Warning from Russia

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  • #1
Art
Over the past 18 months or so the Russian president Putin has leveled criticisms against the West on a raft of issues. The most recent complaint was in his address today to the Russian parliament wherein amongst other things he complained about the US defense shield.

In response Condoleezza Rice said
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismissed Russian concerns over the missile shield as "ludicrous".
Ludicrous or not this is hardly what one would call a diplomatic response by a senior member of the US gov't to concerns expressed by the president of what is still a major military power.

The strident language emanating from both sides is more reminiscent of the megaphone diplomacy of the cold war and so the question is are we heading for cold war II and if so is this something the West should be concerned about?


Russia in defense warning to US
Russia may stop implementing a key defense treaty because of concerns over US plans for a missile shield in Europe, President Vladimir Putin said.
Mr Putin made the threat during his annual address to parliament - which he said would be his last as president.

He also hit out at an influx of foreign money which he said was being used to meddle in Russia's internal affairs.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismissed Russian concerns over the missile shield as "ludicrous".

BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says Mr Putin's speech marks a significant raising of diplomatic stakes.

The Russian president suggested that his country should freeze its compliance with the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty - which limits military deployments across the continent - until all Nato countries had ratified it.
cont'd
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6594379.stm
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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the question is are we heading for cold war II and if so is this something the West should be concerned about?
Nahh Soviet block collapsed, wont be another cold war. However it doesnt mean that Russia in its new form wont try bullying America or its neighbors to get what it wants..
 
  • #3
russ_watters
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Russia doesn't have the money for another Cold War. The only possibility is China and we can give them a few decades to catch up before we join...
 
  • #4
Art
Perhaps the Russians and some of the US's NATO allies don't see it that way.

Russia threatening new cold war over missile defence

Kremlin accuses US of deception on east European interceptor bases

Luke Harding in Moscow
Wednesday April 11, 2007


Russia is preparing its own military response to the US's controversial plans to build a new missile defence system in eastern Europe, according to Kremlin officials, in a move likely to increase fears of a cold war-style arms race.
The Kremlin is considering active counter-measures in response to Washington's decision to base interceptor missiles and radar installations in Poland and the Czech Republic, a move Russia says will change "the world's strategic stability".
<snip>
The Bush administration says the bases are designed to shoot down rogue missiles fired by Iran or North Korea. Its proposed system would be helpless against Russia's vast nuclear arsenal, it says.

But this claim has been greeted with widespread incredulity, not just in Russia but also among some of the US's nervous Nato allies. They include Germany, where the Social Democrat leader, Kurt Beck, warned last month that the US and Russia were on the brink of another arms race "on European soil".

Defence experts say there is little doubt that the real target of the shield is Russia. "The geography of the deployment doesn't give any doubt the main targets are Russian and Chinese nuclear forces," General Vladimir Belous, Russia's leading expert on anti-ballistic weaponry, told the Guardian. "The US bases represent a real threat to our strategic nuclear forces."

The threat of a new arms race comes at a time when relations between Russia and the US are at their worst for a decade. In February Mr Putin accused the Bush administration during a speech in Munich of seeking a "world of one master, one sovereign". On Friday Russia's duma, or lower house or parliament, warned that the US's plans could ignite a second cold war. "Such decisions, which are useless in terms of preventing potential or imaginary threats from countries of the middle and far-east, are already bringing about a new split in Europe and unleashing another arms race," the declaration - passed unanimously by Russian MPs - said.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,,2054142,00.html#article_continue
 
  • #5
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Russia doesn't have the money for another Cold War. The only possibility is China and we can give them a few decades to catch up before we join...
In the meantime, we'll just send all of our money there.
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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Perhaps the Russians and some of the US's NATO allies don't see it that way.
It doesn't much matter how they see it or talk about it. What matters is what they can do. And they quite simply don't have the money to start an arms race.
 
  • #7
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It doesn't much matter how they see it or talk about it. What matters is what they can do. And they quite simply don't have the money to start an arms race.
Money? You obviously have not been to Moscow recently. There is a LOT of money in Russia right now. Regardless it never stopped them before... I dont think that would the reason why they wont start another cold war, its because the global political climate is very different than that of after ww2. The soviets are gone, and we have a new Russia, who is getting more and more rich.
 
  • #8
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Not to mention Russia is the richest country in natural recources. The whole periodic table is in siberia just waiting to be tapped.
 
  • #9
Art
It doesn't much matter how they see it or talk about it. What matters is what they can do. And they quite simply don't have the money to start an arms race.
Russia gets most of it's income from selling fuel to europe. They have already massively increased prices for natural gas over the past 2 years so if there is an arms race Russia will finance it's build up out of the rest of Europe's pockets.

It is also worth bearing in mind that Russia doesn't have to compete in an arms race $ for $. They have only to spend a relatively small amount to create a plausible threat in strategic areas such as on Poland's borders to necessitate a much larger expense from the West in counter measures.

