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Friday, August 2, 2013

Russia Grants NSA Whistleblower Snowden One Year Asylum



HISTORY IN THE NEWS

Dedicated to the background of contemporary events around the world. 


Espionage, Hacking, Privacy, Surveillance

 



DEDICATED TO THE ORIGINS OF CONTEMPORARY EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD.



IN BRIEF: The Snowdon affair has found a place in the decades-long hangover from the fifty year US-Russia standoff of the Cold War. Russia and its allies continue to protest American imperialism while the United States upholds long term objections to the abuse of democracy and human rights by Russia and its South American friends.

IN THE NEWS:  AFTER WEEKS OF EXILE IN A MOSCOW AIRPORT, NSA WHSITLEBLOWER EDWARD SNOWDEN IS GRANTED ONE YEAR OF ASYLUM IN RUSSIA. SNOWDEN WILL BE FREE TO LIVE WITHOUT SCRUTINY OR INTERFERENCE FROM US PROSECUTORS AND WASHINGTON HAS EXPRESSED OUTRAGE AGAINST RUSSIA FOR WHAT IT SEES AS A DIPLOMATIC BETRAYAL. SNOWDON, MEANWHILE CONTINUES TO RECEIVE SUPPORT FROM WIKILEAKS AND WILL CONTINUE TO USE THE PLATFORM TO MAKE HIS CASE AGAINST WASHINGTON'S NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY FOR THE BREACH OF PRIVACY OF ORDINARY AMERICANS. HE MAY ALSO ACCEPT OFFERS OF ASYLUM FROM VENEZUELA, ECUADOR AND NICARAGUA.

THE FACTS: 

-although Russia and the United States have enjoyed peace and diplomatic relations for two decades, the previous half-century 1945-1991 Cold War continues to have its after effects:           
          
-Russia's Vladimir Putin, whether as President or Prime Minister, has ruled the country for thirteen years. Throughout, he has attempted restore Russia's place as an international superpower. This has put him in regular conflict with the United States, especially over US and Western criticism of Russia's poor human rights record.

-at the same time, Putin has seen the advantages of partnership with the US in security against terrorism as well as in trade.

-meanwhile Russia retains friendships and alliances or occasional trade with vociferously anti-American countries like Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and even Iran. In the view of some, this forms a post-Cold War Russian axis.  

-altogether US-Russian relations have been fragile and tentative. Russia's harbouring of Snowden, in the wake of offers of asylum from Venezuela, Ecuador and Nicaragua, gives Putin one more opportunity to stake out Russia's position as a major international player. 




IN HISTORY:

The Cold War began with Stalin's occupation of Eastern Europe at the end of World War II and reached at height in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis' when US President Kennedy successfully defied Russian Premier Krushchev to place nuclear warheads in Cuba. Open recognition that nculear warfare between the two largest world powers would result in mutually assured destruction produced treaties between Washington and Moscow to prevent the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (1968) and Strategic Arms Limitation (SALT) talks (1972). Here was the first sing of a warming of the Cold War.

In 1983, US President Reagan attempted to solve the problem by attrition, by resuming the arms race with the development of his 'Star Wars' nuclear defense system along with a massive nuclear build-up. In the 1986 Rekjavik talks on nuclear arms limitation with Soviet premier Gorbachev broken down upon Reagan's refusual to end his 'Star Wars' program.

With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States attempts a close relationship with an ill-starred attempt to develop an American-style free market inside Russia.

In the 1990s, countries in Eastern Europe, newly liberated from Communist rule begin to join NATO .  


With difficulty, meanwhile, US-Russia relations have only begun to warm in the wake of the Cold War.  Nevertheless, Russsia's Vladimir Putin rebuffs Washngnton's request for Snowdon's extradtion and washes his hands of the whole thing. Relations haven't been easy. Perhaps they never will be.

In 2000, Russia forms an alliance with NATO but Russian president Putin, in a bid to re build Russia's greatness as an international power, rejects NATO's spread in nations directly along its borders 


US President George Bush, proposes a NATO-US missile defence system in Eastern Europe which Putin Rejects out right. Russian soon threatens to install of its own missile defence system in the same area.

Relations deteriorate until a new start begins with the Obama administration in 2009. Obama cancels the US missile defence shield in astern Europe and new talks begin on Strategic arms limitation.

In 2008, US-Russian relations suffer a jolt as Russia invades its southern neighbour, Georgia.

In 2010, relations improve again with trade agreements and joint agreements with NATO on missile defense and


RELEVANT DATES for Russia offering asylum to Edward Snowden.

The Cold War.

1953-64- Nikita Krushchev.

