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Friday, 18 September 00:45 (GMT -05:00)

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wPolityce: Why is the USA afraid of Russia’s USSR-style policy?


Western media start intimidating the world with some Russian expansion once again. In 1949 the late James Forrestal, the first United States Secretary of Defense, committed suicide after saying, “The Russians are coming…”
Marcin Strzymiński, a writer working for wPolityce, has recently written an article on Russia’s victories in Eastern Europe. Of course, we are not going to compare him to the late Forestall. However, the idea expressed by Marcin Strzymiński is closely connected to those fears expressed by Forrestal.  In particular, the whole idea behind the article can be expressed with one sentence: it’s been slightly over 2 decades since the breakup of the USSR, but Russia is already showing its imperial ambitions in effort to restore the former spheres of influence.
What make the author think so? Let’s try to find this out…
Reasoning Is Useless Against Prejudice
What is really testifying to the raise of Russia’s imperial ambitions? According to Marcin Strzymiński, there are quite a lot of proofs, from Putin’s statements to specific actions in ex-USSR states:

Belarus. The author points out to the tight cooperation between Moscow and Minks in their effort to create a full-fledged union.  He says that Russia has turned Belarus into a military base since the 2 armies conduct military exercises on a regular basis. He claims that they are working out the scenario to assault on Poland and Baltic states. Yet, his fellow writers sometimes claim that Russia is planning to deploy an airbase and missile systems in Belarus until 2015.
Georgia. The author calls its Russia’s fresh acquisition since the pro-Russian coalition won last year’s parliamentary elections. He claims that the current Prime Minister of Georgia started his way to billionaires in the 1990s on Moscow. Saakashvili is the only person who is still capable of preventing tighter cooperation between Russia and Georgia. However, he is to leave office in the near future, which means that the next President of Georiga may well be a pro-Russian politician.
Ukraine. Marcin Strzymiński is disappointed in the neighboring country as well. He is convinced that Ukraine started improving its bilateral relations with Russia. The thing is that President Yanukovich has always been a pro-Russian politician. He even expressed the idea to introduce Russian as the second state language in Ukraine.  Moreover, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is still located in the Crimea, which means that Ukraine is not going to join the NATO in the near future.
Lack of Arguments Leads to Suspicion
If to speak in terms of arguments, putting aside suspicion and prejudices, Russia cannot but have imperial ambitions simply because it is a major global power with the world’s biggest territory, not to mention abundant natural resources and geography. More resources lead to more possibilities and bigger ambitions.  Yet, it is about the country’s vulnerability and national security. Any country needs allies to feel safer.  Russia has already learned a lot of valuable historical lessons. Therefore it cannot ignore external problems. Russia just cannot behave like Ukraine or Bulgaria, for example.
Still, it is ignorant to exaggerate Russia’s ambitions. Russia is not as powerful as the USSR. Even the Russian Ruble is not as strong as the Soviet Ruble. The Soviet currency was stronger than the US Dollar, No look at the chart below, courtesy of Masterforex-V Academy. It reflects the current state of affairs in the market of USDRUB:



Indeed, Russia has a lot of reasons to be concerned. The NATO has come close to its borders and is trying to expand its influence over Russia’s neighbors…



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