'I fear that a new cold war is beginning between the United States and Russia,' Professor Steven Cohen, of New York University, declared in a talk Thursday to students of the Russian State University for Trade and Economics here. Cohen, a widely known political scientist and writer, said: 'This trend is extremely dangerous for both countries.'
Cohen listed several reasons for the return of hostility. First, he said, there is the legacy of the cold war. Second, he said, was the replacement of Boris Yeltsin, who followed a policy of concessions to the US, by Vladimir Putin, who is pursuing a policy dictated by Russian national interests. The third reason-and in Cohen's view the most important-is the Bush White House's 'autocratic policy.' Said Cohen: 'George Bush is creating a new, autocratic policy. We now are being saddled with the ideology of a new American imperialism.'
Another factor in the revival of antagonisms, he said, has been the tendency for the United States to demand concessions from Russia, get them and offer no compromises itself. 'Beginning in early 1995, the US made open demands for concessions from Russia in various fields and, within a year to a year and a half, got virtually all of them. But America made no concessions to Russia. This couldn't continue. There had to be a reaction from Russia,' Cohen asserted.
Cohen also noted that US policy has actively sought NATO's eastward expansion, a policy bound to disturb Russia. 'American military bases are getting nearer and nearer to Russia's borders. There are American bases in--or there soon will be--in the Baltic, Central Asia, Georgia, Uzbekistan and Tadjikistan. The main reason for NATO's movement eastward is oil. And Moscow must respond,' Cohen said.
'America holds the largest responsibility for this renaissance of the 'cold war' era,' Cohen summed up. 'There remains a chance of stopping this. That is up to your generation of young people. But it is up to the US to take the first step.'