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.
"In a nutshell, Asia's biggest economies think they are becoming even more of a buyer's market for Russian energy, and hope to use Moscow's current turmoil to buy more gas for lower prices. If they're right, countries like China and South Korea would gain a longer-term, cheaper source of energy, while Moscow would be able to keep tapping its mineral wealth for decades to come."
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.
"The west is not going to war with a nuclear-armed Russia. But outright annexation of a part of a smaller country strikes at the roots of the post-second world war European settlement. Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, was right to say that Russia had resorted to the "law of the jungle". This annexation cannot go unanswered. It is too dangerous a precedent."
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. The United Nations passed a resolution on March 27, 2014, on Ukraine's territory.
"Russia's moves on Crimea, where its Black Sea fleet is based on territory leased from Ukraine, has diverted the international spotlight from Maidan. And the shift of battle lines from Kiev to Simferopol, Crimea's regional capital, has raised further questions about why and whether the revolutionary stragglers at Maidan are serving any useful purpose."
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.
"There are about three hundred thousand Crimean Tatars on the peninsula, and although they constitute only fifteen per cent of its population they have great political significance. If they do not back the upcoming referendum, it will be far more difficult for the pro-Moscow government in Crimea to legitimize what is in effect a Russian annexation of the peninsula."
"Eventually the new regime will consolidate power and increase its ties to the West, possibly joining the EU or even NATO. At that point, intervention would be prohibitively risky and Russia would simply have to live with the loss of Ukraine.…This seems to leave Putin no choice but to intervene now and press his advantage to the point of peaceful partition, if the Ukrainians do not resist, or civil/international war if they do. Windows of opportunity are powerful things. When you combine demonstrated hostility, present weakness and future strength, the incentive to act can be overwhelming."
"In Vienna, where I live, one also hears constant mentions of 1938. Austrians and other citizens of European Union countries are beginning to consider what the end of Ukraine might mean for their own European system. The point is not that Putin is like Hitler; the point is that the removal of a state from Europe has consequences for the continent."
"What role has the American intellectual community played in this saga, if any? Certainly we failed to prevent it. But there is more. For the past two years, since Putin re-assigned himself to the Russian presidency, we have indulged ourselves in a bacchanalia of anti-Putinism, shading over into anti-Russianism."
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.