President Barack Obama spoke at the Palais Des Beaux Arts in Brussels on March 26, 2014. He spoke about the history of formation of democracies in Europe and the importance of maintaining European regional security and the sovereignty of individual countries. President Obama argued for the United States and other countries to support Ukraine and to isolate the Russian government after Russia's annexation of Crimea.
Though calls are mounting for the United States to help free Europe from Russian influence by exporting shale gas, Michael Levi writes the most useful thing that Europe could import is not American gas itself but the open economic model that has enabled the U.S. natural gas industry to thrive.
Leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council, and the President of the European Commission met in The Hague and released this statement on March 24, 2014. In the joint document, the leaders declares their support for Ukraine's sovereignty and their rejection of Russia's annexation of Crimea. The document states that the leaders will not attend the G8 meeting in Sochi in June 2014, but will convene as the G7 in Brussels.
The Foreign Policy Initiative organized fifty-two former U.S. government officials and foreign policy experts to sign a bipartisan letter to President Obama regarding policy to respond to Russia's actions in Ukraine.
With the annexation of Crimea and rhetoric about protecting Russians in the near abroad, President Vladimir Putin has helped launch a new stage of relations that poses threats to Russia's neighbors and itself, says expert Strobe Talbott.
"As NATO's long involvement in Afghanistan concludes, the renewed emphasis on Russia and Europe is also likely to delay the alliance's efforts to turn itself into a global actor, able to deal with threats like terrorism and cyberwarfare."
Janine Davidson discusses the lack of clear NATO countermove in response to growing Russian aggression in the Ukraine. By standing mostly idle, NATO emboldens Russian military planners, making further escalation more–not less–likely.
"Industry lobbies estimate that 300,000 German jobs at 6,000 companies are dependent on trade with Russia. Exports to Russia totalled €36bn last year, with machinery, vehicles and vehicle parts together accounting for 40 per cent."
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave these remarks before the Russian parliament, stating that Crimea could become a part of Russia. After the speech, Russian and Crimean officials signed a treaty to unify the two regions. On April 17, 2014, President Putin held a question-and-answer session with the Russian public about the treaty. The United Nations passed a resolution on March 27, 2014, on Ukraine's territory.
"If Vladimir Putin's invasion and occupation of the Crimea brings to an end the Pax Americana and the post-Cold War world that began in 1989, what new European, or even global, order is replacing them?"
As Russian officials on Thursday announced new military operations in several regions near the Ukrainian border, it becomes clear that the country isn't just dealing with a political crisis. Its economy is also in jeopardy.
"Although Russia may not be as central to U.S. interests as was the Soviet Union, cooperation between the two is essential in many areas. Russia remains a nuclear superpower. It still has a major impact on U.S. national security interests in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Russia has an important role in the future of arms control, the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and the fight against terrorism."
The Ukraine crisis has spurred calls for ramping up U.S. liquefied natural gas exports to Europe, but lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports might help put more pressure on Russia, writes CFR's Meghan L. O'Sullivan.
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