Can we really say that the crisis in Ukraine is as important as meeting the challenge of ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, or Ebola, or the South China Sea?
An initial answer would be that our shifting attention is part of the problem, which Russia has consistently exploited to get what it wants. Russia maximized its deliveries of men and arms to East Ukraine in August and September to coincide with one peak of the crisis in Iraq. Appeals by the likes of former Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov that “considering the surrounding threats, we have to find a way out of the Ukrainian mess as soon as possible” are unfortunately attractive to some, but are an invitation to ignore our own true interests.… Seguir leyendo »
Eastern Ukraine is full of masked gunmen, occupying government buildings and calling for Russian “protection”. The central government in Kiev is unable to organise an adequate response. And the Western powers barely seem capable of understanding what is going on, let alone responding to it.
So far, so familiar. But this is not – yet – a replay of events in Crimea. To understand why, it helps to understand precisely what it is that Russia hopes to gain.
Vladimir Putin’s plan is simple: to see the Ukrainian government pulled apart. He has impaled its leaders on the horns of a dilemma.… Seguir leyendo »
Amenos que algo cambie drásticamente, Rusia se ha salido con la suya. Ha invadido un Estado vecino y se ha apoderado de parte de su territorio simplemente con la más floja de las historias de portada. Como ha dicho Putin, el mundo no debería ignorar a hombres armados que llevan a cabo un golpe de Estado, pero estaban en Crimea, no en Kíev. Las implicaciones para el conjunto de Europa son enormes.
Las consecuencias previstas de la invasión son suficientemente claras. Ucrania nunca ha hecho una transición adecuada a la democracia y a una economía de mercado desde la caída del comunismo y ahora Putin está tratando de arruinar su mejor oportunidad.… Seguir leyendo »
Dmitri Medvedev managed to get half-way through his presidency without ever visiting Kiev. That was before Viktor Yanukovich replaced the Kremlin’s bête noire, Viktor Yushchenko, as Ukrainian president in February. Since then, high-level meetings have taken place almost weekly, culminating in Mr. Medvedev’s state visit to Kiev this week. Mr. Medvedev has even taken to advertising his part-Ukrainian grandmother from Belgorod.
Mr. Yanukovich has now signed a huge number of agreements with Russia, most notably the deal to swap an extra 25 years for the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea for a 30 percent reduction in the price of gas.… Seguir leyendo »