Surviving Critical Times Hard To Deal With

Friday, May 05, 2006

Chinese Russian Alliance Announced

This is old news but now it is being openly talked about in undiplomatic terms. Russia is now openly speaking about it's relationship with the new Chinese superpower. For the last few years it has had a "under the radar" rapproachement with Beijing through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, increasing military and economic ties. It will be interesting to see how China and Russia handle the Iranian nuclear issue as well as the global "competition" for scarce resources.


"Enemy at the Gates. Dick Cheney made a Fulton speech in Vilnius," said business daily Kommersant's front page headline. "Vice President Dick Cheney made a keynote speech on relations between the West and Russia in which he practically established the start of the second Cold War ... The Cold War has restarted, only now the front lines have shifted," it said. Washington and Moscow have largely gnored differences since the hijacked airliner attacks on U.S. buildings in September 11, 2001 and concentrated on joint interests in the fight against international militant groups. But ties between the former rivals have cooled recently. Cheney's harsh criticism injected fresh tension that is likely to be still felt when Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts President Bush and other world leaders at a summit of the G8 club of rich nations in St Petersburg in July.


Commentators said the speech was an answer to Russia's new self-confidence, which has stemmed from high oil prices and a shortage of energy supplies giving it new influence. Cheney was addressing a group of former communist and ex-Soviet states including Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova which have infuriated their former master by turning toward the West. Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP), Russia's top-selling daily, showed what the meeting meant to Moscow by coloring in the states that met in Vilnius to show a purple cordon separating Russia from the rest of Europe. Reaching for another historical analogy, it compared the meeting to that between the anti-Nazi allies Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Josef Stalin in the Soviet town of Yalta in 1945, at which they divided up the map of Europe. "Yesterday in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, like in Yalta in 1945, the map of Europe was redrawn," KP said, raising the specter of Russia being isolated from the mainstream. "What can Russia do? It would appear it will have to strengthen ties with Belarus and Central Asia. And get close to China, to balance this Western might."


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