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25 Years After The Fall Of The Berlin Wall, On The Brink Of A New Cold War

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on November 11th, 2014 12:08 am by HL

25 Years After The Fall Of The Berlin Wall, On The Brink Of A New Cold War

“Some say that it has already begun.”

The post 25 Years After The Fall Of The Berlin Wall, On The Brink Of A New Cold War appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Ukraine

CREDIT: AP

The Soviet leader who helped bring a close to Cold War has warned that the west and Russia are on the cusp of another era of tension. At the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mikhail Gorbachev said that the crises in is not getting the sort of international oversight needed to prevent the sort of hostilities that divided much of the world in two for half of the last century.

“The world is on the brink of a new Cold War. Some say that it has already begun,” he said in a speech in Berlin on Saturday.

A European Leadership Network report released on Monday supports Gorbachev’s point.

Forty sensitive incidents have taken in the last eight months alone. By October of this year, NATO states had already intercepted Russian aircraft encroaching on sovereign airspace more than 100 times – that’s three times more than in all of 2013.

“These events form a highly disturbing picture of violations of national airspace, emergency scrambles, narrowly avoided mid-air collisions, close encounters at sea, and other dangerous actions happening on a regular basis over a very wide geographical area,” the report’s authors Thomas Frear, ?ukasz Kulesa, and Ian Kearns note. “While the majority of the documented incidents have taken place in the Baltic Sea, there have also been ‘near misses’ in the High North, Black Sea and along the U.S. and Canadian borders.”

“At the military level, it may be initiating and using such incidents to observe patterns of response and test the preparedness of specific elements of national and allied defense systems, as well as levels of cooperation between NATO Allies and partners,” they continue. “They serve as a demonstration of Russia’s capability to effectively use force for intimidation and coercion, particularly against its immediate neighbors.”

Some of the incidents carried out by Russia seems to have been coordinated with major diplomatic events with the West such as President Barack Obama’s visit to Central Europe, the Ukrainian President’s visit to the U.S. and Canada, or the NATO Summit in Wales.

The report does not include Malaysian Airways flight MH17 which crashed over Donetsk in eastern Ukraine in July. Many, including Secretary of State John Kerry have accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down the plan and killing the 298 passengers on board. The separatists have laid claim to the region and held elections there earlier this month, a political event condemned by NATO and the European Union.

In March, Russian troops took control of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in a nearly entirely bloodless invasion.

More than 4,000 have been killed since the start of the pro-Russian uprising in Ukraine, according to the United Nations.

“And yet,” Gorbachev told a crowd gathered to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall, “While the situation is dramatic, we do not see the main international body, the U.N. Security Council, playing any role or taking any concrete action.”

The post 25 Years After The Fall Of The Berlin Wall, On The Brink Of A New Cold War appeared first on ThinkProgress.

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