Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says a new Iron Curtain is being hung between the West and Russia. “It’s practically already there,” complained the minister. He warned the West to “act with caution”.
Relations were already not good when Russia attacked neighbouring Ukraine on February 24. It led to further resentment towards Russia in Western countries and to a series of severe economic sanctions. Western companies have stopped their activities in Russia and travelling to and from that country has become very difficult.
Western powers have also made the fight against President Vladimir Putin’s Russia a priority in defence, security and foreign policy.
The term Iron Curtain was used shortly after World War II, most notably in a 1946 speech by British leader Winston Churchill, for the division of Europe into the democratic West and the Soviet-dominated east of Europe.
On the communist side, it eventually became a physical separation of 7000 kilometres that was virtually impenetrable from Norway to Greece because of moats, fencing, walls, watchtowers and guards. The Berlin Wall was part of it. The Iron Curtain disappeared with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.