The threat of cold war between the United States and Russia once again appears to have raised its ugly head with the political crisis in Crimea, Ukraine reaching its crescendo as was seen recently. With the president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich having been forced by pressure applied particularly by the West i.e. United States and the European Union (E.U.) to exit the country leaving the nation in complete disarray and on a brink of civil war.
The issue in Ukraine particularly Crimea is historic in nature when in 1954 the Soviet Union under the leadership of Nikita Khurshchev had transferred Crimea from the Soviet to Ukraine as a symbolic gesture to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukraine’s merger with Russia. Although at that time this gesture was thought to be of hardly any significance. It was at the end of 2013 that protest against president Yanukovich began in Kiev and other cities simply due to the fact that he refused to sign the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement which would have benefited the people of Ukraine. He instead struck a deal with Putin which enabled Russia to discount gas prices to Ukraine. This deal caused the opposition to suspect the motives behind this deal with Russia. It was instigations on the part of the opposition that led to protest throughout Ukraine especially in Kiev against the government. With protests in Ukraine intensifying Russia with pressure from leaders from United States, Germany, France, and Poland intervened and convinced Yanukovich to sign a peace agreement with the opposition. This agreement asked for the withdrawal of security from the streets of Kiev as well as the protestors to give up their weapons. Unfortunately as soon as the Ukraine president acted upon the agreement and withdrew the security forces the opposition took over the government and forced him to leave Kiev. This change is regime was welcomed by Western powers such as the United States who in turn eventually turned a blind eye to Russia’s plea to solve the crisis in Ukraine.
In the drama unfolding in the Ukraine it is clearly evident that the two key players United States and the E.U. have their own self interest in wanting to oversee a change in regime in the Ukraine. Recently leaked telephonic conversations between United States Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US ambassador to Ukraine George Pyatt clearly revealed the two officials discussing their preferred choice as candidate to replace Yanukovich. The leaked conversations also revealed Victoria Nuland dismissing the role of E.U. in Ukraine in rather colourful terms. So while the United States prefered Arseniy Yatsenyuk the leader of Fatherland Party to lead Ukraine, the E.U. preferred candidate was the former heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko. As for Russia as soon as Putin realized that the United States has turned a blind eye to its request to resolve the crisis in Ukraine after promising to do so he approved Crimea’s bid to split from Ukraine and join Russia. As Fyodor Lukyanov Chairman of Russia’s authoritative Council on Foreign and Defense Policy rightly commented “For Russia, it is not just a red line, it is a solid double red line no one is permitted to cross” and, hence the defiant response by Russia to the West’s machinations.
With Russia being openly defiant towards the United States and the US responding in typical aggressive fashion by imposing tough economic sanctions on certain Russian and Ukrainian individuals the threat of another cold war between Russia and the United States is certainly in the air. Also the fact that the entire drama that unfolded in the Ukraine was just a game of control played by Western powers which in turn reiterates the fact that in the ruthless world of international politics power above all including humanity is given top priority.
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