Russia and Ukraine tensions
- The tension on the Russia-Ukraine border represents a major security crisis for the region, with the potential to snowball into a broader conflict.
- Ukraine says Russia has amassed 90,000 troops at the border
- According to the US intelligence reports, a Russian invasion of Ukraine is possible as early as next month.
About the standoff:
- By stationing troops at the border, Russia seeks assurances from the US that Ukraine will not be inducted into NATO.
- However, the US has responded that it is not prepared to give any such assurance.
- This confusion has left both countries in a stand-off, with Russian troops ready to invade Ukraine at short notice.
- The US has warned Russia not to invade Ukraine and urged both countries to return to a set of agreements designed to end a separatist war
- Both countries share hundreds of years of cultural, linguistic and familial links.
- Ukraine was the second-most powerful Soviet republic after Russia as a part of the Soviet Union and was crucial strategically, economically and culturally to the USSR.
- Ukraine got independent after the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991.
- After the independence of Ukraine, both Russia and the West have tried to achieve greater influence in the country in order to keep the balance of power in the region in their favour.
Fear of Russia:
- The Russian government fears that Ukraine's membership of the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would complete a western wall of allied countries by restricting Russia's access to the Black Sea.
- It stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
- Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium
- It is an intergovernmental military alliance between 28 European countries, US, Canada and Turkey.
Role of US and European Union:
- For both, Ukraine is a crucial buffer zone between Russia and the West.
- Efforts to induct Ukraine into NATO have been ongoing for a very long time.
- After the annexation of Crimea by Russia, the US and the EU expanded economic sanctions against numerous Russian companies and individuals.
- Political, financial and military assistance has also been provided by US to Ukraine
- The US has conducted joint military drills and regularly sent its ships into the Black Sea in a show of support.
India’s Stand on this issue:
- Western powers’ condemnation of Russia’s intervention in Crimea was not joined by India
- It kept a low profile on this issue.
- India also voted against a Ukraine-sponsored resolution in the United Nations (UN) that condemned alleged human rights violations in Crimea and it backed its old ally Russia on this issue.