Russia also has a valid point in questioning the continuing existence of NATO. This was originally a military alliance formed as a defense against the Soviet Union yet since the Soviet Union's demise instead of disbanding or at lest scaling back, NATO has actually increased it's membership. One wonders why???
 
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  • #10
devil-fire
you know, the usa could be getting a lot more help from other world powers such as russia and china on issues like iraq and iran. the problem is that american interests are apparently not interests that are congruent with other world powers.

for example. why would russia want to try to influence iran to stop supplying IED materials to militias in iraq with the intent of easing pressure on american forces there when the usa insists on ignoring russian concerns in areas like missile defense. perhaps if iran keeps this up, the americans will have more pressing matters to worry about then missile defense.
 
  • #11
russ_watters
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Money? You obviously have not been to Moscow recently. There is a LOT of money in Russia right now.
That's a completely meaningless thing to say. Here's the fact: Russia's PPP GDP last year was $1.73 trillion.

https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/rs.html

China's was $10 trillion and the US $13.98 trillion.
Regardless it never stopped them before...
Are you suggesting they are going to go back to a communist dictatorship? Otherwise, that's also a completely meaningless thing to say.
I dont think that would the reason why they wont start another cold war, its because the global political climate is very different than that of after ww2. The soviets are gone, and we have a new Russia, who is getting more and more rich.
Well yes, that is the main point: they aren't going to want to start a cold war, even if they could.
 
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  • #12
russ_watters
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Russia also has a valid point in questioning the continuing existence of NATO. This was originally a military alliance formed as a defense against the Soviet Union yet since the Soviet Union's demise instead of disbanding or at lest scaling back, NATO has actually increased it's membership. One wonders why???
NATO's existence today is a counter to the ineptitude of the UN. The prototypical example of this is Yugoslavia, 1995. It isn't a threat to Russia, but it is a threat to the UN.
 
  • #13
russ_watters
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Regarding the issue in the OP, I don't see any other way to describe Putin's statement besides the word "ludicrous". Perhaps "rediculous", but they pretty much mean the same thing. With a planned missile shield of 10 interceptor's, the purpose is clear and the capabilities are utterly unsuitable for defense against a Russian nuclear attack.
 
  • #14
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Irrespective of any actual threat from Russia or China currently, Condy's remark still bothers me--same ole we'll do what we want, when we want, and to hell with everyone else. A secretary of state should at least give the impression of being a diplomat. Course this is the gal who gave us the smoking gun might be a mushroom cloud remark GW seized upon in his speech.
 
  • #15
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That's a completely meaningless thing to say. Here's the fact: Russia's PPP GDP last year was $1.73 trillion.
GDP and the money a country has available to it to tap are not the same thing. GDP is a reflection of work done and payment for that work rather than the amount of cash available to the government. As I already stated Russia has a lot of money...
 
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  • #16
Art
GDP and the money a country has available to it to tap are not the same thing. GDP is a reflection of work done and payment for that work rather than the amount of cash available to the government. As I already stated Russia has a lot of money...
Russia now has the third largest reserves in the world with annual growth of 7-8% so they are certainly not anywhere near the economic basket case they used to be plus as I said already an arms race doesn't mean you spend a $ and we'll spend a $ so I think it is fair to say money isn't a decisive factor in whether or not a new cold war develops.

Estonia too is another source of friction, ever since they joined the EU and NATO they seem to be going out of their way to irritate and annoy Russia in any way they can.
 
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  • #17
Art
Irrespective of any actual threat from Russia or China currently, Condy's remark still bothers me--same ole we'll do what we want, when we want, and to hell with everyone else. A secretary of state should at least give the impression of being a diplomat. Course this is the gal who gave us the smoking gun might be a mushroom cloud remark GW seized upon in his speech.
Probably also didn't help that she referred to the 'Soviet nuclear arsenal' in her comment. A slip of the tongue no doubt but one which could also be construed as an insult by Russia, a little like when people you deal with often forget your name.
 
  • #18
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Probably also didn't help that she referred to the 'Soviet nuclear arsenal' in her comment. A slip of the tongue no doubt but one which could also be construed as an insult by Russia, a little like when people you deal with often forget your name.
Good point Bob. Errrm I mean Art
 
  • #19
russ_watters
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GDP and the money a country has available to it to tap are not the same thing. GDP is a reflection of work done and payment for that work rather than the amount of cash available to the government. As I already stated Russia has a lot of money...
Having a lot of mineral wealth and having a lot of money are not the same thing. Most of Russia's mineral wealth is unrealized: it costs money to dig/pump it out of the ground and that is money they don't have.

You talk like there is money sitting in banks ready to be spent on weapons. There isn't: Russia has a relatively low public debt (8%), but it also doesn't have good enough credit to get more.

