- NATO’s Involvement
- To what end is the fight being fought?
- What is Russia’s goal?
- Will Ukraine join NATO?
- What will happen if Russia invades Ukraine?
Fearing a Russian ground incursion, NATO partners have sent more soldiers and military equipment to Ukraine to show their solidarity with Kyiv. Russia’s ongoing military deployment along the Ukraine border, according to the coalition, prompted their decision.
Moscow argues its activities are required to protect its fundamental security interests and accuses NATO of harming the security of the Eastern European area.
What’s going on right now, and what may happen next, are summarised in the following five points.
1) To what end is this fight being fought?
As the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, Ukraine, which had been a Russian province for centuries before becoming a Soviet republic, gained its freedom. It has made a concerted effort to distance itself from Russia’s imperial past and strengthen connections with the West.
Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to reject an EU association agreement in favour of tighter relations with Moscow sparked major demonstrations that culminated in his ouster as Ukrainian president in 2014.
After Ukraine annexed the Crimean Peninsula, Russia backed a separatist uprising in the east of the country.
Russia has been accused by Ukraine and the West of sending soldiers and weaponry to support the separatists. Moscow refuted this, claiming that the Russians who joined the rebels were all volunteers from the country.
Fighting in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland, Donbas, has killed more than 14,000 people, according to Kyiv.
In Moscow’s view, the United States and its NATO allies are encouraging Ukrainian hawks to attempt to retake rebel-held territories by force by giving weaponry and conducting joint military exercises.
The ambitions of Ukraine to join NATO are also a red line for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has voiced worry about NATO nations establishing military training facilities in Ukraine. Even if Ukraine does not join NATO, this would offer them a military footing in the area, he has said.
2) What is Russia’s goal?
Russia is more concerned with what they don’t want. Russia’s list of security needs given to the United States in December said that it did not want Ukraine to join NATO. As part of the demands, no further NATO exercises near Russia’s border were to be conducted.
In many cases, the West has dismissed these ultimatums as non-starters. Also, NATO should leave Eastern Europe.
Putin said in December that Russia was seeking assurances “that would prohibit any future NATO movements eastward and the deployment of military systems that endanger us near Russian territory”.
For Moscow, “legal guarantees” go beyond verbal pledges. Putin suggested substantial negotiations with the West on the subject.
Ukraine’s entry into the alliance would need the unanimous consent of the 30 member nations.
Responded to calls from the United States and NATO It is evident that Russia’s primary demands – Ukraine being effectively barred from joining NATO and a commitment from the alliance that it would not expand farther east – have been rejected, although neither Moscow nor the Western countries have made those replies public.
3) Will Ukraine become a member of NATO?
Ukraine is not a NATO member, but it aspires to join the alliance. The alliance counts it as one of its members.
Before NATO’s consideration of Kyiv as a member, corruption must be eliminated, the alliance insists.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg of NATO rebuffed Russian pressure in December by refusing to revoke a 2008 vow to Ukraine that the nation would one day join the alliance.
Stoltenberg insists that Russia will have no say in whether or not Ukraine joins the alliance when the time comes to discuss the matter.
Despite this, many believe that NATO members, particularly the United States, are hesitant to increase their military presence in the area for fear of endangering their ties with Moscow.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has backed Ukraine’s NATO membership, while President Joe Biden has been more cautious.
4) Is a full-scale conflict on the horizon?
Accusations are being made by the West that Russia is ready to attack its pro-Western neighbour, Ukraine.
About dealing with Russia, Vice President Biden states that his administration has reached “absolute consensus”. US forces have been stationed in Eastern Europe, and NATO has announced the deployment of ships and planes to shore up the region’s defences.
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for President Putin, said these acts merely exacerbated an already sensitive situation.
In a statement to reporters, he said that the United States was raising tensions. “We’re keeping a close eye on what the United States is doing.”
Russophobia is rampant in Russia, which claims that the West is escalating the crisis.
It’s not certain whether war will break out between the two nations, but some experts believe Russia might invade Ukraine to acquire leverage over NATO expansion and spheres of influence in the future.
A senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Samir Puri, believes that Russia and Vladimir Putin’s goal is to defeat the Ukrainian military in the field, inflict a crushing military defeat that humiliates Ukrainians, and by extension, create concern that backing Ukraine has from its allies in the West (the United States and the United Kingdom) is insufficient.
5) If Russia invades Ukraine, what will happen?
Ukraine has received backing from Western countries, although some have responded more harshly than others. Unlike the United States and Great Britain, Germany will not be transferring military equipment but will instead deploy a field medical centre next month.
Sanctions against Moscow have also been a hot topic. The United States and its European allies have publicly vowed to punish Russia financially like never before if Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine with his army. As a way to keep Vladimir Putin in the dark, the leaders of the United States and the United Kingdom have talked about personal actions against the Russian president.
One of the most difficult financial acts they might take would be to cut Russia out of the SWIFT banking system, which transports money from bank to bank all around the world.
Most foreign financial activities, including overseas revenues from oil and gas production, which account for more than 40% of Russia’s income, might be shut off with this decision.
Moreover, if Putin invades Ukraine, the US will be able to cut off Russia’s access to the US dollar as one of its most potent financial weapons.
With billions of dollars in play every day, the dollar still has sway in global financial operations.
Last but not least, the United States is proposing export curbs, which may shut off Russia from high-tech supplies, such as that which enables the flight of aircraft and passenger flights and powers cellphones (Jazeera, 2022).
Jazeera, A. (2022, January 27). Al-Jazeera. Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.com: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/25/five-things-to-know-about-russia-ukraine-tensions