Russia’s Medvedev: We Are in ‘a New Cold War’

Bloomberg – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said his country is in a new cold war with the U.S. and its allies, while NATO’s chief said Russia is using its nuclear arsenal to intimidate Europe.

The clash, with echoes of superpower rhetoric during the 20th century, played out at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday even as Russia, Europe and the U.S. say they’re seeking to end Syria’s civil war, resolve the armed standoff in eastern Ukraine and make progress toward lifting European economic sanctions against Russia.

“The political line of NATO toward Russia remains unfriendly and closed,” Medvedev said in a speech to the conference. “It can be said more sharply: We have slid into a time of a new cold war.”

While Medvedev renewed Russian accusations of encirclement by western powers, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, challenged President Vladimir Putin to stop threatening nations around Russia’s borders with warnings about his nuclear-weapons capability.

“Russia’s rhetoric, posture and exercises of its nuclear forces are aimed at intimidating its neighbors, undermining trust and stability in Europe,” Stoltenberg told the conference earlier. “We strive for a more constructive and more cooperative relationship with Russia.”

:: Sting – Do The Russians Love Their Children Too? ::

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Jay is Editor In Chief of The Agonist, veteran and technologist.

15 CommentsLeave a comment

  • To the S-G’s admonition, I would add Russia’s significant IO capability, which is impressive to see in action (and actually a bit distinct from its political rhetoric – they know from IO).

  • The utter rubbish coming out of NATO and its master, the U.S., is just breath-taking.
    I think it’s pretty clear that the U.S. is no longer the biggest dog in this new world order; and Russia’s recent display of advanced weaponry in Syria has shocked the west (it was damned impressive).
    The west was just awakened to a new Russia. Twenty five year old prejudices/ideologies just got a 21st century wake up call.
    Russia’s Putin is nobodies fool and the only true statesman among the worlds leaders. Lavrov is also very effective against Kerry’s second class diplomacy.

  • Russia is far from a superpower, and is outmatched by an order of magnitude by western forces in economy, military and technology. He couldn’t grow his army if he wanted to; everything is sunk into trying to soften the ruble crash. He has no friends. Syria’s a drain. China wants his oil but they’re not putting their neck out.

    I’m curious what newspapers you read to form these opinions.

    ‘Damn Lies, Deep Crisis’ In Russian Economy, Says Former Central Banker

    Radio Free Europe – A former deputy chairman of the Russian central bank has said Russia’s economic crisis is worse than Moscow admits and that the Kremlin’s optimism about future prospects “has not been based on reality.”

    Sergei Aleksashenko told RFE/RL on February 10 that “the Russian economy is not going to grow” in the near future “and the most likely scenario is stagnation in the medium term.”

    He said Russian authorities “have not acknowledged the real nature of the crisis, at least publicly” and the crisis “is not over, as the Kremlin claims.”

    “On the contrary,” he said, “the Russian economy is set to continue downward.”

    “As the saying goes, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics,” he said. “If we slice and dice [the official statistical data,] it would be evident that the only growing component of Russia’s GDP was net export.”

    This, after Putin’s big push for domestic production and consumption cycles.

    • I’m curious what newspapers you read to form these opinions.

      I do not trust CCM (corporate controlled media), RT, or any other “media”. But I do seek out individuals such as U.S.’s eminent Russian historian, Stephen F. Cohen, among others. Pepe Escobar, Larry Wilkerson is another, as is Paul Craig Roberts. And then there is F. William Engdahl, Gareth Porter, John Helmer, Jon Hellevig, Patrick Cockburn, and Alexander Mercouris.

      I’ve lived outside the U.S. for more than 12 years, so I’m not blinkered by the CCM and provincialism. For a fact, the U.S. is creating enemies of former friends; including the country I self exiled to. If one hasn’t traveled then one can’t possibly “know” what’s going on in the world; just parroting information not from ones own experience.
      I have first hand knowledge of the lies and mis-information proffered by the U.S. government and it’s sycophantic media.

      • Please stop assuming we are stupid, blinkered, misinformed and are unaware of the affects our domestic and foreign policies have on other parts of this world. Just because you now live outside of the US really doesn’t mean you ‘know’ jackshit or are better informed. Oh, and cheers.

