The Kremlin and the World - Part One

The Kremlin and the World - Part One

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, followed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, and Putin foreign policy aide Sergei Prikhodko

Two decades have almost passed since the end of the Cold War but it seems like an unexpected chill has hit world relations.

In this four part series, Tim Whewell looks at the recent conflict of issues that could re-draw the old fault lines that once divided East and West.

Russia has fallen out with its Western counterparts over the murder of former spy Alexander Litvinenko.

There are also fears over energy supplies and talks of a new arms race.

Allegations of spying against the US and UK have decreased the chance of negotiation even further.

Could a new confrontation with Russia be on the horizon?

With the presidential elections approaching in March, Tim speaks to Kremlin insiders and key players in Europe and America.

He finds out what has gone wrong and why it has become so hard to dance with the Russian Bear.

Part One - The Jilted Lover

Tim Whewell's journey begins with a look at what the newly elected Russian President, Vladimir Putin had envisaged for his country back in 1999.

He promised to promote democracy and strength and to make peace Russia's priority.

He was the first foreign leader to reach out to President George Bush, immediately after the 9/11 attacks.

As a favour, he persuaded many leaders in Central Asia to allow US military bases in their countries

He thought this would bring Russia and the US closer in the fight against terror and make the world understand his stance in Chechnya.

However, this act of sympathy backfired and what enraged the Kremlin most was that it saw the hidden hand of the West behind the wave of revolutions in former Soviet republics.

Tim takes you through Georgia during the Rose Revolution and through the Ukraine during the Orange Revolution where Russia's hostility towards the West only excelled.

The US actively promoted democracy in some former Soviet states but Putin regarded this as interference and against Russian interests.

Russia's major fall-out with the West came in the aftermath of Beslan where the Kremlin suspects that it was a "western secret service" that was behind the tragedy.

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