Russia’s takeover of Crimea could prompt a review the US military presence in Europe, which has declined steadily since the end of the Cold War, a senior Pentagon official said today.
“While we do not seek confrontation with Russia, its actions in Europe and Eurasia may require the United States to re-examine our force posture in Europe and our requirement for future deployments, exercises, and training in the region,” said Assistant Secretary of Defense Derek Chollet. Continue reading
Kiev (CNN) — Ukrainian acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Wednesday that the separatist protests in Ukraine’s eastern region would be resolved within 48 hours — either through negotiations or the use of force.
At the same time, Russia insisted that the presence of its troops just over the border was no reason to worry.
Using classified and commercial satellite imagery, the United States estimates there are up to 40,000 Russian troops on the border with eastern Ukraine. NATO has also warned of a major troop buildup. Continue reading
Ukraine’s parliament on Tuesday approved a series of joint military exercises with NATO countries that would put US troops in direct proximity to Russian forces in the annexed Crimea peninsula.
“This is a good opportunity to develop our armed forces,” acting defence minister Mykhailo Koval told Verkhovna Rada lawmakers ahead of the 235-0 vote.
TBILISI/BERLIN (Own report) – Since their partial Ukrainian success in the power struggle over the ring of countries separating Russia’s borders from those of the EU, Berlin and Brussels have been stepping up their efforts to integrate Georgia into their hegemonic system. The EU is calling on Georgia – a country, geostrategists accord great importance not only for Russia’s encirclement, but for European access to Asia – to sign the EU Association Agreement in June, ahead of schedule. As in the case of Ukraine, Georgia is already integrated into the German-European military policy. The parliament in Tbilisi has recently voted to contribute Georgian troops to EU military operations in Africa. Georgia’s development following the 2003 “Rose Revolution” is very similar to what the Ukrainians find themselves confronted with since the February putsch in Kiev. Simultaneous with military-political integration into Western alliance structures, and the country’s accessibility for foreign investors, the population is sinking into impoverishment. Polls indicate that today only 27 percent of the Georgians have a “full-time job” that pays a living wage. Continue reading
- War college professor warns of imminent invasion
- US officials tell of ‘awful’ developments
- NATO chief briefs US government on threat
- WAS Crimea just the beginning?
A senior military academic is warning Europe is staring down the barrel of its biggest war since 1945. And it could start in days, as Russian forces mass on the border with Ukraine — apparently poised to invade.
The commander of NATO forces in Europe visited the White House overnight to voice his alarm at Moscow’s massive military build-up facing eastern Ukraine — on the other side of the embattled country to the already-annexed Crimean peninsula.
Many other military and political voices are suddenly expressing the same fears. Continue reading
U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday promised to increase Russia’s isolation, as the United States and the European Union agreed to work together to prepare possible tougher economic sanctions in response to Russia’s behavior in Ukraine.
Speaking after a summit with top EU officials and quoted by Reuters, Obama declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin had miscalculated if he thought he could divide the West or count on its indifference over his annexation of Crimea.
Vladimir Putin and his American apologists like to blame NATO’s post-Cold War expansion for his territorial conquests, which ignores that the alliance refused in 2008 to let Georgia and Ukraine even begin the process of joining. Those are the two countries the Russian has since carved up, and the question now is whether Russia’s expansionism will slap Western leaders out of their self-defense slumbers.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen sounded the alarm last week in a visit to Washington. “I see Crimea as an element in a greater pattern” of Russian strategy, he told an audience at the Brookings Institution. Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, he said, is “a wake-up call” that “must be followed by increased European investment in defense.” He might have included the U.S.
Nato’s top military commander has warned that Russia is building an “incredible force” on its border with Ukraine, and said the time has come for Western allies to move its own troops to the east.
There are growing fears that President Vladimir Putin may be preparing to follow up the annexation of Crimea with a move into Moldova’s mainly Russian-speaking separatist Transdniestria.
US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, Nato’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, said Russia had used “snap” military exercises apparently as a tactic to shift vast numbers of troops towards the border. Continue reading
The head of NATO says Russia’s incursion into Ukraine may affect the prospects for nuclear arms control in Europe, which already faced political challenges.
“Of course I cannot exclude that the events we have witnessed in Crimea will also have an impact on the thinking about arms control, including nuclear policies,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Wednesday remarks at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
The alliance leader did not say whether he was referring to potential changes in NATO’s or Russia’s positions on the potential for pull-backs of tactical nuclear arms in Europe, or both. Continue reading
Whether a similar move that was done with Crimea will take place with Estonia is up in the air. It should be important to know, however, that Estonia is a NATO member. This means an attack on one member is an attack on all, which also might reduce the likelihood of a repeat. Perhaps a new trick can be played in this case by Russia as it did with Georgia and Ukraine, which caught everyone off guard, though.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Russia signaled concern on Wednesday at Estonia’s treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority, comparing language policy in the Baltic state with what it said was a call in Ukraine to prevent the use of Russian.
Russia has defended its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula by arguing it has the right to protect Russian-speakers outside its borders, so the reference to linguistic tensions in another former Soviet republic comes at a highly sensitive moment. Continue reading
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s government said Wednesday it has begun drawing up plans to pull its troops from Crimea, where Russia is steadily taking formal control as its armed forces seize military installations across the disputed peninsula.
In a warning to Moscow, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden declared the United States will respond to any aggression against its NATO allies, which include neighbors to Russia. Continue reading
BERLIN (Own report) – In light of the pending incorporation of the Crimea into the Russian Federation, German politicians and media are stepping up their Russophobe agitation. The public’s “understanding for Moscow’s alleged motives” regarding the Crimea, remains “strikingly high,” complains a leading German daily. This reflects the view that Western global aggressions are either “not better or even worse.” In this context, a leading German newspaper, the “Süddeutsche Zeitung,” has discontinued a Russian PR insert, which it had begun carrying following a lucrative European-Russian economic conference. Another leading publication, the weekly “Die Zeit”, has “apologized” for having printed differentiated articles about the Ukraine. The author, a freelance journalist, had also earned his living, doing editorial work for the above-mentioned Russian PR insert. Last week, the leading German Green Party’s candidate for the European parliamentary elections tabled a motion for a gag order on former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, who had criticized the EU’s Ukrainian policy. This motion, to restrict his right of freedom of expression, has been ultimately rejected by the European parliament, however, not by her Party. Continue reading