A makeshift memorial at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport for the victims of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, July 20, 2014. (Roman Boed/Flickr)
The horrific human tragedy of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17), which was shot down over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, risks to be remembered as the accelerator of today’s deteriorating geopolitical relations between Russia and the West.
All indicators point toward a renewed Cold War between the East and the West, where the new dividers are not the –isms of the past (Capitalism vs. Communism), but the economic and political interests of the present.
In fact, while some have suggested the MH17 tragedy is an opportunity for Russian President Vladimir Putin to cut his support to the rebel groups in east Ukraine, it is very unlikely. He still sees Russia’s influence over Ukraine and the prevention of it joining NATO as a national security interest. He still finds the global order that emerged from the end of the Cold War unacceptable, and will continue to undermine it. Other countries, including China, will ride with the tide.