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Russian Invasion of Crimea Likely to Affect US Foreign Policy

Russian Invasion of Crimea Likely to Affect US Foreign Policyi
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Meredith Buel
March 08, 2014 1:16 AM
Russia’s invasion of the Crimean Peninsula could have a major impact on U.S. foreign policy regarding such issues as Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s civil war and Afghanistan. Analysts say NATO also must consider changes to counter Russian troop movements in Ukraine. VOA's Meredith Buel reports.

Russian Invasion of Crimea Likely to Affect US Foreign Policy

Meredith Buel
Russia’s invasion of the Crimean Peninsula could have a major impact on U.S. foreign policy regarding such issues as Iran’s nuclear program, Syria’s civil war and Afghanistan. Analysts say NATO also must consider changes to counter Russian troop movements in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin is flexing Russia’s military might.

President Putin has captured Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula -- though Moscow says these are local self-defense forces -- causing world tensions to skyrocket.

Secretary of State John Kerry said, “There's no place in the community of nations for the kind of aggression and steps that we have seen taken in Crimea, in Ukraine in these last days."

And now analysts say the Crimean crisis is likely to affect other conflicts such as the Syrian civil war.

The U.S. and Russia have cooperated on removal of Syrian chemical weapons, but support opposite sides in the fighting.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Turkey, James Jeffrey at The Washington Institute said Ukraine’s fallout will be felt. “We need to be much more active much more quickly or we are going to be faced with not just Russia incorporating Crimea, but Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Assad running over the vast bulk of the population and creating a victory right in the middle of a region that is full of our allies. That is troubling,” he said.

Other analysts say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should be concerned as Russia focuses on problems closer to home.

Middle East expert and former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain Adam Ereli said, “So if I were Assad, I would be worried that my number one, or number two after Iran, patron is distracted and discredited."

Russia has cooperated with the U.S. and other world powers negotiating with Iran on that nation’s controversial nuclear program. Moscow’s support in the U.N. Security Council is critical for securing economic sanctions analysts say are forcing Tehran to the bargaining table.

Washington relies on Russia to provide transportation routes supplying U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

This is immediately important given plans to withdraw troops and equipment this year.

“If we were to push Russia, I think they would be suddenly very uncooperative. That would mean that it would be more difficult and more expensive, but there are other routes out of there through Central Asia, through the Caucasus, and obviously through Pakistan and over the air,” said Jeffrey.

Military experts say NATO also will need to react to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

London-based security analyst Jonathan Eyal said, “It will be an inescapable conclusion now, after what has happened in Ukraine, that NATO will have to move troops to the borders with Poland and with Romania, the two biggest countries that have a border with Ukraine."

Washington is calling for all Russian forces to return to their bases, for direct talks between Kyiv and Moscow, and for international monitors to ensure the safety of all Ukrainians.

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by: NOT AGAIN from: Canada
March 08, 2014 3:13 PM
The situation continues to slide negatively; only Canada has closed ranks with the US; Only the US has sent forces for training regional allies. We see this continuous abandonment of the US and Canada by the EU, they are now even undercutting the US position on Cuba, by opening negotiations.. not again ! our "allies?" are abandoning us!!


by: faustino amandio from: Angola
March 08, 2014 3:07 PM
I just don't stand how you see things aroud you!?As a power UsA invaded many countries and other powers may not! One thing is só clear without Ukraine,Russia isn't a impire and without Crimea,Ukraine isn't só strategic..
and what about Rússia with Crimea!?


by: Observer48 from: Canada
March 08, 2014 11:55 AM
Russia should pay for the invasion of Crimea as dearly as possible, even if the West feels some pain associated with sanctions.

Russia should be stifled economically and politically, as it's very vulnerable to bans on its hydrocarbon exports. Also Russian oligarchs supporting Putin and Putin himself should be hit hard with visa ban and asset freeze. Force and power, be it military or financial, are the only languages Russia and its ancient and modern tsars have understood.

