Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Russia 'Not Afraid' of a New Cold War

Russian President Says His Country Does Not Want a new Cold War, But Is Not Afraid of One Either. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking in the midst of one of the lowest points in the Russia-West relationship since the breakup of the Soviet Union 17 years ago, said Tuesday that his country did not seek a new Cold War but neither was it afraid of one.

"We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a new Cold War," Medvedev was quoted as saying Tuesday by the ITAR-Tass news agency. "But we don't want it and in this situation everything depends on the position of our partners."

The statement comes hours after Medvedev recognized the independence of two Georgian rebel provinces, defying the West. The recognition which Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described as "extremely unfortunate" follows a short but intense war with Western-allied Georgia earlier this month.

"If they want to preserve good relations with Russia in the West, they will understand the reason behind our decision," Medvedev said.