Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Should The US Interfere?

The Russia-Ukraine crisis has again become a hot topic in International Relations with the latest military movement of Russia near its Border with Ukraine.

The tension of the world, especially in the western countries, mounted rapidly over a Russian invasion in Ukraine.

According to many experts, the Russia-Ukraine crisis will be a new trend in international politics while the US predicts that Russia will invade Ukraine. 

As a democratic and sovereignty-loving country, the USA has a long history of establishing democracy and sovereignty in conflict-affected countries. Will the US interfere in the Russia-Ukraine crisis? 

What Happened Between Russia and Ukraine?

The peak of the Russia and Ukraine crisis began in 2014. There were mass protests across Ukraine because of the pro-Russian president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to join the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union instead of the EU.

Soon after the ouster of Yanukovych in 2014, Russia invaded Crimea which was a part of Ukraine and supported a separatist movement in eastern Ukraine.

In the latter part of the last year, Russia moved many troops near its border. 

The main reason for this military movement is that Russia seeks a guarantee from the US that Ukraine will not be a part of NATO.

Why is Ukraine Important?

Why do the western countries and Russia care about Ukraine? Why is it so important?

Since in history, Ukraine as a part of the Soviet Union, was the 2nd most powerful soviet republic after Russia.

Ukraine is very important in terms of economically, strategically and culturally, for Russia. It shares borders with the EU and Russia while having cultural, linguistic, and familial bonds with Russia since in history.

For the west, Ukraine is a crucial buffer between Russia and the west. Also, there is an ongoing effort of western countries to join Ukraine into NATO. But having a western watchdog near its doorstep is a huge challenge for Russia.  

Should the US Interfere?

Here, the US can reply to Russia in many ways, if there is an invasion.

The US can use force if Russia invades Ukraine. On the other hand, the US can take severe economic consequences for Russia.

But the US president has already mentioned that unilateral use of force, in this case, is not on the table because the US moral and legal obligations towards its NATO allies is not applicable to Ukraine (Ukraine is not a NATO ally)

However, there may be some economic restrictions such as economic sanctions, restrictions for Russian banks converting roubles into foreign currencies, disconnecting Russia from the Swift Global Financial Payment system, if there is an invasion.

Most importantly, we should remember about Nord Stream 2, a gas pipeline to Germany, starting from Russia via Ukraine. This could possibly make a dependency of Europe over Russian gas and Russia can use this over European energy security.

The US imposed sanctions on the project because the US was concerned more about Russian activities and it believes this project will be a threat for Europe. If there is an invasion, the US should be sure to commit Germany to halt the project.

Be sure to read more about US and Russian issues.

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

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