The “new Cold war” is a metaphor or geopolitical reality?

Professor mark Kramer believes the INF Treaty a relic of the Cold war and recalls the new global context of confrontation between US and Russia.

Professor mark Kramer is Director of the research program of the Cold war, senior research fellow, Centre for Russian and Eurasian studies. Davis at Harvard University, speaking at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, said: to withdraw from the INF Treaty should have been back in the early 1990-ies, and the agreement is only one manifestation of deeper tensions in U.S.-Russian relations.

The main theme of the speech by the Harvard Professor was the lecture on “the Metaphor of a “New Cold war” does not make sense”. According to mark Kramer, relations between the US and Russia cannot be described by the term “new Cold war” that became a popular description of us-Russian relations in recent years.

According to the Professor, the main characteristics of the Cold war was the presence of two superpowers – the USSR and the USA that were more powerful than all other countries, then there were deep ideological confrontation between Marxism-Leninism and liberal democracy, and the world, especially Europe and Asia, was divided into two competing camps, tending either to the USA or the USSR.

To date, we have not seen any of the main features of the Cold war. The status of Russia today is not comparable with the status of the Soviet Union, China is a stronger country than Russia, and the United States remain the dominant force in the world.Even adjusted for purchasing power parity Russian income per capita is only one-seventh of the income of the United States, and Russia’s military spending is only about one – eighth of the level in the United States.

There are also no true ideological confrontation. Today Russia has no clear ideology – the so-called “traditional values” promoted by the authorities, by and large, “incoherent”, and President Vladimir Putin is more interested in consolidating political power than in the development of a consistent ideology. The same anti-Western rhetoric, component of the core policies of the Russian President, became the pretext for the infringement of civil and political freedoms in the country.

Changed the geopolitical situation: Europe integrated in NATO and other Western institutions, although Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and some Balkan countries are not yet members of NATO or the EU, such division as existed between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries, to date, no.

What we have today is not a new Cold war, and the rivalry of the powerful, which, except the United States and Russia, should include China and other countries.

The INF Treaty was a very valuable and symbolically important Treaty in the late period of the Cold war. He was signed by Reagan and Gorbachev in December 1987, and was a powerful symbol of rapprochement between the two countries that showed a huge change since the early 1980-ies. After the end of the Cold war and the collapse of the Soviet Union to maintain contract didn’t make sense.

Almost all the major agreements on arms control were signed after the end of the Cold war, with the exception of the INF Treaty, which continued to act and became a source of tension between the parties. The controversy surrounding INF Treaty is merely a reflection of the existing strained relations between the US and Russia.

During the Cold war, the INF Treaty really placed significant restrictions on the development of new and elimination of existing missiles. However, the contract was the result of greatly improved relations between the parties, while in times of high level of hostility, arms control was not successful.

The U.S. decision on withdrawal from the INF Treaty is justified not only because of violations of its terms on the part of Russia, but also in connection with the unlikelihood that China, which the contract is associated and develops forbidden to them rocket show interest in negotiations on the expansion of existing or the conclusion of a new contract.

Valeria, Erisman,

“Voice Of America”

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