Expert analysis: Cold War may become reality as tensions between Russia and West mount - Analyst
Oleh Belokolos Oleh Belokolos Ukrainian foreign affairs expert

15:08 Oct. 31, 2016

Cold War may become reality as tensions between Russia and West mount - Analyst

President of Russia Vladimir Putin waves after he meets German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a summit with the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and France in Berlin. Oct. 19, 2016 (AP Images)

Ukrainian political expert Oleh Belokolos on NATO's response to the Russian aggressive policy and Kremlin's role of a world security violator

Tensions between the West and Russia make expert and political circles talk about a new wave of Cold War in Europe. Though, not on the same scale as it was in 1970-80s, this time the security situation proves the Cold War 2 is becoming an accomplished fact.

A range of vivid examples taking place around the European continent serves as NATO's response to the Russian annexation of Crimea, occupation of Donbas, escalation with the situation in Syria and a decision to station nuclear-capable missile systems "Iskander" in Russia's Kaliningrad region.

"To say frankly, the security situation in Europe remains unpredictable. And this appears to be Putin's policy. He would like to use this tool for blackmailing the neighboring countries: to say something but not completely 100 percent, just leaving a lot to the imagination to create a scare. In this way, it makes his policy unpredictable, though efficient for himself", political expert Oleh Belokolos says.

Recently, Norway announced its intent to authorize the deployment of more than 300 US troops in the country for the period of 2017 as a trial period. It actually represents a significant shift from the peacetime policy of prohibiting the posting of foreign troops in Norway of any other NATO member, which shares a border with Russia.

Meanwhile, Finland has also strengthened its military ties with the US. This month, Finland and the US signed a bilateral defense cooperation pact.

Like other countries in the Baltic region, Sweden has been alarmed by increased Russian military activity. In fact, Sweden and Finland this year made a decision to upgrade relations with NATO. For example, on May 25, 2016, Swedish lawmakers formally backed an agreement that allows the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to easily operate on Swedish territory during training or in the event of a conflict or other crisis.

Britain is sending hundreds of soldiers and hardware to Russia's borders as part of a huge military deployment. A total of 800 troops, drones and tanks are moving to Estonia next spring, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon recently said.

Read also Russia, China, US: Are WW3 and Cold War 2 on the cards?

"In a sense of Russia's national interest, it used to have a more or less friendly security environment. Right now, Moscow has a hostile environment along the borders from Murmansk to Caucasus. And of course, it's not even in Russia's core interests. Some experts including Russian are concerned about the unpredictable policy of today's Kremlin leadership", political expert Oleh Belokolos explains about Putin's aggressive policy which has led to uncertainty at the Russian Western border.

As the analyst states, the Cold War is back, at least in Europe. And this will be a major trend for the years to come.

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