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Cold War 2.0
mtippett | May 22, 2006 at 12:05 pmby
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Russia's historical interest in its "near abroad" -- i.e., the former inner empire of Soviet republics -- is comparable in many ways to America's much more recent interest in its own near abroad, namely Canada and Mexico. Both these countries can recite dozens of examples of U.S. bullying. To ask Russia to forget about its near abroad is tantamount to urging Moscow to commit an unnatural act, to self-destruct.
Under the U.S.S.R., Soviet republics were inextricably tied to Moscow. Each had its own economic specialty; none was economically independent. Intentionally so. Canada and Mexico are similarly inextricably entwined with America. Washington's former lumber dispute with Canada and Moscow's recent banning of Moldovan wine and Georgian mineral water, while not comparable economically, have similar geopolitical roots. Both Washington and Moscow know how to throw their economic weight around.