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Why does the US press Russia so hard?

Russia has submitted a memorandum confirming, as expected, that the huge country will freeze its participation in the conventional forces agreement in Europe (CFE). This development comes after the American insistence to establish its own anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The presidents of the US and Poland agreed on that in Washington at the beginning of the previous week. And on July 16, Britain decided to expel four Russian diplomats from London on the grounds of Moscow's refusal to hand over to London a Russian spy accused by British authorities of allegedly murdering the ex-Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko last year. There is no question then that relations between Russia and the Anglo-American pact are on very bad terms, probably their worst since the fall of the Berlin Wall. At the same time, however, a number of very important countries in mainland Europe are working hard to establish new and stronger relations with Moscow. Germany, Italy and Greece have signed one energy agreement after the other with Russia, and their heads of governments exchange visits with President Vladimir Putin under unclouded skies.

Despite the fact that the Litvinenko affair is not related to the American missiles in central Europe, the two issues lead exactly in the same direction: the beginning of a new and completely different era between the Anglo-Americans and Russia.
What has changed in the European skies to poison the climate to such an extent?
No connection here with the environment! The answer is very simple. Russia woke from its long-inward looking attitude which followed the fall of communism. In the Yeltsin era, the West, and more so the US, had intruded in Russia, expropriating, in a businesslike manner, Russian wealth, at least what communism did not manage to destroy. That included underground resources, mainly energy deposits of natural gas and oil.

This was spearheaded by a small number of Russian-born people who were supported by the western spy agencies and sparingly financed through dark channels. The YUKOS empire was started with a small bank created with something less than $100 million. Then YUKOS came to own a good percentage not only of the oil- producing capacity of Russia, but also a large part of the oil lying under Russian land.

Then came Putin.
In a matter of a few years, the Russian president re-nationalized those Russian business empires, not always with the best legal practices, even though their owners did not cooperate with the Kremlin. Bit by bit, the Russian state and, hence its government, became richer and richer, helped by soaring energy prices, thanks to American invasion of Iraq. The huge country then started to form a foreign policy, which was quite Russian and now, for example, blocks the West's plan for an independent Kosovo. The same is true for Ukraine, where the West appeared at a certain moment to almost completely control the political developments in Kiev.

As things now stand, it seems that this new Russian attitude toward the world hurts first and foremost the single global superpower and its allies. At the same time, a number of European countries like Germany, Italy and Greece do not seem to be bothered much by the new Russian policies. Actually, some of them see Moscow's awakening as a positive development against the absolute American supremacy. The US problems in Iraq and the first defeat of the Israeli army in Southern Lebanon have changed the entire world scenery. Add to this the better economic performance of Europe in comparison to the US and you come up with the answer to the question above. (