Preserving Tension along Russia & Ukraine Border; the U.S. Preferred Strategy

2022/02/06 | Note, political, top news

Strategic council Online – Opinion: Tension between Ukraine and Russia can be interpreted and evaluated in line with mega scale analyses of international transition period. Russia under Putin, and in line with Neo-Euro Asianism Strategy which was theorized for the country by Aleksandr Dugin, tried to consider Post-Soviet Independent Countries as “Near Abroad” and to take action with a suspicious look towards the West, to make effort to confront and to reduce the influence of the West in security structures of the region. Mehid Khoorsand, Expert on China and Euro-Asia

When Rainbow Revolutions in Georgia 2003 and Ukraine 2004-2005 took place in the two countries with the Western networking, Russophile leaders of the two countries delivered sovereignty to pro-West leaders and it was a very costly issue for Russia. In line with this, Russia seized the Frozen Conflict with Georgia over Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008 and with Ukraine in Crimea and Lugansk region in 2014 to create border tensions. Moscow that was waiting for an opportunity to have access to and dominate over its strategic peripheral, managed to annex Crimea peninsula to its territory under the pretext to preserve the rights of Russian origin- and Russian speaking citizens of the East Ukraine. On the other side, and after the annex of Crimea to Russia, Russian origin population of Lugansk region in Ukraine established a self-autonomy and called for joining Russia. Serious support of Russia that extended to separatists of the region faced with protest and warning from Ukraine and paved the ground for tensions between the two countries to war level.

On the other side, tensions between Ukraine and Russia in 2014-2015 on Crimea and Lugansk which was going to prepare the ground for a full-fledged war, led to Minsk 2 agreement with the mediation of France and Germany. According to Minsk 2 peace agreement, Kremlin backed separatists agreed with Moscow and Kiev on ending the war and a complicated road map was agreed upon in order to achieve peace. The agreement gave the power to control all its borders with Russia provided that Ukraine would change its Constitution and by the end of 2015 would offer separatist regions near Russian border “special status” and “temporary internal autonomy”. Yet, none of the conditions were materialized and Crimea sovereignty as well as Lugansk separatism remained to be a matter of dispute between Ukraine and Russia.

The Westerners, particularly the U.S. are looking for many concessions by keeping the status quo and preserving the dispute between Ukraine and Russia. In line with the efforts made by Russia along with China to demote the U.S. hegemony throughout the world, Ukraine issue can remain as “Damocles Sword” over Moscow’s head. With mounting crises of the U.S. and acceleration process of its economic and military fall of the country against rising Eastern order, the issue of tensions in South China Sea and Ukraine will continue to remain alive before China and Russia. So, the U.S. can maintain the two countries’ concentration over their peripherals and to reduce their anti-hegemonic measures against Washington. Within this framework, the Americans have announced during the past few days that they intend to convince Qatar to supply the gas needed by the European Union. On the other side, and under the pretext of stationing 127000 Russian troops along its borders with Ukraine, Washington has announced the military readiness of 8500 of its forces to be deployed to the Eastern Europe.

But the U.S. “Carrot and Stick” policy has been employed in Ukraine problem against Russia too. After military expedition and movements at highest level in the field, Washington has put forward the necessity of negotiation to settle the crisis. After the suggestion, the Normandy Meeting was held with the presence of authorities from Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany as Minsk members. Despite holding such diplomatic meetings which according to participants, it was not result oriented too, there is a hidden intention. With keeping the tension at high level along the borders of Russia and Ukraine, the U.S. has tried to deviate the concentration of Moscow from the movements in other regions particularly probable incidents in South China Sea between China and AKUS (the U.S., the U.K. and Australia) Pact and to draw its concentration to its peripheral.

Keeping the tension at high level along the borders of Ukraine and Russia, has short term strategic benefits for the U.S. whose economic superpower position is going to be transferred to China in 2024. It has an immediate program to prevent further empowering of Beijing in its agenda. Therefore, probable supportive arms of China should be disabled and or cut. At the beginning of a repeated tension between Russia and Ukraine which took place in mid-2021, Putin and Xi Jinping in a virtual video conference meeting renewed their Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation to support each other for five years. The renewal of the Treaty was a clear message to Washington that despite disputes between Beijing and Moscow, they will remain united against the U.S.

In the meantime, Russia knows that if it stands still and engaged in Ukraine problem, and the U.S. succeeds to contain China in this situation with the collaboration of its allies, the next Washington target will be definitely Russia. Therefore, in such a situation it seems that Russia will not remain in a fricative atmosphere with Ukraine and if the tensions escalates a little, Moscow will have to involve militarily into Ukraine problem. On the other side, because of the same reasons that the West was an onlooker of Crimea events and its annexation to Russia, this time it will also be an onlooker of Lugansk annexation to Russia and will be entrapped into the problem it created for Russia.

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