Echoes of the Cold War

The Russian Federation Duma’s decision to freeze their participation in the CFE treaty is not unsurprising given recent behavior by Putin and his government. What makes this particularly disheartening is both sides, Russia and NATO, are arguing over a treaty that became worthless with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. Neither side has the right to dictate to sovereign nations who they may or may not ally with nor interfere with those nations national security concerns. Both sides are eager to gain and/or maintain influence in the region, but really it is those individual nations who will decide one way or the other.

Obviously, Russia’s concerns stem from it’s loss of power and influence over Europe, particularly Easter Europe. However, their threats to position more troops along the borders of neighboring former Warsaw pact states just reaffirms many of those nation’s wariness of Russian aggression and intent. Nations like Ukraine, Poland and the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) have feared Russia making territorial claims on them and backing those claims through military force as seen in the Caspian, Black Sea, and Chechen regions. Given the oppression those nations suffered under Soviet dominion it is not unreasonable for them to seek alliances and protection of western nations via NATO and the EU.

NATO is correct in demanding Russia finish it’s withdrawal of troops from Moldova and Georgia, if that is the desire of those nations and their people. Obviously Georgia is demanding Russian withdraw from their land after Russian troops have been repeatedly seen and caught stirring up troubles with Georgia’s neighbors. This was brought to a head a couple years ago when Georgian forces captured Russian troops who had launched attacks on Georgia’s neighbors and threatened to put them on trial before Russia finally agreed to end their activities. Moldova may have a different attitude, but one of which I am unaware.

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