And now with the coming election, and Barack Obama’s two-legged stool of foreign policy legacy
(Daily Mail) – Russia is ordering all of its officials to fly home any relatives living abroad amid heightened tensions over the prospect of global war, it has been claimed.
Politicians and high-ranking figures are said to have received a warning from president Vladimir Putin to bring their loved-ones home to the ‘Motherland’, according to local media.
It comes after Putin cancelled a planned visit to France amid a furious row over Moscow’s role in the Syrian conflict and just days after it emerged the Kremlin had moved nuclear-capable missiles near to the Polish border.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has also warned that the world is at a ‘dangerous point’ due to rising tensions between Russia and the US.
According to the Daily Star, administration staff, regional administrators, lawmakers of all levels and employees of public corporations have been ordered to take their children out of foreign schools immediately.
The exact reason for the order is not yet clear.
But Russian political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky is quoted by the Daily Star as saying: ‘This is all part of the package of measures to prepare elites to some ‘big war’.’
Failure to act will see officials jeopardising their chances of promotion, local media has reported.
It appears under the Barack Obama years of weak and failed foreign policy, much base-lined during Hillary Clinton’s activities while Secretary of State, the United States and Russia have entered a new “Cold War” era…
“Vladimir Putin,” [Mikhail] Zygar writes, “did not like the new American president from the start. For him, Barack Obama was both soft and intractable… Paradoxically, Obama, the most idealistic and peace-loving U.S. president in living memory, became a symbol of war in Russia, a target for Russian state propaganda and racist jokes, and a hate figure for millions of patriotic Russians. He was caricatured as an ill-fated enemy doomed to be defeated by Vladimir Putin.”
Surveying some much-buried news over the last seven days, one begins to appreciate the weight of this grim appraisal.
“A Russian takes a long time to harness a horse, but then rides fast,” said the news anchor, quoting a famous Russian saying.
By “riding fast”, Kiselyov was referring to a string of recent Russian military deployments:
•Last week, Moscow sent three warships from the Black Sea Fleet to the Mediterranean: on board, cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads
•Russia deployed nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles into the Kaliningrad region bordering Poland
•The Russians announced they would send 5,000 paratroopers to Egypt for military exercises
•Moscow also suspended three nuclear agreements with the United States
Kiselyov said that in recent days there had been a “radical change’ in the US-Russian relationship.
Moscow was taking action, he said, because of “the loud talk in Washington of a ‘Plan B’ for Syria. Everyone understands what this plan means: direct military force in Syria against President Assad’s forces and the Russian military”.
In Washington, the US state department said last week it was continuing internal deliberations about “non-diplomatic” options regarding the war in Syria.
I came of age politically during one of the tensest parts of the Cold War: From the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, through the KAL 007 shootdown, to the Pershing II missile deployment.
And I can’t recall Moscow ever talking like this before.
Much more of this Smart Diplomacy and we’re going to find ourselves in a shooting war with Russia over Syria.