News / Europe

West Faces Tough Choice on Ukraine

West Faces Tough Challenges on Ukrainei
X
March 04, 2014 6:55 PM
Russia’s military moves in Ukraine have drawn criticism from around the world, particularly from the United States and Europe. Experts say Western nations have few options for influencing the situation, but they say a political solution might still be possible. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
West Faces Tough Challenges on Ukraine
Al Pessin
Russia’s military moves in Ukraine have drawn criticism from around the world, particularly from the United States and Europe.  Experts say Western nations have few options for influencing the situation, but a political solution might still be possible. 

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry becomes the latest of several senior western officials to visit Kyiv to show support for the interim government, there is talk of sanctions.  Russia’s moves have already put the plan for a G8 summit there this year in doubt.

However, that is not likely to impress Russian President Vladimir Putin according to Russia expert Keir Giles of London’s Chatham House.

“We have seen time and again, when situations similar to this arise, there is only one message and only one method that gets through to Russia that it’s time to stop, and that is brute force of the kind that Russia employs itself,” Giles said.

Indeed, Putin was defiant at a Moscow news conference Tuesday.

"If we see that lawlessness starting in eastern regions too, if people ask us for help, we have already an official request from the legitimate president and we reserve the right to use all options at our disposal," Putin told reporters in his first public comment on the situation in Ukraine since ousted president Viktor Yanukovych fled the country.

But Putin also spoke about the need for a new constitution in Ukraine and a “change of power.”

Analysts say no one wants a war in Ukraine. Russian and Ukrainian forces have done their best to avoid one - including during a confrontatio in Crimea Tuesday between unarmed Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed guards at a military base.

According to some experts, Putin’s goals in Ukraine are more political than military, designed to prevent any sharp move toward the West.

Sam Greene, director of the Russia Institute at London’s King’s College, says the best way for the West to ensure that Russia does not go too far is through economic pressure.

“The more powerful options for the West come with the understanding of the degree to which Putin’s key constituency, which is the economic elite, are dependent on the West," Greene said.

Russia has business interests all over the world, and Ukraine is home to a key pipeline that delivers Russian natural gas to the West.

Still, some experts and leaders criticize talk of economic pressure, saying it would not be effective and could hurt the West as much as it hurts Russia.

That leaves Western leaders with difficult choices to make, but at least the possibility that political compromise could solve what now seems like a military challenge.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anthony Bellchambers from: London
March 05, 2014 3:19 AM


If you believe Putin is dangerous to world peace you obviously haven't listened to the raving rhetoric of Binyamin Netanyahu, AIPAC's man who wants to control the US Congress and is, unbelievingly, having some success!

Scientists estimate Israel’s secret arsenal at up to 400 nuclear warheads enough to destroy the Middle East AND Europe. And still the EU allows its 28 member states to carry out bilateral trade. It’s the greatest single strategic error of the 21st century. And the ones who will reap the coming whirlwind will be our children.

We live in extraordinary times. Times of unprecedented stupidity.

by: Anonymous
March 04, 2014 3:21 PM
"that is brute force of the kind that Russia employs itself"

hahaha - what hypocrisy coming from the west, particularly the west and its military actions over the last 15 years.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs