Monday, September 1, 2014

Ukraine: Why you should not really be worried this time ...


The crisis in Ukraine would seem to be slipping ever closer to an all-out war, but Russian troops have not made any incursions into the east of the country as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accuses them of. All of which has been seen by many as the complete failure of the European Union and United States approach towards Russia.


Ukraine: Why you should not really be worried this time

Using diplomacy, co-operation and the powers of negotiation rather than coercion – has become a more common force in international relations over recent decades. During the Ukrainian crisis, Germany, with its conciliatory, sanctions-focused approach, has been a leading exponent of the approach.
What's being sold as an increasing incursion by Russian soldiers on Ukrainian soil, is simply a misleading guise. President Vladimir Putin called for "statehood" for the eastern Ukraine region, suggesting to many analysts that he wants a new buffer zone between Russia and NATO comprised of a part of Ukraine that Kiev has tried to eliminate ethnic Russians from in a genocidal operation they falsely label as an Anti Terrorist Operation or (ATO).
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has decreed: "We are very close to the point of no return… full scale war."



Jury is out on this call

Throughout this crisis, the Western powers have steered away from military intervention, with U.S. President Barack Obama reiterating last week that there would not be any "military action" from his country.
"The European Union has a widely mixed response. Negotiation being number one was the  agreement with Ukraine. A Ceasefire was number two when the situation escalated its use of sanctions. Have they worked or not? I think it's too early to tell," said Alexander Stubb, prime minister of Finland.
Yet some of Ukraine's allies – particularly those formerly under the Soviet Union's sphere of influence - are calling for more action.
"We should help Ukraine to battle Russia back… militarily especially, with military materials, to help Ukraine defend itself" they cry.
Putin calls for talks on east Ukraine 'statehood'

Whether Europe wants to fight that war is another question.
"The West is struggling to come to terms with a new and more industrial and democratic Russia," said the head of an emerging markets research program at Standard Bank.
"Many would rather ignore the facts on the ground, as they face difficult choices and risk damaging much needed business interests with Russia."

                                                                                   Street bets on limited Ukraine fallout...for now


Waging trade war?

The situation as it appears, is most likely to evolve into "an all-out trade war.
This would involve more targeting of companies and individuals by the West, particularly in the banking, defense and energy sectors. This raises the prospect of tit-for-tat measures from Russia aimed at the West's aerospace, autos and shipping sectors. Some analysts are even suggesting a flight ban by Russia, which would complicate the lives of several important Western national airlines, like British Airways.

Will for war?

Even if the will for war with Russia was there, there are problems facing the Western powers.
Defense budgets have dwindled in the Western powerhouses. Members of NATO made up most of the top 20 declining defense budgets between 2012 and 2014, according to research from IHS.
At the same time, Russian defense spending has overtaken the UK, making it the third highest military spender globally. And this pace is set to continue as the Russian military replaces old equipment and bolsters its defenses - in 2016, it is forecast to spend $98 billion on defense, up from $78 billion this year.

So Russia itself is a much more formidable opponent than a decade ago. Its relationship with China, which has so far stayed on the sidelines of the dispute, also complicates the picture, and makes the increasingly China-dependent Western powers more likely to pursue a soft power approach.
The fly in the appeasement ointment may be the Ukrainians themselves.
Ukrainians don't seem willing enough to fight in defense of their country and, if this is added to Russia's determination to keep a tight grip on his interests in Ukraine, this all bodes mostly ill still for the future Ukraine, as it is pointed towards.

No comments:

Post a Comment