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Current Affairs

Russia increasing tensions with Ukraine

Date: 11 January 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Tensions between Russia and West is growing faster as Russia has amassed a force of more than 100,000 at Ukraine border.

 

Background

From the past couple of years, there were indications that Western alliance was making an effort to bring Ukraine into NATO.

 

Details

  • The recent move has prompted experts to say that Russia is planning for an invasion of Ukraine. Russia has denied the charge but has asked West to refrain from expanding eastwards.

  • Russia has given out a set of guidelines that must be followed before it would scale back its mobilizations from the border.

  • USA and NATO have refused to consider the proposal seriously. President Biden has assured Ukrainian President that it will act decisively in case Russia invades Ukraine.

 

Demands of Russia

  • Russia has release its demands in form of a draft security pacts in December. Unless the demands are not met, Ukraine withdrawal will not occur.

  • Foremost of the demand is that NATO must withdraw troops and weapons from all countries in Europe that joined the alliance after May 1997, in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s fall. 

  • This will effectively mean that NATO cannot operate in Baltic nations such as Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, central European states such as Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, and Balkan states such as Slovenia and Croatia. 

  • Other condition is that NATO must not ‘expand’, meaning not including Georgia and Ukraine.

  •  The grouping should not hold drills in Eastern Europe, Ukraine and Georgia without Russia’s prior approval.

 

West’s response

  • The US and its allies have dismissed the proposals as unrealistic. However, they are open to discussions to reduce tensions.

  • They said that Ukraine and other nations have the right to independently determine their foreign policy without outside interference and join alliance they want.

 

The idea behind Russia’s move

  • The plan seems to be negotiating regional security architecture in Eastern Europe with US, by-passing small European states. 

  • The US and NATO have refused to fall into the trap and will instead consult their European allies on their negotiations with Russia.

  

Way ahead

  • The US and Russian officials will hold talks in Geneva on January 10 to try and chalk out a path towards de-escalation. 

  • Russia can make use of threats to bring parties to negotiating table but an actual invasion will make Eastern European countries to lean more towards Western alliance.