There is a growing hostility towards Russia within the West – specifically Theresa May's Britain – and certain quarters of the American Government and NATO afflicted with an outdated and reactionary «Cold War» mentality. This anti-Russian hostility is not only short sighted and misguided but it is also deeply disrespectful and offensive given the great historical debt the United Kingdom and Europe owe the Russian people for their supreme sacrifice against the Nazi Third Reich during their epic and titanic struggle to defeat German fascism. What was then the USSR lost over 20 million citizens in its war of attrition against Hitler most starkly and bloodily displayed at the Battle of Stalingrad which saw the Red Army and Russian people victorious against the invading Nazis. When viewed through this prism recent comments by the Secretary of State for Defence are inappropriate, offensive and ungrateful to say the least.
The fact is that it was down to the United States and the Soviet Union who rescued Britain and Europe from Hitlerian Nazism. Whole towns and villages in the Soviet Union where left without men and boys. And it is also true that if it where not for the USSR thrusting from the East and the United States thrusting from the West, Britain in all likelihood would eventually have been invaded and the British people assimilated into the Nazi Third Reich and Hitler's Empire. Certainly the United Kingdom would never have been able to have defeated the Germans and liberated Nazi occupied Europe without the strength, raw muscle and super power of both America and Russia and certainly the holocaust of the Jewish people would not have been put to a stop without the involvement of the Soviet Union and the United States.
Regardless of modern day Russia's political structure or the political structure of the former Soviet Union - Russia and the Russian people, the Russian State, the Russian Government, Russian Institutions, Russian culture (including the tremendous contribution in the arts, ballet. music, science) the Russian military and most importantly Russian views, ideas, proposals and thoughts on policy making and diplomacy - must be paid attention to, respected, and engaged with constructively in the spirit of mutual respect, mutual collaboration and mutual admiration. As a great military power (one of the greatest and indeed the strongest alongside the United States and China of the 20th and 21st centuries) it's position must be given equal weight in the Councils of the World when considering serious international and regional issues of peace, security and stability for example during the deliberations of the United Nations Security Council apropos the Iraq War 2002-2003; the Libya Intervention 2011 and Syria during the genesis of the conflict in 2011.
This status and position it has rightfully earned through its blood sacrifice in defense ironically of Western Civilization during World War II. Rather than constantly demonizing Russia has as has been done in the past during the Bolshevik Revolution against the Tsar; or the British Nazi Appeasement of the 1930s; or the Cold War - the West led by the United States - should be seeking to work and partner with Russia to forge a new strategic partnership for peace to combat some of the globe's most pressing and serious problems just as the United States, Russia and China all fought together on the same side during the Second World War against German and Japanese Imperial Fascism.
When it comes to now stamping out religious fanaticism and fundamentalism in the form of Islamist terrorism; Western far-right nationalism and dealing with the pressing issue of the breakdown of the balance of peace and stability in the Middle East and Korean Peninsula as well as showcasing that through common interests and shared values great objectives can be achieved across non-traditional and non-conventional boundaries - all of this is what a new Alliance with Russia based on respect could achieve. It could also once again help stabilize to as great extent as possible through shared insight and expertise how to contain and manage the issue of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
It could also help foster greater peace, stability and security in Eastern Europe. It was wrong of NATO to expand towards the frontiers of Russia by enveloping the former Warsaw Pact members at the end of the 1990s. It should have been understood that the Iron Curtain existed for a reason and that due to what the Soviets had suffered during the invasion of their home land by the Nazis and the sacrifices the Red Army made the Moscow Government was well within its legitimate geopolitical national interests by insisting on a sphere of influence to enforce a buffer zone between itself in the East and Germany in the West. NATO went too far, became too arrogant and became too greedy towards the end of the 1990s and needlessly poked the Russian bear in the eye by admitting former Warsaw Pact members as both NATO and EU members. Perhaps it would have been wiser for both the EU and NATO to have stayed a truly Western force.
However despite the false starts of the Obama administration's valiant Reset in 2009 and the attempts made by the Bush Jnr administration in 2001 to reach out to President Putin there is still time to Reset to a New Alliance with Russia if it is based on mutual respect, mutual collaboration and mutual admiration instead of short sighted and immature campaign of demonizing and vilification. One of the most productive and most over looked and under appreciated Governmental Diplomatic Alliances of recent times was the Reagan/Thatcher/Gorbachev troika and the productive creative and confident relationship and Cold War diplomacy between American President Ronald Reagan, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev.