Essay

Spheres of influence

Print edition : May 30, 2014

September 28, 1939: Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (seated) signed in Moscow with Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop (second from left behind Molotov) a "Friendship and Border Treaty". It defined the division of Poland and had three secret protocols. Stalin is to the left of Ribbentrop. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

The map of the Sykes-Picot Agreement showing France's ("A": comprising Syria and Lebanon) and Britain's ("B": Iraq, Transjordan and Palestine) spheres of influence in West Asia. Photo: The National Archives (United Kingdom)

November 9,1990: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Chancellor Helmut Kohl of the newly unified Germany signing a non-aggression treaty in Bonn. Photo: The Hindu Archives

The strong and consistent Anglo-American tradition of maintaining spheres of influence continued all through the last century and exists still. Yet, all hell broke loose when Russia claimed its own sphere of influence in areas adjoining its own territory.

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