By thinking of Ukraine, the U.S. President Barack Obama warned the Russian President Putin on possible “costs” by a Russian military intervention in Crimea. By the tone of diplomatic language used, it is more than clear, that we are experiencing a meta-Soviet type of multiple confrontation between the today’s West and Putin’s East (Russian Federation):
(Photo Credit: BBC)
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama warned Russia on Friday that military intervention in Ukraine would lead to “costs,” as tension with old foe President Vladimir Putin rose in a Cold War-style crisis. ”We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,” he told reporters. Obama and European leaders would consider skipping a G8 summit this summer in the Russian city of Sochi if Moscow intervenes militarily in Ukraine, a senior U.S. official said. ”The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine,” Obama said in the White House briefing room. Facing yet another confrontation with Putin after butting heads with him over Syria, Obama said any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be “deeply destabilizing.” Obama did not spell out what he meant by Russian military intervention. Russia has a huge naval base in Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula and says it has the right to move troops in Ukraine under an agreement between the two former Soviet neighbours. U.S. officials said they saw indications of Russian troop movements into Crimea but that their numbers and intentions were unclear. The crisis has presented Obama with a difficult challenge days after pro-Western protesters prompted Ukraine’s pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovich to flee to Russia. Armed men took control of two airports in the Crimea region in what the new Ukrainian leadership described as an invasion by Moscow’s forces, and Yanukovich surfaced in Russia a week after he fled Kiev.
It is also important that, President’s Obama warning has an inclusive character of the destabilizing costs for Ukraine, Russia and Europe caused by a possible Russian military move in Crimea. This is even more clear, as the White House looks at Russia’s natural gas distribution network in Europe via Ukraine:
(Photo Credit: BBC)
Speaking from the White House, President Obama commended Ukraine’s interim government for its “restraint”. ”Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilising, which is not in the interests of Ukraine, Russia or Europe,” he said. ”It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people. It would be a clear violation of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine – and of international laws.” He added: “Just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic games, it would invite the condemnation of nations around the world. And, indeed, the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.” Mr Obama did not spell out what any US response might be. However, the BBC’s Beth McLeod in Washington says the US is considering exerting economic pressure by withholding the deeper trade ties that Moscow seeks. It is also considering boycotting a G8 summit hosted by Russia, she adds, although that is not until June. US Republican Mike Rogers, who chairs the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said in a statement: “It appears that the Russian military now controls the Crimean peninsula.”
It is strategically important, that Ukraine has developed a “Distinctive Partnership” with NATO since 1997, focused on political dialogue and practical military cooperation tasks between the two parts:
The formal basis for NATO-Ukraine relations is the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which established the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC). Successive governments reinforced the political dialogue and practical cooperation between NATO and Ukraine. NATO supports a range of initiatives in Ukraine, while Ukraine contributes to NATO’s missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and in 2013 became the first partner country to contribute to the NATO-led counter-piracy operation Ocean Shield. Following recent developments, on 27 February 2014, NATO Defence Ministers stated that “a sovereign, independent and stable Ukraine, firmly committed to democracy and the rule of law, is key to Euro-Atlantic security.” This echoes a key point made in the 1997 Charter. Defence Ministers added that “NATO Allies will continue to support Ukrainian sovereignty and independence, territorial integrity, democratic development, and the principle of inviolability of frontiers, as key factors of stability and security in Central and Eastern Europe and on the continent as a whole.” At the Chicago Summit in May 2012, NATO leaders marked the 15th anniversary of the 1997 Charter and welcomed Ukraine’s commitment to enhancing political dialogue and interoperability with NATO, as well as its contributions to NATO-led operations. They also declared that NATO was ready to continue to develop its cooperation with Ukraine and assist with the implementation of reforms in the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Commission and the Annual National Programme. This continued support was reiterated by NATO Defence Ministers at their February 2014 gathering. Dialogue and cooperation between NATO and Ukraine has become well-established in a wide range of areas. In particular, Ukraine has proved to be an important contributor to Euro-Atlantic security in the framework of NATO-led operations. Another important aspect of relations is the support given by NATO and individual Allies for Ukraine’s ongoing reform efforts, particularly in the defence and security sectors. These reforms are vital for the country’s democratic development.
The post-Soviet Russian-Ukrainian frame of relations has been established and is active since 1991, with Moscow to have important strategic naval interests in Crimea:
(Photo Credit: BBC)
Russia–Ukraine relations (Russian: Российско-украинские отношения, Ukrainian:Українсько-російські відносини) were established in 1991 immediately upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union of which both were founding constituent republics.Russia has an embassy in Kiev and consulates in Kharkiv, Lviv, Odessa and Simferopol. Ukraine hasan embassy in Moscow and consulates in Rostov-on-Don,Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Tyumen and Vladivostok.
Relations between the two country’s Governments are complex. Prime MinisterVladimir Putin allegedly declared at a NATO-Russia summit in 2008 that, if Ukraine were to join NATO, his country could contend to annex the Ukrainian East andCrimea. Some analysts believe that the current Russian leadership is determined to prevent an equivalent of the Ukrainian Orange Revolution in Russia. This perspective is supposed to explain not only Russian domestic policy but its sensitivity to events abroad.Many in Ukraine and beyond believe that Russia has periodically used its vast energy resources to bully its smaller, dependent neighbour, but the Russian Government argues instead that it was the internal squabbling amongst Ukraine’s political elite that is to blame for the deadlock. Since the election of Viktor Yanukovych as Ukrainian President in early 2010 the relations between the two nations have improved.
Finally, the current Ukrainian crisis has a serious geopolitical impact in Russia’s periphery in the Black sea, and also a serious domestic political dimension. People who know very well about the situation in Ukraine, believe that the final decisions about the country’s final political and economic orientation, are to be taken by Kiev’s post-Soviet economic oligarchs.
Energy networks, geopolitical interests and “historic pathogenies” are the decisive factors for Ukraine and its future.