Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Well, maybe it's not a new Cold War, but...

Diplomatic relations between Russia and the West sure are getting chillier.

Whether its the war of words with the United States (the missile shield issue comes to mind), the Litvinenko murder case straining relations with with Britain, or the ill-concluded talks with the European Union at the EU-Russia summit — especially over oil and gas, as well as Germany siding with Russia as, for example, Poland suffers.

Both sides might well be overplaying their cards, warning of new 'war's, how one side is demonic, etc. But as this is the often fragile game of world diplomacy, overplaying such cards is not a wise choice — by the EU, America, or Russia itself. The UK's situation is a bit more sticky, as the former KBG man and Putin dissenter Alexander Litvinenko looks to have possibly been killed by a _ of Russia's vast, post-Soviet security fringe within the government.

If Russia is getting wealthier because of its energy exports, why are freedoms shrinking? Why is Vladimir Putin becoming a dictator, if he isn't already one? It's interesting to look at how wealth, and even education, do not always result in freedoms for the population of a state. A closer look at that soon.

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