News / Europe

Russia's Ukraine Policy Part of Broader Shift

Russia's Ukraine Policy Part of Broader Shifti
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
April 25, 2014 2:38 PM
Russia’s intervention in Ukraine has surprised many experts, but some say it should have been expected based partly on its interaction with Armenia last fall
Al Pessin
It was all smiles for the cameras when Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in September and expressed his intention to join the Russian-led Customs Union.
 
In doing so, Sargsyan abandoned more than two years of negotiations on an association agreement with the European Union.

While Russian pressure seemingly worked in that situation, it backfired two months later when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych did the same thing, sparking months of protests, a violent crackdown and his ouster by the parliament, where members of his own party voted against him.

With Ukraine, Putin was faced with a choice -- accept the changes and potentially lose his special relationship with more former Soviet states, or take action and sacrifice his relationship with the West.

Russia’s intervention in Ukraine has surprised many experts, but some say it should have been expected based partly on its interaction with Armenia last fall.

“Russian policy has significantly shifted, where limits and restraint no longer apply.  And more importantly, Russia is now firm and committed to pushing back and pushing out EU engagement in the so-called ‘near abroad’,” said Richard Giragosian, director of the Regional Studies Center in Armenia.
 
The shift surprised European leaders, but it shouldn’t have, particularly regarding Ukraine, said Nina Schick of London’s Open Europe research center.

“Some would say that it was a mistake that [European leaders] made that they didn’t take the Russian position more into account.  The reality is that the Russian sphere of influence in Ukraine is far greater than perhaps they’d like to admit,” Schick said.

But Giragosian disagrees, saying it was reasonable, 25 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, to expect Russia to accept a turn to the West by its former satellites.  He says Russia’s current policy runs counter to its own interests.
 
“It’s a shortsighted and short-term pursuit of raw power.  In effect, they are recreating a new Iron Curtain through the former Soviet space,” Giragosian said.

Or trying to.

Giragosian said former Soviet states will resist such moves and the West will impose significant economic costs if Russia continues to use force to try to impose its will on Ukraine or other neighbors.

You May Like

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Not Again from: Canada
April 26, 2014 8:56 PM
The Armenian expert, and many other experts, are correct in indicating that the EU leaders were caught unaware of RUSSIA.. they really have no excuse, but their ineptness in my view, clouded their senses. It was because of their shear blindness, and outright ignorance of Russian history, they are all in trouble. At least they should know/had known that Russia is the biggest country in the world; having started around Moscow controlling a few hundred square miles of terrirtory, and then progressing to its current size; which was achieved through masive military expansionist actions, over centuries, mailnly the last 4+ centuries.
Over its expansionist periods, the Russian population was willing to pay a massive cost for their gains, thus on this issue the Armenian expert's prediction is not restrictive on Russian behaiviour, on the contrary, sacrifice for Mother Russia, is a common ideology and borders in fanaticism.
None of what has occured is a surprise. The new Czar has placed Russia back on its normal historical expansionist path/track, from which it was derailed by the Regan administration.
The EU demilitarized, completely reduced its forces and capabilities, this faulty situation came about after the Regan administration's success in overcoming the Soviet Union, with its massive force build up. Concurrently, the EU leadership took a free security ride on the back of US taxpayers, and used the peace dividend to rebuild its industry; this was especially the case for Germany. On the back of US taxpayers, Germany was able to completely run down its security forces, and re-invest the savings into becoming one of the largest modern industrial exporters in the world.
The faulty situation was a leadership failure for the US, well before the Obama Administration came into power, in that successive administrations did not demand from its NATO allies to carry on the fair share of the security load.
Given the size of the EU's population, and the size of its collective GDP, the EU should have security forces almost at par to the US. The US continued carrying the security load, without being able to modernize/re-industralize and re-engineer its economy; it left the US in its current situation of having a struggling economy, with never ending defence cuts; with EU allies not carrying their fair load, some of them not capable nor even willing to close ranks during crisis situations, as they face now, in a rapidly deteriorating global security environment.
The way ahead is clear = the need exists to restore a credible deterrence level, by each US ally; and each ally must not be allowed to continue to expect the US to carry them on its back. To acheive this objective, a strong US Administration will be a critical requirement, not just demagogery, but directive leadership; something that we have not seen in a US administration for quite some time 25+ yrs. If it is not achieved, the West will face greater global instability, involving more authoritharian regimes, pushing beyond the expected risk envelopes, causing/resulting in WARS. Ineptness/ blindness will not raise the deterrent value of the West, to avoid wars..

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid