“THE RESPONSE OF WORLD POWERS to Ukrainian Crisis”
Ukraine is located in Eastern Europe between Russia and the NATO member states Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. Ukraine also has borders with Belarus in the north and Moldova in the south. Crucially she shares are border with Russia. Ukraine and Russia are two independent states which emerged with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. World Power responded differently on the Ukrainian crisis when it comes to their interests.
But as a former soviet republic, Ukraine has deep social, cultural, and economic ties with Russia. The overwhelming majority of the world considers the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 an unlawful occupation. Russia’s annexation of Crimea was the first time since WW2 that the European states annexed the territory of others. Although the Russian government denies it
Ukraine and Russia hold a century-long history. Crimea because of her geostrategic location holds a crucial position in eyes of Russia. Crimea which is a bone of contention between Russia and Ukraine was under Ottoman Empire. Crimea went from Ottoman Empire to Russian control in 1783. Then again in 1853-56 Russia have to face a war called Crimean War between the Ottomans, French, and Britain but Russia lose the war.
Again in 1917 Russian Revolution took place and Crimea became the part of USSR up until 1954 Crimea was part of Russia but in 1954 Crimea was transferred from the Russian SSR to the Ukrainian SSR. With the collapse of the USSR, Crimea was given the status of the autonomous region as per her demand means that Crimea will have a separate parliament but all the other matters i-e international relations, and foreign policy will be handled by Ukraine. we will discuss the World Powers’ response to Ukrainian Crisis?
Political upheaval which led to the Crimean crisis:
In 2010 Victor Yanukovych was elected as the president of Ukraine being pro-Russian he refused to sign a treaty with the EU at the last minute in 2013 instead he signed an agreement of a multibillion-dollar bailout with Russia, as a result, Euromaidan protest erupted. Because of this unrest, Yanukovych left his presidency.
Russian-backed protestors occupy the parliament of Crimea and they asked for Russian assistance for peace and security. The separatist rebellion broke out in Ukraine’s east. The new PM calls for a referendum on joining Russia. On 16 March 2014 referendum took place and Crimea joins Russia.
No international observer was allowed in the referendum which is why the international community does not give any credence to this referendum and is considered a fabricated lie. The international community believes Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory. Since then Crimea is under Russia’s control now.
Russia’s Interest in Crimea
Russia has a great interest in Crimea because of its strategic location as it provides easy access to the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Balkans. Secondly, the Black Sea Fleet of the Navy has always been situated in Crimea at Sevastopol. Russia cannot afford to lose this port because Sevastopol port is the only warm water port that Russia has access to.
The other important factor is most of the former Soviet republics are part of NATO and the EU and she perceives it as a threat if Ukraine come under NATO control it would be devastating for Russia as both the countries share a long border.
Read More about Article 5 of NATO: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/11/15/what-is-article-5-nato/
Russia act proactively and annexed Crimea earlier and gave the message to the world that Russia is not to be melded with.
The build-up of Russian troops and the ultimatum to west
The war in the east Ukraine i-e in Donbas never formally ended, low-intensity fire is a daily reality. Western intermediaries helped to de-escalate military actions to take place in 2015. The Minsk Protocol of 2015 signed by the summit in the Belarusian capital chartered a path to a peaceful resolution, but it remain blocked because certain steps were not accepted either by Ukraine or Russia.
Late in 2021, the western and Ukrainian intelligence agencies released information about the massive build-up of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border, and the preparation of infrastructure for the possible invasion but Russian officials denies and said these preparations are merely for military exercises and they also issued an ultimatum to west demanding written guarantees against NATO’s further expansion.
The Response of World Powers to the Ukraine-Russia Crisis:
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are at their highest in years. Russia has deployed an estimated 100,000 troops roughly 186 miles from the border.
Russia is declaring again and again that the deployment of the troops is for military exercises, she has no plans to invade Ukraine. Moscow sees the growing support for Ukraine from NATO, in terms of weaponry training and personnel as a threat to their own security. And NATO is deploying sophisticated weapons in Ukraine aimed concerns in Moscow that Ukraine is being increasingly armed by NATO powers.
Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said, if US and NATO allies do not change the course in Ukraine, then Moscow has the right to choose ways to ensure its legitimate security interest.
Ukraine’s government insisted that Moscow cannot prevent Kyiv from building closer ties with NATO if she chooses to do so, Russia has no right to say anything in the relevant discussions, the foreign minister said.
NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg has said,’ there will be a high price to pay for Russia’ if it once again invades Ukraine, a NATO partner ‘ we have a wide range of options economic sanctions, and financial sanctions, political restrictions’. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, NATO increases its defenses in the eastern part of the alliances, in Baltic countries, Latvia but also in the Black Sea region.
Ukraine is not a NATO member and thus does not have the same security guarantee as NATO members and Stoltenberg further added there is the possibility of Ukraine becoming its member. High states talks between Russia and NATO in Brussels in mid-January were not an easy discussion. However, both expressed the need to resume dialogue.
The U.S View:
President Joe Biden gave strong remarks that the US and its allies will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine. Despite increasing tensions, the US delivered the written response to the ministry of foreign affairs by US Ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan. This document has opened a diplomatic channel.
Further Ukrainian Presidential Advisor says, the US response was the right strategy. He added Russia should use this opportunity to use diplomacy to avoid the negative scenarios.
Turkey shares friendly ties with both states. Turkey is advocating for peace talks and is willing to bring both states to the negotiation table to normalize the intensified situation. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has planned to visit Ukraine next month. And has invited the Russian president to Turkey to host both sides for diplomacy.
Ankara has strong ties with Kyiv and Moscow but opposes Russian policies in Syria and Libya as well as the annexation of the Crimea Peninsula in 2014. He further said Russia would be unwise to invade Ukraine and in that case, Turkey would do what is necessary as a NATO member.
But for now, Turkey holds the middle ground and is advocating to bring Ukraine and Russia to the tables for a peaceful solution.
Seemingly Ukraine has full support from western countries. If Russia invades Ukraine then the major war will plunge the entire Europe into crisis. The matter should be solved diplomatically if not the situation will be worst and the world will face major consequences.
This article is written by Aimen Jamil, a student of International Relations at the National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad. She is a deputy director at the youth diplomacy forum. Moreover, she is interested in Human Rights, Diplomacy, and South Asian Region.