The crisis between Britain and Russia over the alleged poisoning of Sergei Skripal is the latest episode in what has been in recent years a de facto "Cold War" between Russia and the West. However, friction between Russia and Britain is longstanding; indeed it has spanned the centuries—a recurring clash of civilisations fuelled by cultural differences, imperial ambition and ideological antagonism—and manifest today in the West's attempts to maintain its global dominance in the face of a surgent Eurasia with Russia at its centre.
But with the ideological "Cold War" of the Soviet years a thing of the past, we must surely pause to ask: Why is Britain prolonging this fruitless "rivalry" with a distant Eurasian power? Whose interests does it serve? And is there, perhaps, a more constructive and, frankly, safer way forward?
Adeyinka Makinde trained for the law as a barrister. He lectures in criminal law and public law at a university in London, and has an academic research interest in intelligence & security matters. He is a contributor to a number of websites for which he has written essays and commentaries on international relations, politics and military history. He has served as a programme consultant and provided expert commentary for BBC World Service Radio, China Radio International and the Voice of Russia.