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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs