Ukrainian Conflict: Background and Subsequent Prospects | Usman Zulfiqar Ali
The historic part of the Russian Empire, Ukraine was broken from it at the end of the Cold war in 1991. Russian society which was emerged under the defense of Oral mountains and civilized in Kyiv near the Daniel river owns Ukraine even after its breakup.
As earlier in 2014, Moscow sought Crimean annexation. Kremlin-leaning Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had rejected an association agreement with the European Union. The protests emerged onto the streets of Kyiv, resulting in the ouster of the President. Russian response threw weight on separatist rebellion that broke out in Ukraine’s east.
Since then, US and NATO allies remained engaged with Ukraine in sending weaponry and conducting mutual defense drills. On its part, Russia felt threatened as NATO’s forces jumps onto the horns of Ukrainian borders.
Ukraine’s joining of NATO
Ukraine was not part of NATO and will not be short. NATO demands Kyiv to root out scourges such as corruption. But earlier in 2008, NATO affirmed to Ukraine that the country will join the alliance once meet the requirements.
Putin’s government demanded NATO to step back from its 2008 commitment to Ukraine. Secretary-General NATO Jens Stoltenberg rejected Russian demands to rescind commitments with Kyiv. Anyhow, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced high for the East European country’s annexation to the alliance.
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Since the crises broke in, there exist some major developments in the world order. The US has put 8,500 troops on heightened alert on Monday. While in response, Russia massed an estimated 100,000 troops surrounding Ukraine with forces from the north, east, and south.
On Wednesday, the Russian defense ministry released pictures of military units on their way to a training site in Rostov, near Ukraine’s border.
US President Joe Biden also held an 80-minute secure video call with several European leaders on Monday. They have discussed volatile dynamics on the frontier of Ukraine. NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told in Press Conference this week and said NATO would take “all necessary measures,” if Russia will invade in.
Moreover, Denmark, Spain, France, and the Netherlands are planning to send troops, planes, or ships to Eastern Europe. The conflict also hurt the Global stock markets skidded as the prospect of a Russian attack. The rouble hit a 14-month low against the dollar this week. Oil prices also inclined up to 90$ per barrel. The mark had hit the peak first tike after 2014.
What does Russia demand?
Russia handed over demands in December last year, calling withdrawal of all western troops from the Ukrainian border. Putin also demanded that NATO should deny membership to Ukraine and other ex-Soviet countries.
The document published in late 2021 also included the halt in NATO military drills near Russia’s borders. Moscow also asked to ban sending the US and Russian warships and aircraft to areas from where they can attack each other’s territory.
To tackle the looming threats of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, US and NATO delivered written responses to Russia’s security demands this week.
The documents remained declassified as the parties considered this an important development towards diplomacy which can be otherwise worsened.
While the Ukrainian Diplomacy seems not proving to be fruitful as Russia remained not convinced with the proposal reached to them through US diplomat.
Kremlin also noted that Russia will ‘not rush to conclusions’ in reply to the proposal provided by the US over Ukraine.
Still, the last breath was held when Russia signaled the diplomatic engagement with US and NATO over the Crisis. Moscow hinted on Friday that they are not willing to fight.
The majority of the European countries are serious buyers of Russian Gas, particularly in winters. The country supplies 40% of Gas to the EU countries.
The latest weapon that can be utilized by Russia is to cut-off supplies through Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline connecting Germany with Russia.
Earlier, Washington had Threatened personal sanctions on Vladimir Putin if Russia will invade Ukraine. While Putin threatened to cut off supplies to Europe in case of NATO’s movement across Kyiv’s border.
The Rise in Tensions between Russia and the west will damage the geopolitical world order. If the worsening situation on the border of Kyiv doesn’t find a better solution, Ukraine will become the future of Afghanistan. The militants and nationalist groups like ISIS will rise.