The chill be­tween the US and Rus­sia

The diplo­matic stand­off be­tween the two coun­tries will storm and weather down. The win­ning point here is the two coun­tries are happy to con­duct mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions out­side h ome base.

Alive - - Contents - ■ by Kal­pana M Nagh­noor

If one were to take a con­ser­va­tive view on the stand-off be­tween Rus­sia and the United States of Amer­ica, one can aver that the school of thoughts amongst the two na­tions varies so vastly, that a diplo­matic con­sen­sus may at times get the red flag. In 1991 when the Soviet Union col­lapsed, Rus­sia en­vi­sioned a cer­tain pro­gres­sion of the world pol­i­tics and the US a dif­fer­ent one.

Rus­sia is seen as a closed-door player, it is never clear, the ve­rac­ity of any procla­ma­tion Rus­sia makes. Keep­ing to its leftist and so­cial­is­tic par­lia­men­tary process, the US is sworn to a demo­crat­i­cally process and thus sep­a­rated by th­ese ide­olo­gies.

The bal­ance

While most demo­cratic and first world na­tions are peace­ful, it can­not be said about the Mid­dle East, Syria, Jor­dan, Pak­istan, Afghanistan, and others. Iran and Iraq are close to a nu­clear show­down. The un­rest in the world tak­ing a turn so pos­si­bly de­struc­tive, for­eign pol­icy con­sen­sus among the rich and pow­er­ful na­tions is a must. But with Rus­sia so to­tally com­mit­ted to so­cial­ism, it acts as a de­ter­rent to world trade poli­cies.

Two kinds of bal­ances come into play: eco­nomic power bal­ance and mil­i­tary.

Let us re­view the eco­nomic first. Af­ter the cold war ended to­ward the end of the 19th cen­tury, Rus­sia was not in­volved in Europe and the US in the eco­nomic de­ci­sions. Rus­sia felt left out of the game. Re­sent­ment arose be­cause of this. Putin made merry of this re­sent­ment and played the na­tion­al­ism card and has won many suc­ces­sive elec­tions since. The same na­tion­al­ism echoes in Amer­ica, with the Trump gov­ern­ment is­su­ing state­ments of na­tion­al­ism, it is not a text­book dec­la­ra­tion, noth­ing about Trump is learned.

Why Rus­sia and the US may face a dif­fer­ence of opin­ion, it is the peo­ple in­flu­enc­ing the de­ci­sion and pol­icy mak­ing in both coun­tries, who are still in­flu­enced by the Cold War, more than the ex­ist­ing cir­cum­stances. It ap­pears dif­fi­cult for both teams to shirk the Cold War phi­los­o­phy. Hence, each side asks for more in the

Why Rus­sia and the US may face a dif­fer­ence of opin­ion, it is the peo­ple in­flu­enc­ing the de­ci­sion and pol­icy mak­ing in both coun­tries, who are still in­flu­enced by the Cold War, more than the ex­ist­ing cir­cum­stances. It ap­pears dif­fi­cult for both teams to shirk the Cold War phi­los­o­phy. Hence, each side asks for more in the world sce­nario try­ing so hard to su­per­im­pose on each other.

world sce­nario try­ing so hard to su­per­im­pose on each other.

The trade share

The trade with China is $663 bil­lion, Canada $662 bil­lion, Mex­ico $568 bil­lion and with Ja­pan $286 bil­lion. With Rus­sia, the trade amounts to only $31 bil­lion. Which sim­ply means trade sanc­tions upon Rus­sia will yield no re­sults. Di­rect eco­nomic re­proach is out.

