NEWS Russia and the other players in the Ukrainian crisis need to be prudent enough to resolve chronic tensions.
- Increased tensions between Ukraine and Russia can be viewed as a continuation of the unresolved conflict of 2014, when Russia illegally annexed Crimea.
- Since then, Russia has been constantly painted as an aggressor and a hostile power.
- Russia now has been criticised for its involvement in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting with Ukrainian troops.
- From the beginning of April 2021, Moscow has allegedly deployed thousands of troops as well as tanks and artillery near Ukraine’s eastern border.
- It has also mobilised troops in the annexed Black Sea region of Crimea.
- This was enough to send a shock wave among the political elite in Ukraine, forcing them to appeal to the U.S. and NATO and ask for an intervention, if needed.
- Hence, the present political situation appears to be complex due to the indirect involvement of its multiple stakeholders, including the United States, Turkey and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
UKRAINE AND NATO
- Besides powerful rhetoric from NATO, Ukraine wants more commitments and concrete actions, but it is to be noted that Ukraine has not yet obtained membership of NATO.
- In June 2020, NATO recognised Ukraine as an Enhanced Opportunities Partner, along with Australia, Finland, Georgia, Jordan, and Sweden.
- This partnership aims to maintain and deepen cooperation between countries that have made significant contributions to the NATO-led missions and operations.
SUPPORTERS OF UKRAINE
- Notably, under the new administration, the U.S., has taken a more resolute stance towards this conflict.
- Unlike the predecessors, the present President of the U.S., is ready to support Ukraine militarily, if the need arises.
- Turkey has reassured that it stands by Ukraine amidst the current tensions with Russia.
- It is worth recalling that Turkey has not acted in synchrony with Russia during several conflicts, e.g., in Syria, Libya, and, most recently, in Nagorno-Karabakh.
- According to the Russian Defence Minister, moves by Russia in the region was just a ‘three-week drill’ meant to test combat readiness to respond to NATO’s threats.
- It is to be assumed that the present Russian President, possesses enough diplomatic (and pragmatic) skills not to indulge in yet another geopolitical endeavour, that might entail serious repercussions from the international community.
- Hence, from the Russian perspective, the current ‘military build-up’ can be viewed as another round of muscle flexing and an attempt to perpetuate the narrative of a powerful and capable Russia.
FOR A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION
- All the stakeholders in the ongoing crisis should focus on establishing a constructive dialogue among themselve using clear and unambiguous language.
- The only way forward is to seek a peaceful resolution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict rather than exacerbating the reality and using quid pro quo tactics.
- Both countries do need support from the global community, but not in a military form.
- There is a need for a platform (similarly to the Minsk Agreements) that will facilitate negotiation, mutual consensus and possible compromises, as well as engagement with mediators.
- The long-term solution should be sought out in order to break the vicious cycle of animosity and misunderstanding.