Relations between Moscow and Washington are worse than during the Cuban missile crisis

By Vestnik Kavkaza
Relations between Moscow and Washington are worse than during the Cuban missile crisis

A few years ago it seemed that by trial and error Russia and the United States had arrived at the possibility of building a mutually beneficial relationship, because in spite of their deep differences, the two sides needed each other. Experts said that the new model of co-dependence through the deepening of economic relations is the key to continuing difficult ongoing dialogue on security issues. The terms of the new co-dependence are called the growth of the Russian economy, the willingness of the Russian leadership to refrain from confrontational actions and efforts to improve the image of Russia abroad.

In recent years, much has changed. As suggested by the Associate Professor of the Faculty of International Security in World Politics at M.V Lomonosov MSU University, Alexey Fenenko, "There is a myth that economic co-dependence reduces the risk of conflict between the two countries. It was invented by US liberals in the mid-sixties, and since then we have promulgated this policy for half a century. Let's look at the facts. Here we have Georgia and Ukraine, which, in my opinion, have left no stone unturned in this myth. It was a total co-dependence with the Georgian economy, in fact, it was a complete binding of the Georgian economy to Russia. Ukraine. It was not something like affection, it was complete co-dependance. Let's start with the fact of the workforce, there were always workers from Ukraine, even bonds of relations. Has this prevented military conflict? "

According to the expert, the fact that in Russia there are American corporations should not be considered as insurance against slipping to the armed conflict, "I am afraid that the Cuban missile crisis of 1963 was far better than the situation in which we are now. Because then we were doing everything to avoid war. Look, we talk about the Caribbean crisis as a low point of confrontation. But actually, you could not name even one Soviet politician who during the crisis in the Caribbean would have said: ‘’Why shouldn't we break off diplomatic relations with the United States? Maybe all the socialist countries should leave the UN and create for us an anti-UN,  where we would not interfere?’’ We worked in the crises in the 60s, 70s and 80s on preventing war, the elites of the two countries did everything in order that war not take place. A package of measures was aimed precisely at this crisis. I am very afraid, yet we are still in a transitional phase, but if you look at the events around Georgia, Ukraine and Syria, I would not say that the two elites are working to ensure that conflict doesn't take place. I greatly fear that at some point we will start working on it, just to let it be local and regional, but a conflict will take a place, so we can assess who is stronger."

Fenenko recalled that during the Cold War, between Russia and the United States there was a shortage of reasons for a real military conflict: "To put it bluntly, there was no reason to start a real military conflict. Each of us had our own world, we had the world of socialism, they had the world of capitalism. There were no politician-fanatics who would love to destroy the other simply because he existed. The ideology prevailed in general, we emphasized the differences between the ideologies and ideological conflict, but the conflict was not totally ideological, we talked about the fact that we were competing with the United States. And if we compete, it means that we recognize them, firstly, as a subject, and secondly, that we have something in common. But the real differences began to grow after the Cold War. We began to build relationships in the global world, having comparable military capabilities. And despite everything, Russia has retained the right to a veto in the Security Council. That is, indeed, the Americans felt the limit of their power, but they don't feel it now, in the mid 90s. They realized that, despite the end of the Cold War, the Russian military capacity remains, the UN Security Council is preserved in its former quality and the safety system, so to speak, of the postwar world governance.''