By Reissa Su | International Business Times
Russia‘s military forces continue to widen its presence in the Arctic region and the Black Sea. Former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev has once again called for a dialogue between Russia and the United States to prevent a “dangerous freeze” in relations between the two countries. Gorbachev’s policy had a significant role in putting an end to the first Cold War. He warned of catastrophic consequences if U.S.-Russia tensions were not diffused.
(Photo: REUTERS/Stephane Mahe / )
The Mistral-class helicopter carrier Sevastopol, is seen at the STX Les Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, western France, May 15, 2014. The Sevastopol is one of two Mistral-class warships ordered by the Russian Navy. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe
In a commentary entitled “To Unfreeze Relations” for state daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the former USSR leader wrote that the brewing Cold War between the U.S. and Russia is “extremely dangerous.” He added that the world may not survive through these days as one country might be provoked or lose a nerve. Gorbachev suggested that both Russian and U.S. leaders hold talks with a broad agenda.
He said leaders should not be afraid of “losing face” or think about someone winning in propaganda. Gorbachev encouraged leaders to think about the future. According to NBC News, the tensions over Ukraine had been described as the worst between Russia and the West since the first Cold War more than 20 years ago.
Meanwhile, the Russian navy has revealed plans to boost its forces in the Arctic zone and the Black Sea as Moscow focuses on widening its strategic military presence in the two regions in 15 years. Newsweek reported that Admiral Victor Chirkov, the Russian navy head officer, spoke before Russia’s Marine Board and announced the strengthening the military around the North Pole and Crimea.
Chirkov believes that the role of the Arctic region between 2014 and 2030 will grow. Russia sees the need to strengthen its presence in the region to defend national interests and promote security around the Arctic.
Previous reports have indicated that Russia’s territorial claim over the North Pole has led to President Vladimir Putin being at odds with Canada, Denmark, Norway and the U.S. over rights to gain access to the oil resources of the region.
The Russian navy has successfully tested its new marine ballistic missiles in November. The new missiles were launched from the Alexander Nevsky submarine in the Barrents Sea which is north of Scandinavia. Under Russia’s new naval plans, Chirkov revealed that the waters around Crimea will be the “highest priority” for a longer term.
Earlier reports said neither the European Union nor the U.S. have acknowledged the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. Despite the annexation being viewed as illegitimate, Russia has always maintained a strong naval presence in the region with the Black Sea Fleet.
Western sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis are expected to last until 2017, the Moscow Times reported. Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev told the Russian View magazine that the country’s economic forecast was based on assumptions that sanctions will last until the end 2017.
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