Rus­sian in­vest­ment in the United States is only 0.1 per­cent of all di­rect for­eign in­vest­ments, which amounts to only $4.6 bil­lion in US-based com­pa­nies. There­fore, Rus­sia has noth­ing to tie up with the US in terms of trade loss. On the other side sig­nif­i­cantly still low but more than the Rus­sian in­vest­ment is the US in­vest­ment in Rus­sia, which is $9.2 bil­lion. How­ever lit­tle, the token dam­age will be more if the stand­off

grows and ma­tures into a war, but most un­likely, be­cause de­vel­oped na­tions are look­ing to grow, not de­pre­ci­ate their value in war. Es­pe­cially Putin, who fires cap­i­tal­ism from the shoul­ders of so­cial­ism. Rus­sia is wait­ing to gar­ner more trade share in the world.

Amer­i­can cap­i­tal­ism on Rus­sian soil

McDon­ald’s has opened more than a hun­dred out­lets in Rus­sia, and its mar­ket is grow­ing there since 1999. It has claimed Rus­sia to be a mar­ket grow­ing in the fast food in­dus­try and hopes to dou­ble its chain there.

Ford finds it­self in­vested in Rus­sia with a lo­cal col­lab­o­ra­tion. The sales gross against it in the world is only 0.6% in Rus­sia.

Exxon is a US com­pany that has been in Rus­sia for over 20 years and pumps 10% of its oil pro­duc­tion from that coun­try. It also has col­lab­o­ra­tive in­ter­est in a pipe­line project, of con­vey­ing crude oil from Kaza­khstan to the Rus­sia Black Sea Coast. Exxon re­quested the US gov­ern­ment if it could by­pass the sanc­tion and does busi­ness with Ros­neft, upon which com­pany the sanc­tion has been im­posed. The US gov­ern­ment de­clined the re­quest.

Rus­sian in­vest­ment

Rus­sia owns a chunk of US gov­ern­ment bonds. It ac­counts for $105 bil­lion. This is the in­vest­ment and for­eign re­serves for a rainy day.

Rus­sia is also poised to hold the FIFA World Cup in 2018. Coco-Cola, Visa, and McDon­ald’s are the spon­sors al­ready in the list. There­fore, a stand­off at this junc­ture is only in­con­ve­nient for Rus­sia. Ac­cord­ing to Carl

Wein­berg, of High Fre­quency Eco­nom­ics, the trade be­tween Rus­sia and the US is so mi­nus­cule that they can an­tag­o­nize each other and not feel the pinch. Yet th­ese two na­tions are look­ing to ex­pand their trade share in the world fo­rum. So, the stand­off be­tween the two coun­tries is an is­sue more than any­thing of a game play in the po­lit­i­cal arena.

The diplo­matic re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries

NATO bomb­ing

The two coun­tries main­tain a diplo­matic and trade re­la­tion­ship, but both have been in­flu­enced by mil­i­tary ac­tions of both coun­tries. Dur­ing the time of Boris Yeltsin, the coun­tries en­joyed pleas­ant ties that would be from 1991 to 1999. The NATO bomb­ing of the Fed­eral Repub­lic of Yu­goslavia be­gan on the 24th of March to the 10th of June in 1999. NATO stands for North At­lantic Treaty Or­ga­ni­za­tions.

Dur­ing the Kosovo War, the Kosovo Lib­er­a­tion Army took the help of NATO and the bomb­ing be­gan. This war be­gan in late Fe­bru­ary of 1998, be­tween the

Fed­eral Repub­lic of Yu­goslavia and the Kosovo Lib­er­a­tion Army who were Kosovo Al­ba­ni­ans.

The killing of thou­sands of Al­ba­ni­ans and dis­plac­ing them in larger num­ber, NATO wanted to take mil­i­tary ac­tion. The United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil

Rus­sia owns a chunk of US gov­ern­ment bonds. It ac­counts for $105 bil­lion. This is the in­vest­ment and for­eign re­serves for a rainy day. Rus­sia is also poised to hold the FIFA World Cup in 2018. Coco-Cola, Visa, and McDon­ald’s are the spon­sors al­ready in the list. There­fore, a stand­off at this junc­ture is only in­con­ve­nient for Rus­sia.

op­posed any mil­i­tary ac­tion. The US was ma­jorly against it. But the NATO still went ahead, with Rus­sia sup­port­ing the ac­tion. The stand­off be­gan. Ever since, the re­la­tion­ship has been strained.

