Russia and the West have had a love-hate relationship for centuries. These are the stories of what some are already calling the Second Cold War.
Turkey’s Purchase of a Russian Missile System, Explained
Russia sent Turkey a seventh batch of components for the S-400 missile defense system over the weekend. According to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, all S-400 missiles will be deployed by April 2020.
Erdoğan has also said he is planning to send specialists to Russia for training on how to operate the S-400s.
The deal has met stiff resistance from NATO allies, who are threatening to kick Turkey out of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program. So why is it going ahead with the purchase? Read more
Russian Missile Treaty Violation Is a Wakeup Call for Europe
Last month, NATO allies issued a warning to Russia, urging it to destroy a new missile system that could threaten Europe or face a “defensive” response.
The warning is a final opportunity for Russia to respect the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which banned land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. If it doesn’t — and Russia claims the system in question has a range of only 480 kilometers — it will be another wakeup call for Europe. Read more
Vladimir Putin Is Not Your Conservative Hero
In an interview with the Financial Times, Vladimir Putin claims “the liberal idea” has “outlived its purpose” and seeks to position himself at the head of a global reactionary movement against immigration, open borders and multiculturalism.
The Financial Times knows that Putin’s evisceration of liberalism chimes with anti-establishment leaders from American president Donald Trump to Hungary’s Viktor Orbán, Matteo Salvini in Italy and the Brexit insurgency in the UK.
But true believes ought to take a closer look at the Russian leader. He may sound like an ally, but he’s really not interested in your cause. Read more
Different Player, Same Game
Donald Trump has not exactly shied away from advocating for better American relations with Russia. During his presidential campaign, he argued that “Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other toward defeating terrorism and restoring world peace.” He has repeatedly praised Vladimir Putin and accepted his denials of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
But even Trump’s Russophilia is no match for geopolitical reality. Read more
Estonia’s President Sends Wrong Message Meeting Putin
For the past decade, the Baltic states have maintained a strict policy toward Russia: no official state visits by presidents, prime ministers or other high-ranking officials.
That changed last week, when Estonian president Kersti Kaljulaid visited a newly renovated embassy in Moscow and stopped by the Kremlin for a cup of tea with Vladimir Putin.
In itself, the meeting does not carry much weight, as nothing crucial was said or done. But it sent the wrong message. Read more
Germany’s Nord Stream Climbdown Should Put Ostpolitik to Rest
Frederick Studemann argues in the Financial Times that Germany’s Ostpolitik breathes its last in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline controversy.
Germany’s allies in Central European and North America have for years argued against the extension of the Baltic Sea pipeline, arguing — correctly — that it is a political project for Moscow. It doesn’t need the extra capacity. It wants to cut its dependence on Russia-wary transit states in Eastern Europe, most notably Ukraine. Read more
Recent Revelations in the Trump-Russia Scandal
After Trump fired FBI director James Comey — for refusing to end the investigation into his first national security advisor, Michael Flynn — the bureau started to investigate if the president himself might be working on behalf of Russia. Flynn is now on trial for lying about his foreign contacts.