Biden Says Russia Will Face Consequences If It Attacks Ukraine, Keeps Diplomatic Option Open – The Organization for World Peace
President Joe Biden has threatened Russia with consequences and economic sanctions on behalf of the United States and other Western states if they attack and invade Ukraine but leaves the way open for diplomacy by suggesting a potential dialogue. Each power wants to avoid war and blames each other for pushing tensions to the brink; the United States accuses Russia of endangering peace and Russia cites the United States for instilling a campaign of hysterical fear at home and abroad. The current crisis around Ukraine has escalated since Russia seized the Crimean peninsula from the former Soviet republic nearly eight years ago after toppling a pro-Russia Ukrainian government. . Russia has built up military troops on the Ukrainian border and prepared equipment for the invasion: Russia’s position to start the war is unpredictable and Ukraine is determined to resist. Currently, Putin demands that NATO never admit Ukraine as a member, as a way to protect and expand Russia’s sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, as well as a reduction in troops from NATO in Eastern Europe, no military assistance to Ukraine, and a ban on intermediate missile ranges in Europe so that troops are withdrawn and no military action occurs.
US-Russian relations are at their lowest point since the Cold War, and this crisis risks further straining those relations and risks further escalation if Russia expands its presence in Ukraine or other NATO countries. These tensions can also affect relations with Europe and complicate the prospects for cooperation elsewhere, including on issues of terrorism, arms control and political solutions such as the conflict in Syria.
The White House has said specific sets of sanctions are being worked out if Putin orders an invasion of Ukraine, targeting Russian elites, those who hold Putin’s assets, those who play a role in decision-making of the government or those who are complicit in destabilizing behaviour. Many of these people are soft targets because of their deep financial ties and would be hit by sanctions that tie them to Western financial systems. Previous sanctions were limited to Russian banks, financial transactions and consumer goods made in the United States: this new comprehensive plan includes banning the children of certain elite Russian figures from attending prestigious universities in the United States. United and Europe. US senators are also discussing including in the bill a package similar to the Lend-Lease Act, famous for its use during World War II, to lend and lease more military equipment to Kyiv until until Russia withdraws its troops. It would be the most comprehensive legislation to date and would provide Ukraine with additional military equipment.
The importance of the collapse of the Soviet Union on Ukraine caused this conflict. The center of contemporary Ukraine, Kiev, was a former Russian city, and with the fall of the USSR, freedom was granted to the Crimean region and Ukraine, which differentiated itself from Russia. Communist governments of former Eastern European satellite countries were overthrown and gained independence, including East Germany, which was united with West Germany at the fall of the Wall from Berlin. Countries between Germany and Russia recognized the need to join NATO, to eliminate vulnerability if Russia regained power, but Russia insisted that Ukraine not join NATO and “would consider that as a provocation if the union were to take place”. Historically, NATO allies encouraged Ukraine and Georgia to join, but Russia responded with an invasion of Georgia. Since then, no invitation to join NATO has been issued. A stalemate in 2014 was broken by an escalation of violence in the spring of 2021, leading to October 2021, when Russian troops and military equipment were moved near the border without explanation. By December, more than 100,000 troops were placed on the border, with more being added near Belarus and the northern border of Ukraine.
There is a lesson to be learned here about diplomacy. Russia’s demands are an opening offer, not an ultimatum. Putin has the upper hand: it would be very difficult for the US and other NATO countries to defend Ukraine because of its non-NATO status under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty , despite condemning Russia’s actions and rejecting their demands. Some countries have even limited their threats of retaliation to sanctions. Ratification of any treaty in the United States is nearly impossible due to polarization and stalemate, and all tensions could end if an executive agreement could be reached to stop NATO expansion in the future, or even a separate agreement between Russia and NATO that restricts military force and activity between the Baltic and the Black Sea where their territories meet. Putin faces no domestic opposition to his foreign policy and is cautious and calculated in using force to ensure the benefits outweigh the costs.
Despite our media’s predilection for drama, an invasion or war is not necessarily imminent. Bomb threats in Ukraine are on the rise and have prompted mass evacuations or closures of targeted areas. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed concern that internal destabilization poses a bigger threat than an invasion and called on Western nations to limit talks on a likely war. Even the Russian Ambassador, Vasily Nebenzya, saw the Americans as provocateurs and trying to stoke tensions and escalate problems, almost as if they wanted war to happen because they had removed from power a pro-Moscow leadership and installed “nationalists, radicals, Russophobes and pure Nazis.
Russia cannot afford to be seen as bluffing in this matter, as the geopolitical implications of these developments could reverberate beyond Europe and alter relations in the region for years to come. There must appear to be a balance of interests for all parties: Western powers cannot simply deny Russia’s demands and threaten economic harm without offering solutions and additional avenues of communication and compromise. I think Biden made an admirable choice to foster engagement with Russia rather than dismissing their demands out of hand. In his White House statement, he said, “If Russia is sincere about resolving our respective security challenges through dialogue, the United States and our allies and partners will continue to engage in good faith. If instead Russia chooses to walk away from diplomacy and attack Ukraine, Russia will take responsibility and face swift and severe consequences.
What is at stake is a desire for superiority. This seems like an opportunity for Russia to intimidate the United States and NATO, to obtain concessions for economic and social purposes, to threaten Ukraine and to demonstrate its power over the Russian people. The need for countries between Germany and Russia to join NATO is not lost: governments were afraid and wanted to remove their vulnerability if Russia again became the major superpower after the Cold War. But what happened to civility, especially in international relations? Countries are more connected than ever before, and mutually assured destruction is the only result of any military conflict or economic sanction. In our globalized world where the economies of other countries depend on the stability of Western nations, economic sanctions are risky and risk leading the world into a global depression. Moreover, uniformity in decision and action must be enforced. The neighboring nations of Poland and Hungary fade into the background of the Ukrainian-Russian crisis and focus on domestic issues. Their most pressing issues are immigration, population decline and the European Union.
Countries are not fully independent and depend on relationships to function optimally. In an ideal world, Russia will withdraw its troops and engage in productive dialogue with the United States, Ukraine and Germany to establish a confident peace agreement that can continue for decades. Like between Putin and French President Macron, who speak frequently to discuss security guarantees and positive progress, especially in terms of NATO enlargement. World leaders should not be enemies, but rather team members, correspondents. War can be avoided, mutual protection assured, a safer social network, a stronger global economy, simply if the first step were not a movement of force, but rather a movement of force to take care of the collective rather than of his own nation.