World is fighting a new Cold War, Russia's Medvedev says

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the world was fighting a new Cold War, warning of grave consequences for the West if it didn’t cooperate with Russia in Syria and elsewhere.

“We have slid, in essence, into times of a new Cold War,” Medvedev said in a speech Saturday to senior international officials at a marquee security conference in Germany.

Medvedev cited the Syria conflict as an arena of much needed Russian-Western cooperation, especially on military issues.

The key to resolving that conflict, he said, was the cooperation of “Russian and American military officials—regularly, constantly, every day.”

“Military officials must be in constant contact,” Medvedev said, returning to the point later in his remarks. “They should be calling each other 10 times a day.”

Russia has been using its military intervention on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in the Syria conflict to raise its profile as a player on the world stage. Cease-fire talks in Munich Thursday night elevated Russia’s profile by creating a working group co-chaired by Russia and the U.S. that was tasked with determining the technicalities of a Syria cease-fire.

Medvedev insisted in his speech and a short Q-and-A session alongside French Prime Minister Manuel Valls that the West faced a stark choice: cooperate with Russia on common interests such as fighting terrorism and ensuring stability in the Middle East—or face a permanent, global conflict.

He added the U.S. and Western Europe had departed from a post-World War II security architecture that had ensured 70 years of relative stability.

“Do we really need a third global shake-up to realize the importance of cooperation rather than confrontation?” Medvedev asked rhetorically after mentioning World War II.

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