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Daily News Analysis

Ukraine in the EU-Russia-US triangular tussle

Crescent International

The Western-inspired unrest in Ukraine can only go so far. Russia will not allow its interests to be undermined in such a brazen manner by the US. Without European Union support, that has no stomach for a fight on its borders, the US will not achieve its objectives.

Toronto, Crescent-Online.net
Wednesday February 19, 2014, 08:47 EST

Russian victory in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine is guaranteed not only because for Moscow it is a matter of strategic importance, but also due to the fact that the European Union (EU) cannot stomach a point of intense conflict on its immediate borders.

The socio-political crisis in Ukraine began three months ago when Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych refused a trade deal with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia.

More precisely, the socio-political crisis in Ukraine is about the direction the country will take. Nearly half of Ukrainian society sees its future in the EU while the other half views its political and economic prosperity in having strategic relations with Russia.

The battle of these two visions is playing out in the streets of Kiev with each side backing its figures. The Russian-backed figures are clearly stronger as they dominate state institutions. Nevertheless, the Western-backed opposition has enough muscle to create serious obstacles for Moscow.

Russian officials have proclaimed on several occasions that the region of the former Soviet Union is the sphere of their privileged interests. Basic review of Moscow’s policies over the past 15 years shows that for Russia Western domination of the region of the former USSR is a redline they will not allow the West to cross.

In Ukraine the West tried to cross this line on February 17 when the German Chancellor Angela Merkel met two key Ukrainian opposition leaders, former boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko and Arseniy Yatsenyuk. By awarding the Ukrainian opposition with a statesman type status the EU crossed the Russian redline.

Moscow was quick to react and on February 18 the Russian backed government in Ukraine launched its most brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters during which more than a hundred people were seriously injured and several deaths occurred on both sides.

It is highly unlikely that the West will order its proxy-groups in Ukraine to retaliate against the government in any radical manner. This scenario could lead to unintended consequences that would strain the EU’s already declining economic and political power. A conflict right on its border would be disastrous for EU’s ruling elites, as this would require the highly materialistic European society and its elite to sacrifice many comforts.

The EU knows well that it is highly dependent on Moscow for its gas and Russia knows what a strategic leverage this is to be used to destabilize the EU. Also, any counter measures by the US against the recent heavy crackdown by the Ukrainian government would need full EU backing to succeed, a backing the EU will not give.

If the Western powers decide to retaliate in a strategic manner against Moscow’s aggressive measures their main option would be the North Caucasus. Considering that among the Western backed takfiri groups creating chaos in Syria there is a substantial number of takfiris from North Caucasus, it is not unlikely that Western intelligence agencies would utilize their working relationship with them in order to contain Russian ambitions near the immediate EU border.

Taking the above into consideration it is important to remember that all politics is local, neither the West nor Russian can fully control local events in Ukraine. Thus unforeseen events can be expected.

As there are millions of Muslims living in Russia and the EU, the unfolding events will certainly affect Muslims as well.


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