Saturday, February 13, 2016

***Russians*** Accuse ***U.S.*** Of "Rekindling Cold War"

by JASmius

Because war games rehearsing an all-out attack on NATO, and repeatedly violating U.S. airspace with strategic nuclear bombers, and building military bases almost within artillery range of American territory evidently don't count:

Russia's prime minister accused the West on Saturday of rekindling the Cold War, telling a meeting of top defense officials, diplomats and national leaders that sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea....

Which weren't even bad comedy.

....and new moves by the NATO alliance....

In feeble self-defense that Russian forces could overwhelm within hours.

...."only aggravate" tensions.

Because we're supposed to preemptively surrender, I guess.  Like Barack Obama hasn't already.

Dmitry Medvedev said Russian President Vladimir Putin told the same Munich Security Conference in 2007 that the West's building of a missile defense system risked restarting the Cold War....

Which the United States won in large part because it built....a missile defense system.  Something Vlad doesn't want us to have because it would make it so much easier for him to just cut straight to the "hot war" phase.

....and that now "the picture is more grim; the developments since 2007 have been worse than anticipated."

How that could possibly be from the standpoint of Russian strategic ambitions I cannot fathom, since we elected Barack Obama the very next year.

"NATO's policies related to Russia remain unfriendly and opaque — one could go so far as to say we have slid back to a new Cold War," he said.

Because Russia's policies related to NATO have become hostile and aggressive.  It's not all that difficult to understand, Dmitri Victorovich.

However, my friends, I am about to cross you up with an observation you'll probably find surprising, in light of the above: I think this rhetorical gambit from Prime Minister Medvedev is made out of weakness, not strength.

I deduce that from this portion of his remarks:

Earlier in the day, Medvedev suggested the West would harm itself if it did not lift the sanctions soon.

"The longer the sanctions continue chances for the Europeans to keep their position at the Russian market as investors and suppliers are fading," he said. "That's why one has to act quickly."

Remember my post about the Russians being down to eighteen months' worth of foreign currency reserves, the consequence of over half of their economy depending on energy exports and the price of oil having collapsed?  Now figure The move toward finally allowing liquified natural gas exports to Europe into that equation:

As the U.S. Senate considers a bill to clarify liquefied natural gas (LNG) export regulations, a panel of experts convened to discuss the impacts of shipping more American natural gas abroad.

Most experts agreed selling natural gas to other countries would undermine Russia’s energy hegemony....

Kauzlarich was part of a Tuesday off-the-record panel on LNG exports at the American Security Project. The panel discussed how unleashing U.S. gas could alter the world energy stage, and the panel agreed American LNG could break Russia’s monopolistic power over Eastern Europe’s energy markets.

LNG has the potential to reduce Russia’s ability to use state-controlled companies, such as Gazprom, as a political weapon against America’s allies in Eastern Europe. [emphases added]

In a word, Medvedev is bluffing.  For years, Gazprom has had all of Europe by the energy balls, and now the one economic lynchpin Moscow has - energy - is going down like the Hindenburg.

The Russians are scared, folks.  Their economy is collapsing, and they're grasping at any straw they can to try and bully the West into propping them back up.

It kinda does sound like the Cold War is back, doesn't it?  Courtesy of Mr. Medvedev and his strongman boss, who are ever more clearly willing to take that which we will not give them.

The countdown toward the next World War continues.  And at an accelerated pace.

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