          • I said no such thing.
            Yes, you did say that.
            I’ve lived outside the U.S. for more than 12 years, so I’m not blinkered by the CCM and provincialism.

            You are not the only one exposed to non-American POV on events. I read news sites from all over the world on a regular basis and talk with friends abroad and I know others do the same.

            There are two flavors of provincialism. One is the unjustified conviction that one’s own city, country, culture and lifestyle are the only proper ones. Thinking people rightly condemn that narrow viewpoint. The other flavor of provincialism is to assume that just because one no longer believes in the first, they must necessarily have arrived at Truth. Unfortunately, it is quite possible (and all too common) for people to be mistaken more than once – and the same psychological mechanisms that make the first error difficult to correct are still in play. I do not carry a torch for the USA particularly, being frequently appalled by our behavior and ashamed of much of our history, but I can’t help wondering how you like the free political climate and crony capitalism in your non-USA haven?

      • OK, Cohen is a historian specializing in Bolsheviks and wants to see the world through that lens. Escobar is a writer for Putin media RT and Sputnik. Wilkerson helped Powell’s lies then got a conscience, but not enough to resign from the Colin Powell Leadership Club. Roberts is a Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorist. Engdahl’s blog says “US is de facto bankrupt” and “Russia Breaking Wall St Oil Price Monopoly” so he’s just high.

        Porter and Cockburn don’t look bad.

        Helmer was literally recruited by the KGB. Hellevig is a champion of Russian take-overs in Ukraine. Mercouris is another writer for Sputnik and Russia Insider.

        I too spent significant time in multiple countries overseas. I assure you the truth is available even within CONUS borders.

        Thank you for the insight into your worldview.

        • Porter is highly, highly selective in his use of sources – I do not mean that in a good way. Far too much picking and choosing to buttress pre-determined conclusions. Careful to sound convincing, but detailed testing against primaries leaves him wanting. Would not know an all-source analysis if it leapt up and bit him in the left butt cheek.

          Cockburn can be decent but can also be somewhat lazy. His long form work on Muqtada al-Sadr was quite good – latest long form work on ISIS was a drive-by and much less worth one’s time than a number of others, many of whom are specialists on the transnational phenomenon (useful insights for western audiences).

          Don’t actually mind Escobar (though I have not read recently) as he did seem to get on the ground. World view was laborious to bandpass out. In agreement as to most of the rest.

          Shorthand for me has been to become quite wary of sole practitioners (or near to vanity alternative presses). Too many bullshitters out there. Long form, if they write it, is a good test – hard to keep the tinfoil hat hidden for 300 pages…

  • Russian trade hit by sanctions and commodity crisis

    Financial Times – Russia’s trade with the EU’s eastern states fell by almost a third in 2015, as sanctions over Crimea and the economic impact of plummeting commodity prices further unravel the fraying links between Moscow and its former Soviet bloc allies.

    As well as the decline in trade, major Russian companies are also pulling back in the region, following similar withdrawals in western Europe. Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, sold its Slovak subsidiary in December, and has signalled an interest in further exits from “less significant” European markets. Oil producer Lukoil, meanwhile, has sold its network of gas stations in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia since sanctions were introduced.

  • It seems to me that simply writing off the commentators cited by V. Arnold on the basis of perceived bias is not addressing the issues head on. For example, despite Robert’s self-justifying hagiography of Reagan and supply side economics, he’s otherwise cited compelling and well reasoned evidence on a variety of economic and political issues, including a lengthy and detailed analysis of the Affordable Care Act several years ago, much of which has been born out by experience. Certainly no observer is without bias, least of all those that fill our prime time air waves. The question is whether they’re of sufficient credibility based on their credentials and experience to have earned a fair hearing. If that’s the case, I feel the more attention that goes to the weight of evidence itself the better.

    • Yes, pay close attention to how “they” (intentional collective) treat dissenters. Mis-quoting to advantage and deleting comments politely put.
      It’s pointless to have a radically different POV here, because it doesn’t fit their idea/narrative.
      Thank you for your input; well said and to the point.

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