The international community has witnessed the Ukrainian Crisis unfold over the past two and a half decades. The Crimean Peninsula remains a bone of contention between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Since the absconding of former Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, pro-Russian forces without insignia have annexed Crimea, after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inflammatory address in Kremlin on March 18, 2014. The speech deemed “nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites [behind] this coup,” while referring to the new Ukrainian government.
The decision about Crimea continues to hang mid-air, as peace talks change nothing and the reported death toll has steadily risen to 5,000 people in southern Ukraine, according to reports by The Telegraph. In such a situation, a country like Ukraine, in all certainty, needs international reinforcement to avoid being manipulated by Russia. Hence, the U.S.’s decision, to consider providing defensive lethal weaponry to Ukraine, as reported by Reuters, is conjointly befitting and necessary.
The Telegraph provided live coverage of negotiations taking place between German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday Feb. 6, 2015. The exact regulations of the peace treaty under discussion are unknown but will be based on the Minsk Protocol of Sept. 5, 2014.
There has been an immediate ceasefire in conflict, which was the first clause of the Minsk Protocol. Despite this, serious violations have occurred repeatedly by armed Russians in uniforms that, as Russian officials enduringly emphasize, “are separatists who do not belong to the Russian Army and voluntarily went” across the fluid border, according to Euronews. The Russian government cannot control the actions of these separatists. Evidently, there is speculation as Russian soldiers continue to march into Crimea, while Putin swiftly denies any involvement of Russia’s Army in the region, except to “[help] Crimeans hold a referendum firstly on their independence, and secondly on their desire to join the Russian Federation.” According to BBC, the referendum that Putin mentions is one that nearly all United Nations’ members considered illegitimately run under the influence of Russian troops. This disagreement has caused Russia and the U.S. to lock horns, yet again.
Consequently, if the U.S. eventually decides to provide lethal weaponry against Russia, it will severely damage the relations between the two nations, built so cautiously since the end of the Cold War. However, U.S. support would be the essential backup for Ukraine, the small country that presently feels harassed by one the size of a continent. As U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, righteously emphasized at a press conference in Europe: “Russia cannot be allowed to redraw the map of Europe,” because it contradicts everything the United Nations stands for: cooperation for coexistence.
There are many suppositions about the United States’ consideration, as well. A Reuters report on a NATO meeting in Brussels claims that senior diplomats of the European members believe the U.S. is using lethal weaponry as a bluff to pressurize Russia into peaceful negotiation with Ukraine. They do not, however, approve of actually sending any weaponry into the region, under the unstable conditions.
Bluff or not, the U.S. is taking a stance that is essential. As much as we love to talk about world peace and cooperation, there will always be some big bully on Planet Reality who wants that tiny piece of land- with no particularly rich resources- to add to its own landmass. One would expect a more nonviolent approach resolving border issues from the country led by a 2014 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, but clearly Russian President Vladimir Putin sees no difference between shrouding the violence his decisions are causing and ushering actual peace.
Recognizably, it is then up to the other developed countries of the globe, with both ideological and technological prowess, to take persevering action against undemocratic maneuvering of political decisions. Even as members of the European Union, such as Germany and France, press for strict implementation of the Minsk Protocol, the U.S. is absolutely right for trying to be the responsible agent in actively pressurizing Russia for implementing peace in Ukraine.
Kamakshi Dadhwal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org