Signs of a Thaw in the "Cold War"?

06/02/2015 04:09 pm ET | Updated Jun 02, 2016

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Co-authored by William Witenberg a contemporary artist focused on abstract painting

Russian President Putin's response to the arrest by American and Swiss law enforcement authorities in Switzerland of members of world soccer federation FIFA, was to accuse the United States of trying to derail Russian's hosting of the 2018 World Cup. While this can be seen as a continuation of the new cold war there is a ray of hope that occurred after the recent British elections.

It is not a secret that relations between the West and Russia have been significantly deteriorating. Since the imposition of western sanctions there has been no productive dialogue between Russia and the West. Western sanctions have not shown any signs of affecting Putin's foreign policy and if anything they have accelerated Russia's push to further ties with China, India, and Eastern Europe.

The first possible signs of an attempt to stop the decline that occurred when Putin called David Cameron to congratulate him on his surprising victory in the English elections. BBC is reporting that the conversation was primarily about ISIS, Syria and the Ukraine. It was agreed that talks on the Syria conflict should be restarted.

The fighting in Syria has been further complicated by a shocking success ISIS has had in capturing Syrian land. ISIS is the enemy of Syrian President Bashar Assad, the West and Russia. It may be that the ISIS's declaration of a caliphate might be the most significant extremist act since the attacks of September 11, 2001. This is the first significant meeting of Russia and the West, since Ukraine became an issue. Perhaps Russia and the West, as a result of a common enemy, will be able to come to a mutually beneficial understanding.

An imposed peace can only happen if ISIS is stopped, and only a joint coalition that includes the West and Russia would be able to achieve that end. It is not surprising that the issue of Syria will be addressed before the fighting in the Ukraine. And it just maybe if Russia, America, and Middle Eastern countries can unite in stopping the fighting in Syria there may be an opening to discuss Ukraine.