Although the growing tensions between United States and Russia have been recently discussed in mass-media, there are still many people who either have little knowledge about it or are not interested. With last month’s conflict between Russia and Georgia, the differences between United States and Russia have become more and more apparent. The gap between these two world powers has now grown so big that the possibility of a new Cold War has been mentioned more and more often on television and in the written press.

In an article posted on this blog more than a year ago, (Russia and USA – a broken friendship?) the signs of a worsening relation between US and Russia were already quite clear.

Going even further, in the past years there were several times when officials especially on the Russian side declared not that a new cold war is going to start, but that the cold war has never actually ended.

To name just a few:

Back in 2005, India Daily quoted Russian air force commander Gen. Vladimir Mikhailov: Although Russia has ended the Cold War and is peacefully disposed, […], U.S. arms production and planning indicate that the United States has not ended the Cold War.” Regardless if this is pure Russian propaganda or actual facts, it indicates that the idea of a Cold War was not out fetched for Russian officials.

In 2006, after some harsh criticism made by Dick Cheney against Russia, the “Russian media on Friday described Vice President Dick Cheney’s harsh criticism of Russia and President Vladimir Putin as the start of a new Cold War”. – Washington Post . They were probably over-exaggerating.

In January 2008, Andrei Lugovoy, the newly elected member of the Russian Parliament (the State Duma), former KGB/FSB spy and alleged murderer of Alexander Litvinenko, stated in an interview for Los Angeles Times that: “I don’t agree that the Cold War is back. It has never ended”.

Litvinenko was a former Russian spy who fled to UK and started spilling all sort of information about Russia’s FSB operations, still unclear how much of what he said was true.

And from a more impartial source (Taipei Times – Taiwan), written in 2004, it seems that the conflict in Georgia of August 2008 was to some degree predictable. The article has the fallowing ending:Saakashvili [current president of Georgia] is sure of election tomorrow, but what happens next is unclear. Will the new team in Tbilisi move towards a more confrontational anti-Russian nationalism, or will they understand that supporting Bush’s policy of a new cold war in the Caucasus offers Georgia no benefit?”

Maybe the Cold War did end, but not for everyone.