A man kisses the Soviet Union flag in Simferopol's Lenin Square on March 16, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE)
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Russia and the West are locked in economic interdependency.Here is a look at how the Ukraine crisis may have turned into an East-West standoff – but not a Cold War. The economies of Russia and the West have become entwined since the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago – meaning it would be hard to go back to the hermetic "us-versus-them" world of the Cold War.U.S. brands including McDonald's and Pepsi have a big presence in Russia, and the European Union does far more trade with the country than the U.S. The Europeans are less eager than Washington to take punitive economic measures, in part because European companies from German engineering firm Siemens to British oil giant BP have major Russian investments. And Russia supplies almost a third of Europe's natural gas. But economic rupture could hurt Russia even more. Adrian Basora, a former U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic, said that if Russia sent troops into eastern Ukraine, it could trigger an escalation that might pull NATO troops into Eastern Europe.The crisis has revealed that Russia and the West remain far apart – not just politically and diplomatically, but culturally and temperamentally.
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