National Review Online has posted a symposium asking various experts whether or not they believe that Russia’s naval deployment in the Panama Canal (the first time since WWII) this weekend means that Moscow has made a clear declaration of a new Cold War, or perhaps something more tepid. David Satter writes: “Under these circumstances, the bedrock of sound policy is fidelity to principles. The Russians seek a corrupt deal; the right of sovereign nations to form their own alliances cannot be discussed.“
Marek Jan Chodakiewicz mentions the obvious: From the Kremlin’s point of view, it goes something like this: “The U.S. supports Georgia, Ukraine, and the Baltics. It meddles in Iran. Well, we’ll bring the game over to Latin America and we’ll see how Washington likes that! We’ll back away if they withdraw from our sphere of influence.”
Nicolas Gvosdev warns not to overreact: The Russian claim that sovereign states are free to cooperate with whomever they want is a wonderful principle — we should insist that Ukraine and Georgia should be held to the same standard as Venezuela.