If Russia switched back to dictatorial communism tomorrow, making every penny of their GDP run through the government, they would still have less money available than our government does - and with more responsibilities to spend it on. Add to that the loss of the breakaway republics which decreased their population and other resources, they are a long, long way from being able even to turn their military back into something that the rest of the world considers functional, much less a force worthy of paying attention to.

So for the way you are using the word, you are incorrect. No, Russia does not have a lot of money.

All that said, if you have some actual facts (such as financial stats) that back up your claim, I'd be glad to evaluate them....
 
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  • #20
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Having a lot of mineral wealth and having a lot of money are not the same thing. Most of Russia's mineral wealth is unrealized: it costs money to dig/pump it out of the ground and that is money they don't have.
I didnt say that... Honestly I dont have the energy to traipse through the internet to satisfy your need for some accountants figures who just so happens to have counted all the money in Russia. So you will just have to take my word for it that there is a LOT of money in Russia, and GDP is totally irrelevant to what I am saying, as I hope you know. Your facts are a best guess anyway, so instead of attempting to undermine my statement you should look at yours first. I am not going to try and redefine or attempt to argue with you on "what is money" I will simply say this:
If you honestly think that Russia doesnt have "the money" to start an arms race against the USA, you are very wrong. However there are other far more important reasons why you are correct in saying there will not be an arms race, money isnt one of them.
 
  • #21
Office_Shredder
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There's a difference between there being money in Russia, and Russia having money.

It's like saying the US is rich because Bill Gates has fifty billion dollars
 
  • #22
devil-fire
its strange how ICBMs cost a lot of money to make effective intimidation but a cargo container send to new york could be just as effective, if not more effective then an ICBM as a delivery system.

if it comes right down to it, i don't think the ability to back up implied threats would cost as much money as it used to
 
  • #23
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Probably also didn't help that she referred to the 'Soviet nuclear arsenal' in her comment. A slip of the tongue no doubt but one which could also be construed as an insult by Russia, a little like when people you deal with often forget your name.


agreed frightening that she might be the smartest in the pack. I recall a Dan Rather debate between he and Amy Goodman where he explains in her defense after all she has an oil tanker named afer her. Like she invented the notion of double hulled tankers? Shes a prop, Astronuc pointed out that the real wordsmith was another agent entirely. And they had enuf smarts to float a test firing via her mouth and then GW's. Maybe the most brilliant test of spin in the 21'th century? Maybe me too sensitive, listening to her is for me at least like interviewing a sociopath. Bristle emoticon.
 
  • #24
Art
Estonia is still yanking Russia's chain;

Estonia unearths Soviet war dead
The Estonian authorities say they have found the coffins of 12 Soviet soldiers buried at a controversial war memorial, amid a continuing row with Russia.
Estonia's decision to remove the statue of a Red Army soldier sparked riots last week. One Russian died and 153 were injured in clashes with police.

Protesters are now blockading Estonia's Moscow embassy, according to officials.

cont'd

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/6608053.stm

Published: 2007/04/30 14:59:29 GMT

© BBC MMVII
This follows on from Estonia's criminalistion of all soviet symbols with jail terms of up to three years. At the time the Russian foreign minister said
"It is blasphemous to equate the hammer and sickle with Nazi emblems." and "recently the Estonian side has been obstinately taking provocative steps aimed at seriously aggravating our relations".

"The Estonian authorities are continuing their blasphemous attempts to rewrite the history, bracketing Nazi crimes with the feat of the Soviet people, who made a decisive contribution to the liberation of Europe from fascism,"
IMO Estonia is abusing her recent membership of the EU emboldened in her assumption that europe will protect her from Russian reprisals.

A somewhat dangerous and reckless assumption I fear as already such actions are destroying what had been very good relations between the EU and Russia and is tearing Estonia itself apart with it's 1.3 million ethnic Russians half of which are denied Estonian citizenship because of a law the Estonian gov't passed that to qualify for citizenship you and both of your parents must have been born in Estonia.
 
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  • #25
Art
It seems relations between Russia and the West are continuing to plummet.

EU-Russian talks end in acrimony
The leaders of the European Union and Russia have traded sharp criticism over human rights, at a summit that exposed the divisions between the two sides.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed alarm at the detention of activists intending to protest against the Russian government.

Vladimir Putin retorted that Estonia's ethnic Russians were being persecuted.

Correspondents said the exchanges just illustrated the souring mood between the EU and its eastern neighbour.

There are a number of prickly issues between the two, including trade, energy supplies and Kosovo.

In a break with previous practice, no joint declaration was prepared before the summit at Volzhsky Utyos government resort, near the Russian city of Samara.

If the atmosphere at the post-summit news conference was anything to go by, the relationship has reached a new low, says the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Moscow.

President Putin turned the tables on the EU, accusing members Estonia and Latvia of violating the human rights of their Russian minority.
<snip>
EU leaders have recently expressed alarm about Russian threats to veto a UN Security Council resolution proposing Kosovo's de facto independence from Serbia.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6668111.stm
 

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