The Ukraine crises

In 2014 the Ukraine crises be­gan. A pro-Rus­sian in­sur­gency be­gan in Ukraine. Rus­sia be­gan ter­ri­to­rial in­cur­sions into Ukraine through the Don­bass sup­port­ers. The Ukrainian Pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovych fell. The Ukraine army and the Don­bass with the help of the Rus­sian army with­out the Rus­sian army in­signia fought and an­nexed Crimea. Even­tu­ally, Crimea was an­nexed in 2015. The US saw this as a vi­o­la­tion of hu­man rights be­cause not all of Crimea sup­ported the move.

The Syr­ian civil war

This multi-sided Syr­ian Civil War has many facets to it. The main one be­ing the Syr­i­ans were tired of Bashar Al-As­sad the Pres­i­dent. The Syr­ian Civil War has to one side the Salafi Ji­hadists move­ment. The Is­lamic State Iraqi Le­vant ISIL and many other groups fight­ing with the Syr­ian Gov­ern­ment, but this multi-sided face of the civil war is the prob­lem in it­self. The US has al­ways been against the ISIL, hav­ing kept peace in Iraq af­ter the cap­tur­ing

Sad­dam Hussein. Rus­sian Mil­i­tary got in­volved in this civil war, as the Gov­ern­ment of Syria asked for its mil­i­tary as­sis­tance in 2016. The air strikes by Rus­sia were a sore point with the US. Rus­sia even­tu­ally de­cided to sta­tion its army in Syria in 2017.

Rus­si­aʼs al­leged in­ter­fer­ence in the US Elec­tions

The Of­fice of the Direc­tor of Na­tional In­tel­li­gence and the Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity al­leged that Putin in­flu­enced the Amer­i­can Elec­tions, by in­flu­enc­ing the peo­ple from vot­ing for Hil­lary Clin­ton. Ju­lian As­sange, the chief edi­tor of Wik­ileaks is an in­ter­net ac­tivist.

He dis­closed cer­tain emails which were sup­pos­edly sent by Hil­lary’s cam­paign man­ager John Podesta. This ex­posé be­came vi­ral and greatly in­flu­enced a swing in favour of Trump. All of this or some part is claimed to have been en­gi­neered by the Rus­sian premier Vladimir Putin.

The sin­gu­lar point is both coun­tries are in com­pe­ti­tion, as world in­flu­encers. While the United States of Amer­ica is a demo­cratic coun­try, with back­ing from a lot of other demo­cratic coun­tries like Canada, the United King­dom, France, Italy and most of Europe, Ja­pan, and others. Rus­sia has back­ing from Afghanistan, Bo­livia, Cuba, North Korea, Kyr­gyzs­tan, Nicaragua, Su­dan and Syria. While the num­bers ap­pear to be many, they are all mostly coun­tries in po­lit­i­cal up­heaval. Pos­si­bly In­dia is unique, which has sup­ported Rus­sia and stayed neu­tral in the power game be­tween the US and Rus­sia.

The diplo­matic stand­off be­tween the two coun­tries will storm and weather down. The win­ning point here is the two coun­tries are happy to con­duct mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions out­side home base. Hence the stand­off is go­ing to be diplo­mat­i­cally, a safe war.

Mass ex­o­dus of diplo­mats from both Rus­sia and the US took place. The ten­sions be­tween th­ese two coun­tries are age old and

it doesn't seem to end in near fu­ture.

Airstrikes by Rus­sia in Syria: A sore point with the US.

Rus­sia China be­com­ing close to closer.

Ukraine crises too dam­aged the re­la­tion of Rus­sia with the US.

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