US Plays Hard Ball With Russia, China to Try to Revive Its Clout – Analysts

© Sputnik / Sergey Guneev /  / Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin, right, and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping after the signing of joint agreements in Shanghai. File photo
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping after the signing of joint agreements in Shanghai. File photo - Sputnik International
Commenting on recent expulsions of Russian diplomats from European countries, the US and Canada over the Skripal case, former Turkish ambassador in Paris and Tripoli Uluc Ozulker has told Sputnik that all this reflects further deterioration of ties between the West and Russia, which in turn indicates signs of return to the Cold War.

"I think that the escalation of tension around the Skripal case mirrors Washington's attempts to launch fierce competition with Russia and China in order to regain its lost positions, in line with the Pentagon's security strategy," Uluc Ozulker pointed out.

The former Turkish ambassador recalled that during a recent telephone conversation between Putin and Trump, the US President did not rule out the possibility of holding a high-level meeting on the prevention of an arms race.

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"However, the Pentagon apparently does not intend to follow this strategy. At present, there is a serious aggravation of tension in the relations between the West and Russia, which indicates signs of a return to the Cold War era," Ozulker noted.

His standpoint was shared by Murat Bilhan, deputy head of the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM), who has described Washington's actions against Russia over the Skrypal case as "the result of an unstable interior political situation in the United States."

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"The turbulent domestic political situation in America is developing in an unpredictable direction.  On the eve of the forthcoming mid-term elections, speculation is rife that the Democrats will gain more votes than the Republicans – something that affects the US administration's foreign policy," Bilhan said.

He added that in order to achieve success, Trump has no other choice but to employ drastic measures and the use of force.

"If Trump pursues a soft and "peaceful" foreign policy, this may anger all those who voted for him in the [2016 presidential] elections. Therefore, he is trying to strengthen his position at the expense of a tough foreign policy line," Bilhan concluded.

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More than 100 Russian diplomats were expelled from about 20 European countries as well as the US and several other UK allies in the wake of the poisoning of former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, UK on March 4.

Russia vehemently rejects allegations of involvement in the Skripals' poisoning, and has called for a joint probe into the incident.

The views and opinions expressed by Uluc Ozulker and Murat Bilhan are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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