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Saturday, November 08, 2014

Cold War 2014 - Mikhail Gorbachev

It's hard to understand how the Russians can afford to engage in any kind of military initiative when their Ruble currency is in free fall= $0.21 on the dollar.  

Nevertheless, the Cold Warrior leader Mikhail Gorbachev tells BBCNews to  prepare for a repeat of the daunting 20th century dangerous power struggle between Russia and the Western World.

A new Cold War is imminent, and trust should be restored by dialogue with Russia, says former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. (Perhaps Mikhail Gorbachev can recommend a communications strategy?)

At an event to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mr Gorbachev said the West had "succumbed to triumphalism".

Moreover, Gorbochev expressed alarm about recent Middle Eastern and European conflicts.

Tensions have been raised between the West and Russia over Ukraine, which was part of the Soviet Union.

More than 4,000 people have died in fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists, who seized control in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in April.

A fragile ceasefire has been in place since September, but elections in rebel-held areas last weekend have prompted fears of a return to full-scale conflict.

Analysis: BBC's Rob Broomby

Whether motivated by weakness or strength, Mikhail Gorbachev shares credit for bringing a peaceful end to the Cold War. 

So his warning that present tensions - not the least over the Ukraine - threaten a new Cold War, will get a hearing. 

Some Western commentators might even agree, but the questions remain, is he right and who's to blame?

Well, Russia appears increasingly prepared to cast itself as a rival rather than a partner, but tension is still nowhere near what it was during the hottest phases of the Cold War, such as the Cuban missile crisis or the building of the Berlin Wall.

From the Russian perspective, NATO has advanced in recent years almost to its nation's borders. One by one, nations once in its orbit have fallen into the Western camp, often joining the EU and NATO.

But Russia has shown it is prepared to use military muscle to achieve its ends, first in Crimea then in eastern Ukraine. The West and Russia accuse each other of old thinking - of spheres of influence and hegemony. A cold war it may not yet be, but relations are clearly worsening.

(It's entirely possible the BBCNews interview with Gorbachev was an attempt to again thaw the impending Cold War deja vu....)



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