US-Russia relations frosty, but no Cold War II afoot

Updated: 2014-07-27 14:22


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WASHINGTON - US-Russia relations are at a low point not seen for more than a decade, but chilled ties between the two are unlikely to plunge the world headlong into another Cold War, experts here said.

As the crisis in the Ukraine threatens to escalate amid US claims that Russia is firing artillery rounds into Ukrainian territory, US media is likening the now frosty relations between Washington and Moscow to a new Cold War.

But experts contend that description amounts to journalistic hyperbole, as current US-Russian tensions in no way resemble the Cold War that engulfed the globe for decades and sparked fears of nuclear destruction.

"It's a good headline, but it's not an accurate reflection of either what the Cold War was or what we are seeing today," RAND Corporation Senior International Policy Analyst Olga Oliker told Xinhua.

"The Cold War was a conflict that lasted decades in which the United States and the Soviet Union were basically fighting over the fate of the world. It involved the entire planet," she said, adding that today's situation is a far cry from that dark chapter of world history.

"This (current issue) is Russia and the United States not getting along...over something that's going on within Europe," she said.

"It's not a global standoff. It's not going to drive all of the defense spending and foreign policy of the US and (Russia)," she said.

Still, the Ukraine crisis does amount to a fundamental and serious disagreement between the US and the Russian Federation, she said, adding that Russia has challenged a vision of European security that the US and its European allies have held to since the end of the Cold War.

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