Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Friday, September 22, 2017 10:33:06 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Refocusing on Ukraine crisis

Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Tanbir Uddin Arman :
After the cold war, the current crisis in Ukraine is the worst one Europe is now undergoing destabilizing the entire East-West relations. However, over the last  few days  we have  seen a massive  shift  in the crisis which  mainly  began in mainland  Ukraine protesting  the Yanukovych  regime on its  allegation of massive corruptions, anomalies  and pro-Russian affinity,  has  now  turned to the Crimean  peninsula shifting the theater.
Russian  President  Vladimir Putin  must be  considered as  key  player  of   this  geopolitical  game  but  after  the declaration  of   de facto   independence  by the  Crimean parliament ,  Putin should  no longer be reckoned  as exclusive player  of the game but definitely the big hand behind it.  It   now  includes  strategic  considerations of  Crimea's  pro-Russian ethnic  people  and their  will  as they  constitute the majority population  of the peninsula.  So question arises as to why Crimea so matters? A look back into Crimea's history and geography helps understand   the   recent shift in the crisis.  
Crimea  it  is not  legally a part  of Russia  as  it  was handed over to Ukrainian  Soviet  Socialist Republic   in 1954  by  Nikita Khrushchev. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia's the then President Boris Yeltsin ostensibly forgot to claim it back.  
In consequences, Crimea had a short autonomous status in 1991 until Ukraine reintegrated the territory in 1992. With Ukraine's reintegration of the island nonetheless, the ties of Crimean people with Russia remained largely unchanged since then.  
Their relations with Russia are not just historical but of blood and linguistic.  Nearly 60 percent of  its two million population  is  predominantly ethnic  Russians  who   speak Russian  as their mother  language  and  identifies  themselves as  Russians. In the 2009 Ukrainian presidential election, 78 percent of all Crimean voted for Ukraine's fugitive ex-president Yanukovych.
Affinities between Crimea and Russia and the strategic location of Crimea entices Russia into regaining it and to keep the island under her jurisdiction.  It serves as an important base for the Russian navy since it provides strategic access to the Black Sea and hence helps defend its strategic interests in entire Eurasian zone.
Crimea has been housing Kremlin navies for nearly 250 years.  As the island depicts immense strategic significance to Moscow, it will never cede control over the island. It is now overt enough that Moscow's   ultimate vision is the occupation of the island even though   Putin claimed in his earlier statement that Moscow's intervention into Crimea was to protect ethnic Russians from oppressions.
It may be said fairly well that the EU and USA has invited the Ukrainian crisis by luring its ultra-nationalist leaders and political elements to join the US abandoning the Russian fold.
There may also be a parallel with Syrian crisis in which Russia is backing president Bashar al-Assad in fighting the western backed rebels.
As things stand now in the ground, the US's policy of   'first line of response to be diplomacy' was perhaps on the right track vis-à-vis peacefully setting the crisis. But  it  has   proved  ineffectual   by   Putin's subversion  of    Obama's  drawing of 'red line' against   Moscow's military incursion into the Crimea peninsula and  with  Crimea's  subsequent declaration of  de facto  independence from the mainland control.   
The  present  scenario is  as such it is getting  changed  overnight and hence  posing   more  and more  complicated challenges   to  the  West making their  options  of response very  fringy. The US and EU seem not to be confronting militarily. They argue that harsh economic sanctions on Russia will be a much effective response of the West in this connection.  
As  Charles Tannock  who is a member of the foreign  affairs  committee of the  European  Parliament-  wrote in  Project  Syndicate on March 3, 2014 - the only  imposition of  'Iran-style' tangible economic sanctions that affect Russian citizens-who have made Putin  come  into power - may offer  some  way   of stymieing  Russia from  its  expansionist motives and  de-escalating  the tensions.  
It is true that sanctions against Iran on its allegation of nuclear weapon developments crippled her economy but not as much as the West projected. However, Charles should have not forgotten that EU's trade dependency on Russia is two times greater than that of Russia on EU.
In  2013, EU accounts  for 70 percent of  Russia's  gas exports, 88percent  of  oil  exports  and 50 percent of  coal  exports. Germany, the euro zone's biggest economy, imports around 40 percent of its gas from Russia exclusively. As per the report of RIA NOVOSTI, EU's total gas imports from Russia stood at 161.5 billion cubic meters (bcm), with an increase of 16 percent in 2013. Russia, in turn, imports 31 percent of EU's natural gas, 30 percent Uranium, 24 percent   coal and 27 percent crude oil.  
However, it can be told  pretty much surely that Russia will fast react with shutting down its gas and oil supplies to the EU in a response to the West's imposition  of  economic sanctions against  her.  As EU hangs in a greater deal on Russia, economic sanctions would paradoxically cripple EU's economy if Russia once shuts off its oil and gas supplies to EU.
Russia has also threatened to freeze the assets and accounts of western companies working in the country in response to any freezing of its assets and accounts in the EU and USA.
In fact, the US has already imposed assets freezes and visa bans on high level Russian officials.  Also, it seems that Russia might be excluded from G8. But  in consequences,     Russia  will  develop  its relations  with  China  and rest  of the rising  countries which  on the other hand  would ease the way of  making BRICS (an organization  formed  primarily with a  view  undoing US's  claim of 'super power') much stronger.
And for the US, doing anything in resolving Syria crisis and Iran nuclear issue would also become much difficult.  
Russia has even threatened it would pursue the means of massive retaliation if the West make any sharp move against  her.  So, the only option still  seems  to give  some hope in  resolving  and de-escalating  the crisis is diplomatic means, neither harsh economic sanctions  nor military actions as they  would   result  in  a scourging  ravage between the West and  Russia.  

