In the early 1980’s the world faced the boom of the Cold War, with the USA and the USSR fighting fiercely for world hegenomy. Only after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, did the dispute between Communism and Capitalism come to an end, and people finally settled down. Nowadays we are living what analysts call the New Cold War, and unlikely Gorbachov’s reconciliation policy Mr. Putin is doing everything he can to make Russia more unpredictable than ever.
First and foremost, there is not much sense in Mr. Putin’s statements on freedom and democracy. On one side, he critisizes the George W. Bush for being imperialist and attempting the so called “western world domination”, while on the other side the Kremlin has no taste for spontaneous opposition. Mr. Putin applies on Russia old-fashioned policies of not only censorship, but also physical and intellectual repression, as seen during the last few weeks. Even though the Soviet Regime was more severe and cruel, it was much less hypocratical and false. More than US$: 90,000 dollars were already spent on public repression in Russia, and there is no clue of when it is to end.
Not only does the Kremlin disown opposition inside Russia, but outside it as well – as seen in Germany this year, during the last G8 Summit. Very few were those who were not afraid of a Third World War, mainly when speaking of the American anti-missile shield over Europe. “If an anti-missile shield is built around Europe, we are going to be the first ones to see if it works” stated Mr. Putin. Fortunately, by the end of the summit, Mr. Bush and Mr. Putin had already come to terms with each other: should a shield be built, Russia would take part in it. Whether it was Russian or North-American victory, it is still unclear; however, it can be clearly seen that the dispute between the USA and Russia has once again warmed up.
Russia’s position on Kosovo remains still doubtful, and unfortunately there is not much to be done about it. Though Kosovo is a sovereign country, there is nothing the USA nor the rest of the world can do to make Russia recognise Kosovian Independece. For instance, if the USA recognise Kosovo as an autonomous country, they will be the only ones that will do so, for Mr. Putin will surely force the EU not to accept Kosovian independence. One should easily notice that Vladmir Putin has limitless pressure on Europe, since he controls more than half the European energy sources – including oil, methanol and nuclear power.
On Kosovo’s situation there is nothing to be done right now and there is no need to hurry. By the end of March 2008, there will have been Russian Parliament and presidential elections. Maybe something might change. Maybe not. But there is still nothing better than sitting down, crossing our arms and watching Mr. Bush fight Mr. Putin.
Rodrigo Machado Fonseca