NATO Russia spar over Ukraine

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Relations among NATO and Ukraine date back to the mid-1990s and have since formed into one of the most substantial of NATO’s associations. Beginning around 2014, right after the Russia- Ukraine conflict, collaboration has been intensified in certain critical regions. The Russia-Ukraine conflict began when Putin responded to the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ousted the pro- Moscow president with the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea. Over time, Russia is becoming progressively forceful in the region as it is disturbing shipping lanes and meddling with the freedom of navigation, developing its conventional and nuclear abilities in occupied Crimea, and utilizing the domain as a logistical center for its tactical exercises in the Middle East as well.

NATO and its allies had fully supported Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally perceived borders. They condemn Russia’s military intervention and its support for the militants in Eastern Ukraine leading towards the destabilization of the region. They also provided practical support to Ukraine based on a significant enhancement of existing cooperating programs as well as the development of substantial new programs. US and NATO, have also accused Russia of the deployment of as many as 100,000 troops and military tanks near the border of Ukraine. They think that Russia’s destabilizing actions go beyond Ukraine and stretch from the Baltic to the Black Sea making the Euro-Atlantic security environment less stable. Recently, American President Joe Biden has warned Putin regarding the ongoing scenario by saying “Russia will pay a terrible price if it invades Ukraine and that Russia’s standing in the world would change markedly in the event of an incursion into Ukraine”.

Russia views the growth of closer ties between Ukraine and NATO allies as a challenge to its hegemony in the Eurasian region and it believes on the fact, that it should now halt Ukraine’s closer ties with the west before it progresses any further. The admiration of Ukraine to join the EU and NATO   has led to infuriating Russia. Russian President Putin has warned the rival nations that “they will regret it more than they have regretted anything in a long time” if they cross Russia’s red line on security. Moreover, Russia has also accused NATO and US of turning Ukraine into a “powder keg” with increasing arms supplies. Russia also demands that NATO should abandon all its military activity in Eastern Europe and not admit Ukraine as a member. It seems that Russia has now concluded that unless they do something, the trend lines are heading to Russia losing Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukraine is now trying to attain a full NATO membership. It is because it would get the full backing of NATO as a member after getting the membership. Several NATO members including the US and UK have been supplying weapons to Kyiv and the alliance as a whole is pledged to protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity in the face of any possible Russian aggression. The NATO     members can offer Ukraine more arms, cash, and training to help defend itself against the possible Russian invasion. Ukraine is of the view that it would make Russia bow down and stop what it calls a threat to its sovereignty. Although some major powers like Germany and France are worried about the fact, that bringing the former Soviet republic into the western alliance would antagonize Russia and this move can also provoke a more dangerous escalation of the Ukrainian conflict as a result. Russia views its military deployments on Ukraine’s territory as an internal matter and denies any aggressive intentions. It is also very hopeful that Kyiv will abandon its western course and turn back to Moscow. Moscow is now demanding guarantees that Ukraine will never join NATO, the Western Alliance. It looks like Russia doesn’t intend to start a war with Ukraine now, though Russia is ready to use force if necessary. Moscow wants the US to agree to de-facto neutralization of Ukraine, which can have profound implications not only for Ukraine but for the whole security of Europe. However, it is also very true that Ukraine’s approach of making alliances with NATO and its allies has infuriated Russia and it sees this as a threat to its hegemony in the Eurasian region. This has resultantly decreased the chances for the implementation of President Putin’s aims of avoiding bloodshed and finding a diplomatic way out. Consequently, Russia has threatened to take military measures against Ukraine and by doing this if Russia can regain control over Ukraine with its resources and access to the black sea then Russia will again regain the capability of becoming the powerful imperial state in the Eurasian region. So, in the end, by looking at all aspects, we can say that there is no way of knowing Russia’s true intentions, and what its next move might be and when.

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