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How do Other Countries look at Russia and Ukraine Issue?

Things between Russia and Ukraine have been escalating for the past 2 months. Moscow has amassed more than 100,000 troops besides military hardware along the borders with Ukraine. The American intelligence claimed that Russia might be planning to invade Ukraine. However, Kremlin has insisted that the purpose of its military buildup is to defend against North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)’s expansion in the region.

Russia has always raised the alarm against NATO’s post-Cold War expansion. In 2004, NATO added 7 new members in its fifth and largest expansion, including former Soviet members, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. The 30 members military alliance later announced in 2008 that it also had plans to add Georgia and Ukraine. Russia saw it as a “direct threat” and gave a clear warning to NATO by invading Georgia and taking control of separatist regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, NATO did not publicly give up its goal to add Georgia and Ukraine into the alliance.

What is Going Between Russia and Ukraine? 

European Union (EU) also started to display interest in bringing Ukraine into Europe, making it easy for NATO to expand eastwards. Russia’s archenemy, the United States of America, also intervened and promoted western values and democracy in Ukraine by funding pro-western elements. According to 2013 data, the US invested more than 5 billion USD since 1991 to promote American society in Ukraine. On the other hand, Russia saw it as social engineering and warned that just like Western and European countries, it could make Ukraine “anti-Russia”. President Vladimir Putin also made it clear that Moscow will continue to push back against the expansion of western influence in Ukraine.

Putin also penned a letter in 2021 and adopted an emotional approach to the problem. He wrote that Russia and Ukraine were “one”, and some external forces have tried hard to break them apart. However, the US and its allies reject Putin views and claim that Russia would become an “empire” if Ukraine joined it. America enjoyed being the sole superpower since the controversial dissolution of 15 member Soviet Union in 1991. However, now it is contested by some more nations like China, Japan, Germany, South Korea but mainly Russia, which has been angry ever since the Euromaidan movement ousted the pro-Russian government in Ukraine in 2014. However, Moscow denied plans to invade Ukraine and warned NATO to forget about Ukraine and keep its forces out of Eastern Europe.

Here is the list of other nations that have reacted to the rapid escalation between Russia and Ukraine.

United States

The US has already sanctioned Russia many times for taking over the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. Russia annexed Crimea in 1783 after defeating the Ottoman Empire in 1774. However, in 1954 Soviet Union leaders transferred it to Ukraine SSR. Russia’s annexation of Crimea was considered illegal by many international powers. The US issued sanctions to certain Russian entities in the finance, energy and defence sectors. These sanctions required the US to stop foreign aid, export licence, and arms sales to Russia.

The US promised more sanctions if things got worse between Russia and Ukraine but refused to send troops to Ukraine. The US is also reportedly in talks with major energy-producing countries and firms to divert supplies to Europe if Russia invades Ukraine. Russia already has the largest number of gas reserves in the world.

On the other hand, the US and its NATO allies have provided weapons to Ukraine. Even the citizens, from children to grandparents, have been brandishing guns ever since the US and allies claimed that Russia would attack. Right-wing forces in Ukraine have been training the civilians to use weapons to defend the country against Russia.

United Kingdom

The EU has also claimed to have prepared a series of responses if Russia and Ukraine situation escalates. However, the bloc is not precisely sure about Moscow’s plans. It alleged that Russia may start with a cyberattack and set the ground for military actions. It claimed that it had activated a cyber unit to aid Ukraine against any cyberattack. EU also said that it did not prove that a previous cyberattack in January 2022 was by Russia. The President of the European Council also cleared the stance by saying that any threat against Ukraine will be a threat against the EU.

Germany

Germany also announced to stand behind Ukraine, but unlike other NATO members, it refused to give weapons to Ukrainians. However, it will reportedly provide a field hospital with training worth 6 million USD.

Germany’s position is still complicated because of the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline that stretches from Germany to Siberia. Recently, the head of the German navy said that Ukraine would never regain the Crimean Peninsula, due to which he was forced to resign, indicating the strong interest of different forces in the region that Russia annexed in 2014.

China

China took a neutral approach and advised all parties involved in the tensions between Russia and Ukraine to remain calm and avoid increasing pressures. It also warned to take Russian aggression seriously and also its security concerns. China also commented on NATO expansion that any kind of military expansion could threaten the regional security of any nation. China is also working to strengthen its own relations with Russia in the wake of its issues with the US. 

India

Fearing the Russian aggression, the Indian embassy in Ukraine asked its nationals and students to leave the country for the time being. In recent years, the strategic engagement between India and the US has also gotten strong.

Japan

Japan and the US have reportedly discussed the tension between Russia and Ukraine over the phone and made plans for what to do in case of an alleged invasion. Japan announced to work closely with the US if Russia invaded.

France

France welcomed dialogue with Russia but said it would pay a heavy price if it invaded Ukraine. President Emmanuel Macron said that he was ready to deploy troops in Romania under NATO’s orders, and Romania had no problem with it.

Romania

Romania and France are in talks to plan how to enhance their troop counts and increase NATO’s military presence. President Klaus Iohannis said that under the current situation between Russia and Ukraine, it was a good thing to consolidate NATO troops in the eastern wing, including in Romania.

Belarus

Belarus remained a close ally of Putin amid Russia and Ukraine tensions. It announced to support Russia’s military at the Ukrainian border and conduct joint drills soon. The US warned Belarus that it would face repercussions for supporting Russia against Ukraine.

Finland

Finland is not a NATO member but shares border and history with Russia. It has also readied its troop in the face of Russian buildup. The current instability in the Baltic Sea region is due to Russia’s unpredictability. Moscow can do anything to serve its interest at any time without caring about the consequences. Finland was aware of the goal of Russia but did not know what kind of actions Kremlin could take.

Italy

Italy would uphold its commitments with NATO in the Russia and Ukraine conflict. However, it also advocated the peaceful resolution of the problem. It was ready to negotiate with Russia if Kremlin could stay peaceful. President Vladimir reportedly held talks over the phone, but the conversation was largely focused on strengthening economic relationships.

Croatia

Croatia also gave mixed reactions to the issue. It made it clear that if Ukraine, one of the most corrupt countries in the world, came into conflict with Russia, it would pull its support from it. President Zoran Milanovic said that the Russia and Ukraine conflict was happening in “Russia’s anteroom”. He added that an agreement must be reached while considering Russia’s security concerns. However, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic apologised to Ukraine for the president’s comments. He acknowledged that Ukraine was one of the first countries to recognise the state of Croatia in 1991 after it broke up from Yugoslavia.

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