While news of Russia removing soldiers from Crimea appear to calm military tensions, the crisis is far from resolved due to Russia’s security concerns and NATO ‘s expansionist open-door strategy.
- The unprecedented force mobilization on Ukraine’s three flanks, with combat planes, warships, and S400 missile defense systems, raised concerns of conflict.
- To gain diplomatic influence in talks with the West, Russia increased military pressure surrounding Ukraine.
- Hungarian, French, and German leaders recently visited Moscow. Their conversations with Russia paved the way for deescalation
De-escalation of Russian forces and NATO stance
- Russia stated it was removing more forces from Ukraine, but NATO and the US say they are not convinced.
- The Russian Defense Ministry released a video showing tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and self-propelled artillery departing Crimea.
- But the US says over 150,000 Russian troops remain near Ukraine’s borders, and their analysts say they pose a threat.
- Putin said the West was neglecting Russia’s fundamental concerns, but Moscow is willing to talk about security.
- It opposes NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine.
- It wants NATO to withdraw its troops from Eastern Europe and the Black Sea.
- It wants the Minsk process to address the Ukraine situation (between Kiev and Russia-backed separatists in Donbas).
NATO’s Open door policy
- The founding treaty promises a “open door” policy for European countries seeking membership, and a mutual defence clause ensures that all members will defend an ally in need.
- Although not a member, NATO considers Ukraine a partner and hence supports it.
- A surge of people escaping combat across European borders, probable cyber and disinformation attacks in the event of a confrontation in Ukraine frighten NATO.
- NATO members like the US, UK, and Canada are assisting Ukraine.
NATO bolster its defenses
- In the event of an invasion of Ukraine, NATO Defence Ministers in Brussels discussed sending soldiers and equipment to nations bordering Russia and the Black Sea.
- The US will send 5,000 troops to Poland and Romania.
- The UK is sending hundreds of soldiers and warships to Poland.
- Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway are sending more troops.
- Air policing is provided by Denmark and Spain..
- India is said to support basic European security ideals and is ready to retaliate if attacked.
- It is also stated that India has devised a package of sanctions that will be severe and proportionate.
- Indian authorities have set up control Centre and emergency phone lines for Ukrainian students and professionals.
- En outre, talks are underway to expand the number of flights to assist Indian citizens.