(Tanbir Uddin Arman is Research Assistant, Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), Dhaka)

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Shortage of food, water and medicine in Rohingya camps makes life difficult

FOLLOWING the influx of some 26,000 pregnant mothers, 40,000 lactating kids, and 2,00,000 children out of an estimated more than 4,00,000 migrated Rohingyas from Myanmar - many are now at high risk due to lack of proper health care, food, water and medicines. When some of the high-ups of the ...

Sports »

Kristie Ahn of the United States returns a shot to Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay during their second round match at the Korea Open tennis championships in Seoul, South Korea on Thursday.

City »

From left- former Vice-President of Dhaka University Central Students Union (DUCSU)Sultan Mohammad Monsur Ahmed, , Krishok Sramik Janata League President Bangabir Kader Siddique, Bir Uttam, General Secretary respectively of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal Abdul Malek Ratan, Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BaSaD) General Secretary Khalekuzzaman, President of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, Gana Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain, Professor Dilara Chowdhury of Jahangirnagar University, former State Minister for Foreign Affairs Ministry Abul Hasan Chowdhury and weekly Robbar Editor Syed Tosharaf Ali spoke at a rally title

Entertainment »

Hera`s one decade in showbiz

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular model cum actress Ruksana Ali Hera has already passed 10 years in media. She was first seen as a still model of Banglalink taken by photographer Iqbal Ahmed. She also started her career as a model in a visual advertisement of mobile company Airtel under the ...

Entertainment »

Nagpada Godmother's grandkids to feature in 'Haseena Parkar'

Shraddha Kapoor will essay the role of dreaded don Dawood Ibrahim's sister Haseena Aapa in Apoorva Lakhia's upcoming film 'Haseena Parkar' and we have learned that the film also features actual grandkids of the real Haseena Parkar, who was referred to as the 'Godmother of Nagpada'.  Confirming the same, director ...

International »

Russian special forces helping Syrian troops in key city

AP, Moscow :Russian special forces are helping Syrian government troops fight Islamic State militants in the battle underway for the strategic city of Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria, the defense ministry in Moscow said on Thursday.The deployment comes amid rising concerns of a direct confrontation on the ground between Russian-backed ...

Editorial »

Suu Kyi`s speech cannot silence the critics

STATE Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi finally broke her silence on the Rohingya refugee crisis Tuesday insisting that her country was not "afraid of international scrutiny." But her speech in Naypyidaw drew widespread criticism, such as; she did not denounce atrocities against Rohingyas and claimed the government needed ...

Football »

Bayern`s Arturo Vidal is celebrated after he scored the third goal for Bayern during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and Bayern Munich at the Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on Tuesday.

Entertainment »

Feels good that like-minded people are in CBFC: Vidya Balan

Last month, much to the relief of filmmakers and the audience, the Censor Board of Film Certification underwent a revamp in August. Padma Shri recipient and lyricist Prasoon Joshi replaced Pahlaj Nihalani as the chairperson and revered film personalities like Vidya Balan and TS Nagabharana became board’s new members. Hopes ...

International »

Iran in UN spotlight as Trump threatens nuclear deal

AFP, United Nations :Tehran will defend itself on the world stage on Wednesday with President Donald Trump threatening to trigger a new international crisis by pulling out of the Iran nuclear accord.Iran's President Hassan Rouhani is to address the United Nations General Assembly, where worried world leaders are fearful of ...

City »

Residents of Dolaipar area in the city facing acute water crisis as water with bad smell has been coming from the WASA line. People have to collect drinking water from the only WASA pump in the areas standing in long queue.

Editorial »

Our inactive diplomacy is deplorable : We shall need armed support

IT'S almost a month since Myanmar has started to push Rohingya Muslims illegally into Bangladesh; creating a burden for an economically weaker country like ours. Our government waiting eagerly for the international power houses to act quickly and solve the problem for us. But all our so-called proven friends like ...

Entertainment »

Antora Azim`s web series Basic Ali

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Few years ago, Antora Azim started her acting career through Adnan Al Rajib’s a play titled Middle Class Sentiment. Under his direction Antora also performed as a model in a TV commercial of Banglalink. Later she took break from media for her study. She again started shooting ...

Entertainment »

Bhoomi item song by Sunny Leone faces Censor scissors - fans to face disappointment

The Censor Board always has a last laugh because of the immense powers vested with it. And with power comes responsibility. The Central Board of Film Certification is a statutory censorship and classification body under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. Bhoomi has been at the receiving ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, among others, at a discussion on `Bangladesh`s Position in Rohingya Crises` organised by Bangladesh Youth Forum at the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday.

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news