August 28, 2008
A new Cold War between Russia and the West grew steadily closer yesterday after the Kremlin gave a warning about “direct confrontation” between American and Russian warships in the Black Sea.
Dmitri Peskov, a spokesman for Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister, declared that Russia was taking “measures of precaution” against American and Nato naval ships. “Let’s hope we do not see any direct confrontation in that,” he said.
Any attempt by countries in the West to isolate Russia would “definitely harm the economic interests of those states”, he said.
A day after the Kremlin said that it was ready to fight a new Cold War, both sides gave the impression that they were preparing for a protracted stand-off. Foreign ministers of the G7 leading industrialised nations condemned Russia’s excessive use of force and the decision to recognise the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, while the US and Russia shelved a key nuclear agreement that would have given the Americans access to Russian nuclear technologies and Russia help from the US in establishing an international nuclear fuel storage facility for spent fuel.
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