Couple of months ago I got into an argument over email with a colleague of mine. As it took me some time to write the emails, in which I briefly covered contemporary political issues in regard to Russia-West relations, I thought it would be a good idea to put my emails here, for obvious reasons, I can publish only my own messages.
I regard NATO as a means of ascertaining two things: 1) Russia does not recreate USSR, 2) Former USSR countries are firmly integrated into a pro-western structure. As Russia is becoming more assertive and aggressive this process is bound to accelerate both because Russian neighbours are scared and the West is willing to teach Russians a lesson.
The logic of struggle increasingly indicates features of a “zero sum” game, which is sad and dangerous, but I must say that Russian rampant anti-western and anti-American rhetoric is not matched by anything in the West. Soviet look and feel like propaganda machine has been successfully recreated in Russia. What is worse I don’t see any brakes in Russia that could stop anti-western campaign, moreover, for Russia it has become a nation-building theme. Perhaps things have changed now and tensions will not escalate as they used to in the bad old days of the Cold War. But I’m almost sure there is going to be a response from Russia to Kosovo that will further deteriorate the relations. Medvedev… well, he’s going to be a convenient puppet, I believe and anyway he’s not going to change much, because it is not Putin that “did all this bad”, it is the innermost logic of Russian state that requires certain moves and behavior, victims and winners.