On 24th -25th of May, the capital of the Netherlands will host a long-awaited meeting on nuclear security in which will be presented by 53 countries at the level of state’s leaders. But it seems that in this year the problems on nuclear security will recede into the background. On the next Monday, the leaders of G7 will hold the meeting on summit fields devoted to the events in Ukraine and further actions in relation to Russia.
Experts on nuclear security gathered for the parallel summit on nuclear knowledge are concerned by the Crimean crisis can strike on American-Russian cooperation in this field. According to professor of Harvard University Mr. Matthew Bunn, “protection of radioactive materials is unsatisfactory today.”
In opinion of secretary general of NATO Andreas Fog Rasmussen, the annexation of the Crimea is a part of long-term strategy of Russia. He considers that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine eclipses all other crises which were endured by Europe for the last two decades, particularly during the crisis in Balkans in 1990 and in Georgia in 2008.
A diplomat making a speech in Washington condemned Russian with “military aggression” in Ukraine and violation of the sovereignty of this country by Associated Press. “Any attempt to justify the annexation of the Crimea by a so-called referendum passed under a weapon barrel is illegal and illegitimate” he specified. The Crimean crisis has to become a signal for increasing defense expenditures for the European countries, Fog Rasmussen called “Nobody wants to refuse partnership with Russia. But nobody can ignore that Russia broke the principles of this partnership”.
The European Union has determined to attempt sanctions (especially economic) against Russian Federation. Experts differently estimated on economic sanctions entered against Russia. So, The Washington Post characterized them as “a pin prick”, and Los Angeles Times, as “trifling”. Now, it is clearer that the West has no real levers of pressure upon Russia. Moreover, Russia is in a stage of serious economic recession. International isolations and serious sanctions will simply accelerate this process.
If the West seriously will begin to engage not only with Firtash [an Ukrainian billionaire, the co-owner of the RosUkrEnergo company, who is suspected by US authorities of bribery and creation of criminal community] but also all Russian oligarchs, it will cause a very big tension in the environment of Vladimir Putin.
Some American mass media consider that the sanctions entered against Russia are insufficient and frivolous. So, The Wall Street Journal notes that any of “rich persons” of Putin didn’t get to the discrimination list – neither Alexey Miller [Gazprom], nor Igor Sechin [Rosneft] and Gennady Timchenko.
Ukraine’s policy towards European Union
Today Prime Minister of Ukraine Artseniy Yatsenuk officially announced about signing of new agreements with EU, which were reject by the ousted president Viktor Yanukovich during Vilnius Summit, meanwhile President Putin signed the document on official accession of the Crimea to Russian Federation. While Ukraine took a historic step to rapprochement with Europe, its strategic region Crimea –occupied by mainly ethnic Russians– was fixed even more strongly in the hands of Moscow. President Putin signed the documents finishing process of annexation.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk in his interview to the local mass media told his country has only two options of action in response of Russian aggression. “The first option – the military, however the beginning of the third world war will be unacceptable for the whole world. The second option is to work with political, diplomatic, and economic means. However the best way is to constrain Russia by economic pressures”.
The political agreement between Kiev and EU currently does not change the situation in Ukraine. However, as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Daniil Lubkivsky notes, within this pact Ukraine will follow a new way in the struggle with numerous problems.
Fuad Shahbazov, Analyst, Strategic Outlook