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The new cold war | eKathimerini.com

The new cold war |  eKathimerini.com

 


The new cold war

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin smile as they shake hands before their talks in Beijing on Thursday. [Sergei Bobylev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP]

The warm climate that Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin were keen to cultivate during the Russian presidents' official visit to China confirms that we are at the start of a new Cold War. Together, we defend the principles of justice and a democratic world order reflecting multipolar realities and based on international law, Putin told Xi. This, coming from the leader of a nuclear power who invaded a neighbor, causing the deaths of countless thousands of Ukrainians and Russians, plunging the world into the uncertainty of a war with no end in sight, shows that, as during the Cold War of 1947-1991, In war, opposing camps can both claim that they are defending peace and democracy against the aggression of their rivals. The actions of others always justify our suspicions and validate our own choices. Russia and China can therefore present themselves as defenders of international law even though the West defends this right in practice by supporting Ukraine.

As during the Cold War, the question is what small countries will do. Xi's trip to Europe last week was aimed at showing that China can support its friends and cause turbulence within the EU. Our country has enjoyed good relations with China for many years and will likely seek to stay away from direct bilateral confrontation, remaining within the framework of the collective policies of NATO and the European Union. The situation for turkeys is more complicated. Recep Tayyip Erdogan managed to have it both ways in the Ukraine war, helping Putin survive Western sanctions while also helping Ukraine. As closer ties with China strengthen Putin, he is less dependent on Erdogan. He could start pushing for payment for the aid he offered to the Turkish president's re-election last year. The time is coming when Erdogan may have to choose whether or not his country will remain in NATO, as it did during the Cold War.

Perhaps the fact that Ankara is intensifying its rhetoric on the patriotic fronts of Palestine, the Kurdish question, etc. suggests that Turkey will soon align with the Western Alliance.

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