The global finger-pointing continues today after Russian President Vladimir Putin made some remarks suggesting that the West is provoking his country. Now there are new rumblings about the possibility of World War 3, although at least for now, it appears as if a second Cold War may be on the horizon.
Will another Cold War precede World War 3?
The West has also accused Putin of fanning tensions that could lead to a Cold War, although he denies doing that. Instead, the Russian president accuses NATO of pressuring his country by expanding in Europe, calling that expansion a “geopolitical game changer,” reports The Guardian.
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Putin reportedly made the comments to a German interviewer, which was recorded last week after Russia expelled diplomats from Poland and Germany. Moscow also deported a Latvian who was accused of spying on the Russian government.
How will Russia respond?
The interviewer asked Putin about the back and forth finger-pointing with the West and Russia’s obvious increase in displays of its military strength near Western countries and whether that will result in a second Cold War. The Russian president answered that since NATO has expanded twice into central and eastern Europe, they had to respond by flexing their military muscles for the world to see.
He said they began doing strategic international flights years ago after the U.S. sent nuclear bombers to areas not far from Russia. Those flights continued even after the end of the Cold War.
The West accuses Putin
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he told Putin last week that Moscow should stop “trying to recreate the lost glories of czarism or the old Soviet Union.” A few months ago, U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly told Jay Leno, former host of The Tonight show, that frequently Russia will “slip back into Cold War thinking.”
Australian German Chancellor Angela Merkel talked a lot about Putin earlier this week at the G20 Summit. She said the West would continue to sanction Russia as long as they felt the need to. She also warned that Russia’s influence in Eastern Europe is growing and that Moscow shouldn’t be able to push apart the U.S. and Europe. Other Western leaders have also spoken against Russia, with some calling for more diplomacy and others saying the West isn’t being too hard on Russia.
Moscow has been accused of supporting pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine, and Putin has repeatedly denied the accusation. However, when asked about the issue again in the German interview, he reportedly dodged the question.