|Intro: Ukraine is a broken country, and seeking to keep it together will only result in conditions that heighten the risk of full-scale economic and security crisis in Europe. ?|
Forty years after the island of Cyprus was divided between a Greek and a Turkish mini-state; with the latter controlling the northern one-third of the republic, another country, Ukraine, is on the way towards a Cyprus-style division. While in the first case, it was the Turkish army that “liberated” the Turkish-majority third of the island from rule by the (Greek-controlled) government in Nicosia, in the case of Ukraine, it is the Russian armed forces that are likely to move in to “protect the Russian-speaking population from fascists”. A division of the country has become inevitable following the overreach of the European Union (EU) and the rest of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), who regarded as impossible the possibility, that Moscow would respond with force to the alliance”s stratagem to wrest the entire country from the influence of the Russian Federation.
|The leaders of NATO’s five most powerful members—the US, UK, Germany, France and Italy have at its Summit in Wales on Thursday collectively pledged to create
several “trust funds” to help modernise the Ukrainian military, but remain wary of Russian threats to let Ukraine join the Alliance. The summit has also called for Russia to end the annexation of Crimea.?
When President Vladimir Putin acted the way Washington and its EU partners have on multiple occasions, by using force to secure its interests, there also has been a collective effort to wail it from NATO member-states.
Geopolitical influence rests on three legs, economy, military and culture.
Both the US dollar as well as the Euro is in reality a sick currency, masquerading as healthy because of the dominant position of the NATO alliance in international information-dissemination systems. However, it is becoming more difficult to conceal the fact that many EU member-states are in effect bankrupt, while the US is avoiding that fate only because its currency is in use as an international reserve. Add to that the fact that NATO member-states have become adept at confiscating assets located within their territories by citizens of target countries, and the continuance of the NATO bloc as the destination of choice for investors in the (Gulf Cooperation Council) GCC, Russia, South Asia and East Asia becomes problematic. Only the tardy pace of countries such as the BRICS group in setting up alternative banking and financial structures, or in making each other”s currency freely convertible within the bloc, is ensuring that the lead position of the NATO bloc in the matter of financial flow continues.
Should the US and the UK go ahead with an expansion of financial sanctions against the Russian Federation, the investors in that country would accelerate the transfer of their holdings from London and New York to safer locations, including in South America, Africa and in selected countries in Asia. Also, such a move would free Russia to retaliate, including getting deeply involved in West Asia and being on the side of those forces that are regarded with hostility by NATO.
Russian weapons technology, including its missile systems, can be an effective means of retaliation against sanctions imposed by those responsible for the crisis in Ukraine by their punishment of President Viktor Yanuko-vich for the “crime” of choosing the Russian Federation as the top ally of Ukraine, rather than the EU. It was not until it was too late that NATO realised that it had made a fundamental error in seeking to gain complete sway over Ukraine, a country vital to the security of Russia”s southwestern flank.
It is a fact that Ukraine was always a divided country, its two major groups separated by language-Ukranian and Russian. US Vice-President Joe Biden may wag his finger at Putin, but the fact is that Ukraine is now effectively a divided country. Its two groups despise and fear each other, and this situation is only going to get worse in the period ahead. Rather than coming with band-aid, it would be far better for all players in the ongoing Ukrainian tragedy to accept the reality of participation, and put in place a mechanism that would facilitate a smooth rather than a troubled process of separation of the two parts of Ukraine, those who are Russian speakers and the rest. Otherwise, ugly incidents will only multiply, and a situation may arise that may tempt some in NATO to send in troops for the protection of the coup leaders who toppled Yanukovich.
Hopefully, wiser counsel will prevail and the extreme step of armed intervention by NATO be avoided. It is time for a Cyprus-style solution that would ensure the containment of the Ukraine crisis to within its boundaries rather than to the whole of Europe. –M D Nalapat