Why is Renewing the Cold War with Russia Foolish?

Russia is a great country that is far more valuable than Ukraine. From Quora, Igor Markov describes a few recent accomplishments that have enriched the world.

Russia (most likely Putin) talked Bashar Al-Assad into getting rid of the most dangerous chemical weapons: Destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons. While there is some controversy about timing and Russia’s motives (the US was prepared to bomb Syria), the end result is very positive, especially that the disposal was completed exceptionally quickly.

Through its massive exports, Russia keeps low the world prices for
oil and gas
ferrous metals
precious metals
Al, Ti, Va and Cu
This supports manufacturing and transportation everywhere (including cheaper fuel and cheaper materials for airplanes). Low prices for raw materials are good because increased consumption (especially of energy resources in healthy economies) translates into economic growth. Additionally, Russia supplied a large amount of Uranium, highly enriched for nuclear weapons production in the USSR, to the US for subsequent dilution and use as nuclear fuel.

Russia (with the help of Ukraine) has been producing relatively cheap and reliable helicopters – both civilian and military. It cornered a large fraction of the world market. In particular, the US bought dozens of Russian military helicopters for Afghanistan’s military – that was an exception to sanctions in 2014.

The Russian space industry (with the help of Ukrainian space industry) launched hundreds of foreign satellites into orbit at relatively low prices, and supplied hundreds engines for other rockets, especially in the US. Russia’s contributions to the International Space Station have been significant. The rocket engine purchases and the ISS collaboration were exempt from US trade sanctions introduced in 2014.

Going further back, Russia-dominated USSR peacefully withdrew troops from E.Europe, allowing Germany to unify and half a dozen countries to become free.

Andrei Vesselovski adds a few more accomplishments.

Heterojunction is an important contribution to opto-electonics, by Herbert Kroemer and Zhores Alferov who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2000.

Graphene is a significant contibiution to the future of chemical, pharmaceutical and electronic industries, by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. This very strong, ultra thin, two-dimensional material could yield a new technological revolution.

Flerovium, Ununoctium, Ununtrium, Ununtrium, Livermorium and Ununseptium have been synthesized in the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia between 2003 and 2014. Now nuclear physicists can try and deduce from properties more about how atomic nuclei are put together and how they fall apart.

In software, Nginx is a very popular web server with a strong focus on high concurrency, performance and low memory usage and it was created by Igor Sysoev in 2002. Nginx used by about 30% of all the websites, including Quora. RAR is a file format that supports data compression, error recovery and file spanning which was developed by Eugene Roshal in 1993. 7z is another compressed archive file format that supports several different data compression, encryption and pre-processing algorithms and was developed by Igor Pavlov in 1999.

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