers. Obviously, in the eyes of the policy planners in Washington, there is no space for the Russian serious influence in the Balkans. Russia’s answer to such challenge is going to be seen.

Dr. Vladislav B. Sotirović

www.global-politics.eu/sotirovic

sotirovic@global-politics.eu

© Vladislav B. Sotirović 2019

References:

[1] A. Stephan (ed.), The Americanization of Europe. Culture, Diplomacy, and Anti-Americanism after 1945, New York−Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2006, 1.

[2] D. Junker (ed.), The United States and Germany in the Era of the Cold War, 1945−1990: A Handbook, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

[3] D. P. Forsythe, P. C. McMahon, A. Wedeman (eds.), American Foreign Policy in a Globalized World, New York−London: Routledge, 2006, 1.

[4] J. Haynes, P. Hough, Sh. Malik, L. Pettiford, World Politics, New York: Routledge, 2011, 701.

[5] See more in [B. Cumings, The Korean War: A History, New York: Random House, 2011].

[6] See more in [R. Freedman, Vietnam: A History of the War, New York: Holiday House, 2016].

[7] See more in [Ch. Herzog, The Arab-Israeli Wars: War and Peace in the Middle East, New York: Random House, 2004].

[8] See more in [D. Munton, D. A. Welch, The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Concise History, New York, USA−Oxford, UK, 2011].

[9] About the history of the Cold War, see in [J. Lewis, The Cold War: A New History, New York: Penguin Books, 2005; M. V. Zubok, A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev, The University of North Carolina Press, 2007].

[10] K. W. Thompson, NATO Expansion, University Press of America, 1998.

[11] J. G. Wilson, The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev’s Adaptability, Reagan’s Engagement, and the End of the Cold War, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014; K. Adelman, Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended The Cold War, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2014.

[12] About the end of the USSR, see in [S. Plokhy, The Last Empire: The Final Days of the Soviet Union, New York: Basic Books, 2014].

[13] About different opinions on the nature of Yugoslavia, see in [J. B. Allcock, Explaining Yugoslavia, New York: Columbia University Press, 2000; R. Sabrina, The Three Yugoslavias: State-Building and Legitimation, 1918−2005, Indiana University Press, 2006].

[14] About the wars of Yugoslavia’s succession in the 1990s, see in [S. Trifunovska (ed.), Yugoslavia Through Documents: From its creation to its dissolution, Dordrecht-Boston-London: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1994; S. L. Woodward, Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution after the Cold War, Washington, D. C.: The Brookings Institution, 1995; R. H. Ullman, (ed.), The World and Yugoslavia’s Wars, New York: A Council on Foreign Relations, 1996; D. Oven, Balkan Odyssey, London: Indigo, 1996; B. Marković, Yugoslav Crisis and the World: Chronology of Events: January 1990−October 1995, Beograd, 1996; J. Guskova, Istorija jugoslovenske krize, I−II. Beograd: Izdavački grafički atelje „M“, 2003; V. B. Sotirović, Emigration, Refugees and Ethnic Cleansing: The Death of Yugoslavia, 1991−1999, Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2013]. 

[15] M. Laruelle (ed.), Russian Nationalism, Foreign Policy, and Identity Debates in Putin’s Russia: New Ideological Patterns After the Orange Revolution, Stuttgart: ibidem-Verlag, 2012.

[16] About Peter the Great and his reforms in Russia, see in [L. Hughes, Russia in the Age of Peter the Great, New Haven−London: Yale University Press, 2000; J. Cracraft, The Revolution of Peter the Great, Cambridge, Mass.−London, England: Harvard University Press, 2003; J. Anisimov, Rusijos istorija nuo Riuriko iki Putino. Žmonės. Įvykiai. Datos, Vilnius: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidybos centras, 2014, 203−229].

[17] About the idea of Holy Russia as a Third Rome, see in [M. R. Johnson, The Third Rome: Holy Russia, Tsarism and Orthodoxy, The Foundation for Economic Liberty, Inc., 2004].

[18] Z. Kiaupa, J. Kiaupienė, A. Kuncevičius, The History of Lithuania Before 1795, Vilnius: VILSPA, 2000, 243−251.

[19] She was of the German Protestant origin converted to the Russian Orthodox faith. About her biography, see in [M. W. Simmons, Catherine the Great: Last Empress of Russia, Make Profits Easy LLC, 2016].

[20] On Russia and the Eastern Question, see in [Ф. И. Успенски, Источно питање, Београд−Подгорица: Службени лист СЦГ−ЦИД, 2003].

[21] I. Kapleris, A. Meištas, Istorijos egzamino gidas: Nauja programa nuo A iki Ž, Vilnius: Briedis, 2013, 174−179.

[22] P. R. Magocsi, Historical Atlas of Central Europe, Revised and Expanded Edition, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002, 76.

[23] About the US’ post-Cold War 1.0 imperialism and global hegemony, see in [G. V. Kiernan, America, The New Imperialism: From White Settlement to World Hegemony. London: Verso, 2005; J. Baron, Great Power Peace and American Primacy: The Origins and Future of a New International Order, London−New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014].

[24] N. Chomsky, Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance, New York: Penguin, 2004.

[25] H. B. Parks, Istorija Sjedinjenih Američkih Država, Beograd: Izdavačka radna organizacija „Rad“, 1986, 182−202.

[26] A. Heywood, Global Politics, London−New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 229.

[27] M. S. Blinnikov, A Geography of Russia and Its Neighbors, New York−London: The Guilford Press, 2011.

[28] “Security means the ability of states and societies to maintain their independent identity and their functional integrity” [B. Buzan, People, States, and Fear: An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era, London: Longmans, 1991].

[29] See more in [P. Heenan, M. Lamontagne (eds.), The Russia & Commonwealth of Independent States Handbook, Chicago−London−New Delhi: Glenlake Publishing Company, Ltd, 2000].

[30] R. W. Mansbach, K. L. Taylor, Introduction to Global Politics, Second Edition, London−New York: Routledge, 2012, 574.

[31] About geopolitics of Russia and the West, see in [С. Перишић, Нова геополитика Русије, Београд: Медија центар Одбрана, 2015, 217−241].

[32] About the politics of destabilization from the Balkans to the Caspian Sea, see in [S. Bianchini (ed.), From the Adriatic to the Caucasus: The Dynamics of (De)Stabilization, Ravenna: Longo Editore Ravenna, 2001].

[33] About the BRICS, see in [E. D. Mansfield, N. Rudra (eds.), Economy of the BRICS Countries, I−III, World Scientific Pub Co Inc, 2019; É. Féron, J. Käkönen, G. Rached (eds.), Revisiting Regionalism and the Contemporary World Order: Perspectives from the BRICS and Beyond, Verlag Barbara Budrich, 2019].

[34] On Russia-China axis as a danger to the US’ foreign policy, see in [An Emerging China-Russia Axis? Implications for the United States in an ERA of Strategic Competition, U.S. Government, U.S. Senate, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, 2019].

[35] About the rising Chinese economy in global terms, see in [J. Bryan Starr, Understanding China: A Guide to China’s Economy, History, and Political Culture, New York: Hill and Wang, 2010; A. R. Kroeber, China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know, New York: Oxford University Press, 2016].

[36] See more in [R. Weitz, The New China-Russia Alignment: Critical Challenges to U.S. Security, Praeger Security International, 2020].

[37] On B. Yeltsin and Russia of his time as a President, from the Western perspective, see in [B. Minayev, Boris Yeltsin: The Decade that Shook the World, London: Glagoslav Publications Ltd, 2014].

[38] About the Pax Americana, see in [G. Dorrien, Imperial Designs: Neo Conservatism and The New Pax Americana, London−New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2004; A. Parchami, “The Pax Americana Debate”, Hegemonic Peace and Empire: The Pax Romana, Britanica and Americana, London−New York: Routledge, 2009; A. Roncallo, The Political Economy of Space in The Americas: The New Pax Americana, London−New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. On the remaking of the World Order, see in [S. P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilization and The Remaking of World Order, London: The Free Press, 2002; H. Kissinger, World Order, Penguin Press HC, 2014]. On the post-Cold War 1.0’s the US-Russia relations up to the 2014 Ukrainian Crisis, see in [A. E. Stent, U.S.−Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014].

[39] About the “Kosovo precedent” and the ethnopolitical conflicts in the Caucasus, see in [A. Hehir (ed.), Kosovo, Intervention and Statebuilding: The International Community and the Transition to Independence, London-New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2010; V. B. Sotirović, “Kosovo and the Caucasus: A Domino Effect”, Српска политичка мисао (Serbian Political Thought), 41 (3), Belgrade: Institute for Political Studies, 2013, 231−241.

[40] See, for instance [R. E. Kanet, A. V. Kozhemiakin, (eds.), The Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, London−New York: Macmillan Publishers−St. Martin’s Press, 1997].

[41] R. F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days: A Memoir of The Cuban Missile Crisis, W. W. Norton & Company, 1999; D. Munton, D. A. Welch, The Cuban Missile Crisis: A Concise History, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2006; M. Dobbs, One Minute to Midnight: Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on The Brink of Nuclear War, Borzoi Book, 2008; B. L. Pardoe, Fires of October: The Planned US Invasion of Cuba During The Missile Crisis of 1962, Fonthill Media Limited−Fonthill Media LLC, 2013.

[42] See more in [M. D. Nazemroaya, The Globalization of NATO, Montreal: Centre for Research on Globalization, 2012].

[43] R. E. Kanet (ed.), Russian Foreign Policy in the 21st Century, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 16−17.

[44] About the post-Cold War 1.0 Western supremacy in the global politics and international relations, see in [S. Mayer, NATO’s Post-Cold War Politics: The Changing Provision of Security, London−New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014; K. Pijl, The Discipline of Western Supremacy: Modes of Foreign Relations and Political Economy, III, London−New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014]. About a typical example of the western (the US’) colony in the region, Kosovo-Metohija as a part of the Pax Americana, see in [H. Hofbauer, Eksperiment Kosovo: Povratak kolonijalizma, Beograd: Albatros Plus, 2009]. On the relations between the NATO and the European Union, see in [L. Simon, Geopolitical Change, Grand Strategy and European Security: The EU−NATO Conundrum, London−New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013]. About the history of a greater concept of East Europe between the Germans and the Russians, see in [R. Bideleux, I. Jeffries, A History of Eastern Europe. Crisis and Change, London−New York: Routledge, 1999; A. C. Janos, East Central Europe in the Modern World. The Politics of the Borderlands from Pre- to PostCommunism, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000].


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