Worsening Relationship of Russia with the West
Over the last year or two the relationship between the West and Russia has deteriorated considerably. In 2011, the relationship took some positive turns after a series of positive measures that were initiated from both sides. So much so that there was a New START treaty that was signed between Russia and United States of America. There were many military joint exercises and cordial civilian government contact between the two countries till 2013. Top officials from the governments of both countries met to discuss various international situations at the time. Europe and Russia have become close trade partners over the last decade and both rely on each other to continue their flourishing trade. Another point to be noted here is that many EU nations depend on Russia for their energy needs today. But there have been some major incidents over the last few months that have worsened Russia’s relationship with the West. The following events show how the relationship has worsened since last year:
Worsening Relationship of Russia with the West:
• There have been increased military tensions and incidents like air space violations between the two countries since May 2012.
• A major dispute that occurred between the two countries was the Edward Snowden incident. Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor helped leak details of the mass surveillance that the NSA conducted on foreign and United States citizens.
• In the United States, Edward Snowden was charged with theft of government property and espionage. However Edward Snowden escaped to Russia and was granted political asylum in Russia. This was a huge blow to the relationship between the United States and Russia.
• The Ukrainian Pro-Russian government fell in early 2014 after the Ukrainian Revolution of 2014. The new government was backed by the West. After this ethnic Russian rebels in Southern and Eastern Ukraine have caused an ongoing unrest in the region.
• Crimea with a majority ethnic Russian population carried out a referendum and Russia annexed this region from Ukraine. This was condemned by the west. Russian support for separatists in southern and eastern Ukraine is a major reason why the relationship between the West and Russia has deteriorated further. The Downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 further distanced Russia from the West.
• United States and European Countries have imposed some sanctions on Russia and counter sanctions have been imposed by Russia on many countries of the West. Escalation of this Sanctions War will hurt the global economy.
A worsening relationship between Russia and the West is a very dangerous sign for international peace and prosperity.