Raymond Mancini | 5 min read
When Russia pressured the Ukraine into suspending the deal to join the EU, it caused a hundred thousand protestors to fill the streets in late November. Russia capitalized on the havoc by approving Putin’s idea to use the military to defend the pro-Russia interest in Crimea. This approval led to a vote which resulted in Crimea seceding from the Ukraine and joining Russia. Russia’s actions have not only sparked protests among the anti-Russia demographic and the pro-EU Ukrainians, but it has also led the U.S. to impose sanctions and lend Ukraine funds. I believe that the U.S.’s interventionist actions may accidentally lead to a much deeper problem than we may have had if we had stayed out of Russia’s decision.
Where is it said that it is wrong for Crimea to align itself with Russia? Article 73 of the Ukrainian Constitution states that “altering the territory of Ukraine” is “resolved exclusively by an all-Ukrainian referendum,” but if an “all-Ukrainian referendum” resulted in not letting Crimea secede, Russia may have invaded the country itself. Nevertheless, Crimeans have a right to their own opinion and, since the region has a Russian-descent majority, it is unsurprising that the Crimeans voted in referendum to join Russia.
Although Ukraine believes that Russia’s actions are too aggressive and hostile, that does not permit the U.S. to intervene in the two nations’ affairs. I agree with the politicians who believe that imposing sanctions is “an act of war.” When the U.S. restricts trade that Russia critically relies on, it hampers Russia’s economy: it wages a financial war. Did Khrushchev believe that the Cuban quarantine was not an act of war?
It hurts the U.S.’s economic situation and demonstrates that the U.S. supports Ukraine that it has guaranteed Ukraine a billion dollars in loans. The U.S. is not required to give any amount of money to help support any nation’s current economic situation. The U.S. cannot even fix their own economic situation ($17 trillion of debt), and is worried by its own guarantee to support another country’s debt. It is irresponsible and hinders our economic situation further. Also, the money that the U.S. is guaranteeing to Ukraine clearly signals to Russia that the U.S. is not on their side.
It hinders the U.S.’s relationships with Russia that it aligned itself with Ukraine. It tells Russia “Hey, we, the U.S., do not agree with your actions and we will do everything we can to stop you.” How does the U.S. plan to succeed in spreading Democratic values if it cannot establish amicable relations with Russia?
President Obama does not understand that it is not the U.S.’s job to support other nations. Mr. President is “clear in saying that we are going to do everything we can to support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.” Where does it say that if things are going poorly for another nation, the U.S. is obligated to finance them? Obama’s attitude towards other nations makes it look like the nations are too weak to support themselves. It is an insult to other nations that only causes other countries to have a bad opinion about the United States.
The interventionist ideology that the Obama administration has followed may lead to situations where the U.S. finds itself in a war. The U.S. has already sent a naval ship up the Bosporus strait into the Black Sea. If shots went off or an accident occurred, Russia would perceive at the U.S. as an enemy (as if it doesn’t now) and retaliate. After all, Russia does have their Black Sea Fleet stationed in Crimea.
The tension between Russia and the U.S. over Ukraine reminds me of the Cold War. The tension is between the two superpowers, the U.S. and Russia, and it involves those superpowers indirectly clashing with their ideologies. The U.S. has made it clear to Russia that it should have neither threatened Ukraine with the gas prices nor annexed Crimea. The sanctions on Russia and the financing of Ukraine also show the U.S.’s disapproval of Russia. If the U.S. takes similar actions to what it has already been taking on the Ukrainian issue, it could find itself in a tough situation where there is only one option: war.
The U.S.’s actions toward Ukraine and Russia are closely related to imperialism. The U.S. is trying to extend its power by telling Russia what to do. The U.S. is trying to suppress Putin’s aggression toward Ukraine and demand that Putin move his troops off the border of Ukraine. Actions that America is taking toward Ukraine are similar to those of America’s colonial period with Britain–the one that America fought to escape. America is trying to be the “Britain” in this case and tell Russia to get out of Ukraine (or there will be “serious consequences)” and then goes and tries to revive Ukraine’s economy. How much does the U.S. have to intervene before they are eighteenth-century Britain?
Becoming involved in every foreign issue makes American seem like a Big Brother to the rest of the countries. We have to accept that other countries have governments based on different ideologies than ours. We cannot spread the U.S.’s message of Democracy through force or economic influence; we have to spread it by example.
The U.S. seems to be getting more involved in the Ukraine-Russia issue as problems escalate. It is important that Congress realize what is going on in those countries, but it is also important that Congress understands the potential consequences of their current foreign policy.