1954- Soviet troops occupy Hungary and put an end to the Hungarian revolution.


1956- the 20th Party Congress. Khrushchev denounces Stalin for crimes against the party and building a personality cult. He begins a process of de-Stalinization.

1958- the US deploys its first intercontinental ballistic missiles.


The Cuban Missile Crisis

1962- Krushchev places missiles on Cuba setting off the Cuban Missile Crisis. US President Kennedy stares him down, forcing Krushchev to withdraw the missiles.


The Salt Talks.

1968- July 1- treaty for the non-proliferation of Nuclear weapons signed by the US and the Soviet Union.

1969- Nov. 17- first Stratigic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the US and the Soviet Union.

1972- May 26- SALT I ends in the signing of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty between Nixon and Brezhnev.

First Tremours of the Fall of the Soviet Union.

-in Poland, Lech Walensa, a Gdansk shipyard electrician, leads the solidarity free trade union movement against the Soviet government of General Jeruzelski.

-in Poland, the Solidarty movement in Poland is given strong inspirational support from Pope John Paul II.


Reagan-Gorbachev Talks

1983- in the US, President Ronald Reagan begins a massive nuclear arms build-up which includes his elaborate 'Star Wars' missile defense system.

-in the US, President Ronald Reagan begins a massive nuclear arms build-up.

1986- At Rekjavik, Iceland, talks on the abolition of nuclear weapons between Gorbachev and Reagan break down over Reagan’s insistence on retaining his Star-Wars missile shield program.

1990- economic sanctions against the Soviet Union are futile and the West relaxes them.

1991- Russia and the US sign the START-1 Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty.

Fall of Soviet Union

1991- Dec. 31- Gorbachev resigns-- the fall of the Soviet Union..

1999- Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic join NATO.

2000 -US president Bush tables his National Missile Defense (NMD) system.


New Relationship with NATO

2002- under  Putin, Russia forms an alliance with NATO.

-Russia and US agree to strategic nuclear arms reduction.

2004- Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia join the European Union.


Russia Suspicious of US Missile Defence.


2007 -May- Russia test-fires a long-range Missile and talks of a new arms race amid US plans to place missile defence system in Eastern Europe.

2007- June- Putin delivers a strong protest over US plans to install an anti-missile defense system in Eastern Europe, allegedly intended to cover Iran. To George Bush, he proposes Azerbaijan as an alternative.

-despite a friendly meeting in Maine between Bush and Putin, Bush refuses to cancel his plans for a missile defence system in eastern Europe.

July- the Russian defence minister threatens to set up a defensive missile system in Kaliningrad, north east of Poland, on the Baltic, if the US doesn’e withdraw its plans for a missile defence system in Eastern Europe.

2008- January- Russia begins naval exercises in neutral waters off France's Bay of Biscay- reminiscent of former Soviet practice.

Russia Invades Georgia over Georgian Attack on Ossetia.

2008- Augst- -Georgians and western nations protest after President Medvedev recognizes the independence of Abkazia and South Ossetia.

August- Georgia mounts military attack on breakway forces in separatist region of South Ossetia. Moscow responds with a full invasion in defence of its Ossetian Russian citizens, occupying South Ossetia in and part of Georgia.

After occupying parts of Georgia, Russia signs a French-brokered peace with Georgia and withdraws its troops.

-Georgians and western nations protest after President Medvedev recognizes the independence of Abkazia and South Ossetia.

November- President Medvendenko announces plans to place short-range missiles in the Kaliningrad enclave to counter the US missile shield in central Europe.

Obama Rapprochement with Russia over Missiles.

2009-Russia suspends plans to place short-range missles in Kaliningrad after what it says is a more reasonable position adopted by the Obama government over the US missile shield in Central Europe.

-July- in an attempt to replace the 1991 Start-1 Treaty, Medvedev and visiting President Obama agree to work on a new agreement on the reduction of nuclear weapons.

September- President Medvedev lauds a US move to cancel the nuclear weapons shield in Poland and Czecholslovakia.

2009- September- President Medvedev lauds a US move to cancel the nuclear weapons shield in Poland and Czecholslovakia.

New US-Russian Agreement Cutting Strategic Arms.
 
2010 April - President Medvedev signs a new strategic arms agreement with his US counterpart Barack Obama. The new Start deal commits the former Cold War foes to cut arsenals of deployed nuclear warheads by about 30 percent.

June - Presidents Medvedev and Obama mark warming in ties on the Russian leader's first visit to the White House. Obama says the US will back Russia's World Trade Organisation accession, and Russia will allow the US to resume poultry exports.

November -Medvedev welcomes NATO plan to include Russia as partner in European missile defence.


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