The concept of the Cold War originates from 1945 and is used to describe the political conflict between the USA and the Soviet Union. However despite the fact that these tensions have not been explicitly shown through direct military conflict, they have been manifested into the apparent avoidance of cooperation.  In 2014 a similar situation occurred when Russia engaged in the conflict of territorial occupation of Ukraine and ceased to cooperate over any negotiations. This resulted in empty talks between the leaders of the USA, EU and Ukraine and a global clash of ideologies.

The tension between the US and Russia is heightened as both act solely on the basis of their contrasting political ideals. Putin encroached on Crimea by justifying the historical rights of claiming it. Similarly, Soviet Union had established its interests in Eastern Europe. USA would try to establish the democratic nations in both scenarios. In the current world events, Russia has occupied the Crimea through military force, they have also placed their insider agent as the leader of Ukraine. The corruptive influence on the referendum of Ukrainian independence seemed to undermine the Western policy of democratic reforms. Obama claimed that the referendum had indeed violated the international law. Putin was left impervious to the accusations. It is evident that both sides are not willing to compromise over the resolution of the conflict Crimea had posed. In fact, attempts by West to impede Russian economy resulted in a strong backfire, with both USA and EU losing out. By comparing the historical origins with Cold war and the current affairs, it can be seen that there is an obscured tension or simply Cold War between the superpowers once again.  

The sanctions put by the European Union and supported by the USA, resulted in Russia’s economy decreasing from 1.3% to 0.5% and then ceasing to expand. The USA pressed on the banking systems, resulting in Russia being excluded from SWIFT system of international banking payments. It further isolates Russia from NATO and the G8 Summit.  These anti-Russian policies seemed to reflect USA’s aggression and how they are unable to resort to military intervention. The USA has even taken measures against Russian businessmen and politicians by subjecting them to visa bans or restricting entry into the country. The business assets in USA worth 10 billion dollars are currently inaccessible to the owners. Russia has retaliated by investigating over 200 McDonalds branches across the country, closing 12 in the recent weeks. 

It can be clearly seen, the perception of Cold War has evolved but the main idea has always stayed the same. There is a political clash between Russia and America, with the latter not engaging directly with Russia, yet Russia pursuing its own interests just like its Soviet counterpart did more than 70 years ago. The Cold War does inevitably progress, creating more tension with no chance of détente due to the complex nature of the conflict. However, it is accepted that if Russia doesn’t withdraw troops and by the time the new US President is elected, there will be a chance of nuclear war. It seems that we haven’t learned from our mistakes, as history continues to repeat itself once again through an endless cycle of conflict…

Rahim Talibzade

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