The Ukrainian Crisis and its Likely Repercussions

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The recent unfolding of events in Ukraine in general, and in Crimea in particular, has distracted the attention of the international community from the tragic events of the Syrian civil war. The annexation of Crimea has not only increased the tension between the Ukrainian post-Yanukovych government and Moscow, but also between the Euro-Atlantic world and the Russian Federation. Despite diplomatic de-escalation efforts on the part of both the US and the EU, after the dispatch of Russian forces to Crimea and the annexation of this part of Ukraine, no progress has yet been made toward solving the current crisis. On the contrary, in the aftermath of the annexation of Crimea the Euro-Atlantic alliance  decided to apply ‘‘coercive diplomacy’’,  in which Washington and Brussels simultaneously used various forms of sanctions together with diplomatic instruments, in order to pressure Russia into  retreating from Crimea and acting in a self-restrained manner regarding its near abroad.

 

However, under contemporary  conditions, unless the Ukrainian crisis is solved with the common consent of the conflicting parties, there is a great probability that this issue will give rise to many serious negative consequences both for the future of European security as well as for US-Russian relations and beyond. Most important of all, if the relations between Moscow and Washington continue to deteriorate over the Crimea issue, the ramifications are expected to impact many other important global and regional security issues that are in need of cooperation from both sides. This would, of course, bring more volatility to some regions that are already troubled with civil war or embroiled in other non-traditional threats. Also, since the security threats of our time cannot be contained in a country’s borders, as in the days of Cold War, both traditional and non-traditional security threats, like the current Syrian civil war, the future of WMD hopefuls and the operation of existing radical terrorist groups in different parts of the world etc., are likely to go beyond the borders of the originating country and hence become a concern for the whole international community. So, the Ukrainian crisis, unless it is solved, contains the potential for triggering other security problems likely to be confronted by the international community in the future.   

 

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