Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) walks past U.S. President Barack Obama (R) during a group photo at the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg September 6, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
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The language of the Cold War has returned with a vengeance, with renewed talk of nuclear alerts, alleged testing of medium-range nuclear missiles and worries about NATO's defense umbrella.A vivid example of the Cold War time warp was Putin's revelation in a Russian documentary last weekend that he considered putting Russian nuclear forces on alert early last year when Russia intervened in Crimea after the Ukraine government collapsed.Russia withdrew last week from consultations about the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, signaling that it has effectively abandoned that pact.The treaty was negotiated after the U.S. and its European allies decided to counter Russian deployment of SS-20 nuclear missiles by installing comparable Pershing missiles in Europe.Ukraine isn't a NATO member, and the U.S. has tried to signal since the crisis began that it would use military force to stop similar aggression against a NATO member under Article 5 of the alliance's treaty.
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