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The New Cold War: A Timeline

Posted on the 19 August 2013 by Window On Heartland @WindowHeartland
The New Cold War: A TimelineThe worsening of the relations between the United States and Russia, symbolized by the decision of U.S. President Barack Obama to cancel his trip to Moscow for a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, has raised concerns over the risk of a new Cold War between the two powers. Although the current tensions Washington and Moscow are still far from being symptomatic of a coming back to the times of the East-West confrontation, Russia’s increasing assertiveness towards U.S. global ambitions makes the break-out of a second Cold War an eventuality not at all unlikely, as demonstrated by a series of developments occurred throughout the last few years. Here is a look at some of the key events: July 2007: Russia suspends its participation in the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE), in response to U.S. plans to deploy a missile shield in Eastern Europe. August 2007: Russia resumes regular long-range patrol flights of strategic bombers, suspended since the collapse of the Soviet Union. August 2008: Following a Georgian attack on the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, de facto independent from Tbilisi under protection of a Russian-led peacekeeping contingent, Russia invades U.S.-allied Georgia, liberating both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The United States and Poland sign a preliminary deal to place part of the missile defence shield in Poland that would be linked to air-defence radar in the Czech Republic, while Russia sends word to Norway that it is suspending ties with NATO. September 2008: A group of NATO warships conducts routine port visits and exercises with NATO member nations bordering the Black Sea. Russia, which sees the exercises as a provocation, sends two Tupolev Tu-160 bombers to Venezuela to carry out training flights, the first in the Western Hemisphere since the end of the Cold War. On their 13-hour trip to Venezuela over the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, the Russian bombers are escorted by NATO fighters. November 2008: Russia and Venezuela hold a joint military exercise in the Caribbean, in response to NATO exercises in the Black Sea. September 2009: During the Zapad-2009 military exercise, Russia and Belarus simulate a nuclear attack against Poland, in an attempt to intimidate Warsaw into cancelling any cooperation with the United States on the issue of the European missile defense. March 2011: The break-out of the Syrian civil war turns the uprising against Bashar al Assad’s regime into a proxy conflict between the United States, sympathetic to the rebels, and Russia, whose support to the loyalist forces aims to secure control of the Tartus naval facility, Moscow’s only military base outside the former Soviet Union. November 2011: As a part of its early warning system aimed at countering U.S. missile shield, Russia launches a new radar station in the Kaliningrad region. January 2013: Russia launches its largest naval exercise for decades in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, in preparation for the case of a sudden deterioration of the situation in Syria. March-April 2013: The United States and Georgia hold joint military exercises in the Black Sea, arising criticism from Russia, which subsequently launches a surprise military exercise in the basin with the aim of demonstrating its primacy in the Caucasus-Black Sea region.

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