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23 Apr, 2021 09:47

Relations between Russia & US have shifted from ‘rivalry’ to ‘confrontation' & are back to Cold War level – ex-president Medvedev

Relations between Russia & US have shifted from ‘rivalry’ to ‘confrontation' & are back to Cold War level – ex-president Medvedev

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned that relations between Moscow and Washington have plummeted to levels last seen during the Cold War. He believes threats and sanctions will result in “permanent instability.”

“In recent years, relations between Russia and the United States have actually shifted from rivalry to confrontation, essentially returning to the Cold War era,” Medvedev, who now serves as the deputy chairman of the country's Security Council, wrote in an article for news agency RIA Novosti on Friday.

“Sanctions pressure, threats, confrontation, defense of one's selfish interests – all of this is plunging the world into a state of permanent instability,” he added.

In particular, Medvedev noted what he called an “organized campaign of harassment against Russia,” such as Washington’s opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and the US attitude towards Ukraine.

Medvedev recalled the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, when the USSR matched the American deployment of ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey by placing its own in Cuba, close to the US homeland. According to the former president, that situation was saved by the contemporary leadership of both countries which learned to recognize the “wisdom of compromise.”

“There was an equal dialogue between the USSR and the US, not through the language of threats and ultimatums,” he said, claiming that modern-day Washington now has an “unstable foreign policy” caused by both by internal reasons and by “the decline in US authority as the leader of the Western world.”

To avoid any further escalation, Moscow and Washington should engage in “direct communication,” he explained, noting that, during a crisis, any wrong step, lack of patience or strategic misunderstanding could plunge the whole world into a serious military confrontation.

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“This is not just a phone call and an opportunity to speak frankly, but more importantly, it is a chance to listen to your counterpart,” he said. “The simple words ‘Russia will pay the price,’ although they sound very American, lead directly to a dead end.”

In recent weeks, the relationship between Moscow and Washington has become even more strained. On April 15, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order imposing further sanctions against Russia. Targeting more than 30 individuals and organizations, the measures are said to be punishment for alleged interference in the US presidential election, as well as the infamous SolarWinds cyber-espionage case, which Washington says was ordered by the Russian government. Biden also announced the expulsion of ten people from the Russian diplomatic mission.

In response, Russia kicked out ten American diplomats and recommended that US Ambassador John Sullivan return to Washington for “consultations.” He traveled home on Thursday.

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