By Evangelos Grapsas, Senior Researcher KEDISA
The recent ‘war of statements’ and sanctions between the United States and Russia has been the outcome of the Russian intervention in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea, although the notion of ‘annexation’ has been widely rejected by Russian officials. Nonetheless, it has increased speculation in regards to the dynamics of the relationship between the West and Russia as several analysts warn of the reemergence of Cold War patterns. The military exercise of the Russian Federation with Belarus that has been planned for September will engage up to 100,000 soldiers in what is probably to be the biggest military drill since the end of the Cold War. This exercise has echoed alarming voices in the Eastern Front of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) and increased sentiments of regional insecurity. In this context, it is important for the West and for the academic and diplomatic world to comprehend the key representational concepts that drive Russian foreign policy which is often connected to the use of armed forces and coercion when its interests and communities are under threat. But why should we investigate such an environment?