April 13, 2014
US Intervention in Ukraine?
After Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych decided to suspend talks with the EU, protestors from western parts of Ukraine filled the streets in opposition to Yanukovych’s decision. The rebels believe that the EU would have brought economic prosperity to Ukraine; however, Russia has declared that it would impose steep gas bills on Ukraine if it joined the EU. Recently, Russia has moved troops into Crimea, a region which holds an ethnic-Russian majority and a Russian naval fleet. Ukraine has called Russia’s aggressiveness an invasion, but, on March 16, Crimeans voted in referendum to join Russia.
The United States has felt that it should involve itself in the political disagreement. It has imposed sanctions on Russia and has sent an American naval ship up the Bosporus Strait into the Black Sea. Secretary of State John Kerry has also guaranteed Ukraine a billion dollars in loans to recuperate; Obama has announced that he has been “…clear in saying that we are going to do everything we can to support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.” The IMF has also prepared $18 billion in loans to Ukraine over the next two years.
The United States’s decisions have brought up many questions. Did Crimea vote to join Russia under duress or of its own free will? Is the U.S. obligated to respond to Russia’s aggression? At what point should its restrictions on Russia end? Does the U.S. have a solid reason to be involved in the Russian-Ukrainian issue? Is the U.S. responsible for militarily or financially assisting Ukraine? Will Putin’s military actions subside or will he endeavor further?