Alwaght- The resurgence of Russia as a global power under Vladimir Putin has forced Western powers especially the US and Britain to initiate moves aimed at undermining the country.
Russia has re-established itself as a great power by courting different countries all over the world while reasserting itself as a major player in global issues. The US and Britain have taken every opportunity to stop Russia’s march to the global stage with 2016 US election and the recent Skripal case being classic examples.
A US federal grand jury in February indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities accused of interfering with US elections and political processes. However, there are "no allegations" they influenced the 2016 election.
Moscow has repeatedly refuted the claims of alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential elections. Russian President Vladimir Putin also ridiculed such claims, suggesting that the US was “not a banana republic” to be treated that way.
Meanwhile, on March 4, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter collapsed with signs of poisoning. Later British law enforcement officials identified the substance as the nerve agent Novichok. In an official response to the alleged attack, UK Prime Minister Theresa May stated that “Russia was culpable of an attempted murder,” and ordered the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the country.
Blaming Vladimir Putin for Sergei Skripal’s poisoning is “shocking and unforgivable,” the Kremlin said, after UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson claimed the Russian president likely ordered the attack.
"Russia has nothing to do with this affair,” Dmitry Peskov, presidential press secretary, told said.
NATO Eastward expansion
To counter a resurgent Russia, US-led NATO military alliance has expanded beyond the former East Germany to include 13 Eastern European countries, the latest being Montenegro's admission in June 2017. NATO troops are now menacingly carrying out drills at Russia’s doorstep.
Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly stated that the US failed to uphold its promises of not expanding NATO.
Return of cold war
The US and Britain’s row with Russia marks the return of the cold war which will greatly affect international relations. Russia is increasingly reasserting itself on the global stage by using the UN Security Council to block domineering moves by the US and Britain in major international issues such as the Iran nuclear deal, Syria, Yemen and Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also visited Africa recently marking a return of Moscow to a continent it once had immense influence. Amid changing geopolitical dynamics, Africa is both searching for and being courted by new strategic partners.
Western powers led by the US and Britain have also imposed sanctions on Russia in a bid to stop Moscow's regional and global assertiveness to no avail. There are also calls to boycott this summer's FIFA World Cup which will showcase Russia's power to the world. Very few countries, if any are expected to heed boycott calls.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the forum Russia - A Country of Opportunities, that Russia’s comeback to the world scene as an equitable partner that defies dictating and ultimatums causes a nervous reaction from the West.
"There has been a very nervous reaction to Russia’s comeback as an equitable partner who does not impose anything on others but does not tolerate dictating or ultimatums. Our western partners’ reaction to this is very painful," he said.
"To no avail," Lavrov went on to say. "We do not seek confrontation with anybody. We wish to cooperate with all on equitable terms, on the basis of mutual respect and search for a balance of interest and mutually acceptable approaches."
Western domination coming to an end
Russia's top diplomat said the gist of what is happening is the "categorical reluctance of the United States and its western allies to agree that the 500-year-long period of western domination in world affairs is coming to an end." In his opinion, transition to a new, multipolar, democratic and fair world order will last long, but already now this transition is painful for those who "are in the habit of ruling the world for centuries."
Lavrov also said Moscow and other BRICS members will not allow anyone to influence their foreign policy and tell them who to make friends with
"I am sure that countries such as China, India, Brazil, South Africa and, naturally, Russia, have self-respect and will not allow anyone to determine their foreign policy priorities and prevent them from maintaining ties with their friends," he pointed out.
"As for our imperialistic ‘friends’ who cling to every opportunity to impede economic cooperation between BRICS countries, it is not the only area they are active in. They are generally interested in destroying any associations that don’t dance to their tune," Russian foreign minister concluded.