The West can live without Russian oil and gas, while Russia will collapse, or at least try to get rid of Putin, the 21st century Hitler, without Western money, technology and some consumer goods. Crime against an independent nation independence and territorial integrity Russia still co-guarantees but now brazenly breaches as well as breaches of all international laws should not go unpunished. western Ideas wouldn't be worth the paper they're written on if the West doesn't react adequately and make Russia pay.

In Response

by: Alex from: Crimea
March 16, 2014 9:06 AM
Before write please ask Crimea people if they want to live in Ukraine or Russia. I am sure that 90 percents of them answer you that tney want to be with Russia. I suggest it is real democracy.

In Response

by: Taras Zaitsev from: USA
March 10, 2014 9:01 AM
Russians( are so called Brothers) have killed twice as many of my family than the Germans. Russians believe in only two things Money and Power( interchangeable). Do I need to remind this flaccid world that 38 Countries Forced Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait for precisely the same thing, although blood letting has only begun here.
The best thing the Free countries of the World can do is Go full force to energy independence now Fracking ,Nuclear, coal, and everything else that works and makes sense. Isolate Russias cash Prevent Their Oligarchs from hiding there money abroad < " And very soon you will see Putin and his Girlfriend Displayed like Mussolini!


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 08, 2014 9:13 AM
Much more than just what is happening in Afghanistan or Pakistan, we should look at the power of diplomacy and who is controlling what in the international arena at the moment. In the Syria red-line troubles created when someone out there began to make assumptions they were not willing to uphold because the home front was weary of wars, it was Sergei Lavrov that provided the exit route that saved the US from committing a diplomatic suicide. In Iran and elsewhere in the world, Sergei Lavrov has proved the catalyst the UN Security Council needs to be able to dissolve and resolve issues that would otherwise prove difficult to solve. Although John Kerry of USA has been shuttling the Middle East and environs, his impact has not been ground breaking as Lavrov's in the areas he has chosen to put his fingers into work. The position of USA in the matter right now in Ukraine will about change all of that, especially in areas where Russia has been the stabilizing factor - in the nuclear ambition of Iran, and the peace negotiations in Syria. What may likely happen now is for the US to return all the options to the table - most options of which the country had boasted had been discountenanced by the American public. The picture will not look good on either president Obama or his secretary of state John Kerry. And in the face of the withdrawal of such a would catalyst, the US may be discouraged to move into some areas - in Africa, Asia and Middle East - where a Russian input would have provided bumper benefits.


by: Anonymous
March 08, 2014 5:59 AM
Well wasnt that nice of putin, not to tell anyone then spew that he is protecting out his butt. He invaded period. What he did was disrespectfull, so now the world must show him what respect is. Hopefully the Russian people rise and toss him out. He has no respect for Russian consequences. I hope the world chalks one up for years. There needs to be a serious penalty for his wreckless inconsiderate, disrespectful and most importantly illegal actions.

Isolate his party 100 %.


by: Sunny Enwerem from: Abeokuta Nigeria
March 08, 2014 2:35 AM
Sooner or later the International community will have to confront Russia militarily to check their aggressive nature before dialogue.


by: Samuel Prime from: Canada
March 08, 2014 1:24 AM
Maybe Assad isn't concerned as Mr Ereli suggested. Assad could in fact see Russia's intervention as further assertion of its power and dominance in the region which would enhance Iran's, Syria's, Hezbollah's powers as well - as Mr Jeffrey maintained. What is most alarming about this crisis is the potential it has to unleash a world war - since it was by such means that the two world wars have been triggered.


by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
March 07, 2014 9:54 PM
I wonder, are there any sober-minded undeceived unblinded people who watch the escalation of the far-right forces started in Kyiv “fire” unfolding out of proportion as “weapon-rattling military experts” started giving their “opinions” with the prospect on how to warm-up their hands in peoples’ misery and hardships? It is the precise way to the hell, to the cozy and neat full-blown war right in the middle of Europe. Let diplomats and politicians speak and be heard and "military experts" to be silenced!

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