With diplomatic efforts slowly yielding mixed results and the situation on the ground increasingly fluid, Ukraine continues to dominate the world’s attention. Because Russia’s attempt to reassert its sovereignty is a major driving force behind the unrest in Ukraine, world powers must focus on helping Russia find healthier ways to pursue its interests.
Because Russia has never truly been integrated into the International Community as a trusted partner, Ukraine has served as a buffer state to “protect” Russia from Western influence and actions. In accordance, European Union member states and the US need to offer a path forward that will allow Russian leaders to feel their high priority interests will be served if they allow Ukrainians the freedom to follow their own political interests.
Although most bridges with Ukraine have been thoroughly burnt by Russia, the West must offer an olive branch in order to eliminate the need for a buffer state between Russia and the European Union, i.e. Putin’s most legitimate reason for meddling in Ukrainian affairs. That said, the Ukrainian situation cannot be solved by world leaders alone.
Within Ukraine, there are serious pro-Russian Ukrainian factions that thoroughly reject Western influence and view themselves to be Russian. Political divisive within cannot be wholly blamed on Putin. What Russia has done is prime these factions for conflict and that mechanism is in motion. This means the internal dynamics of Ukraine must be addressed in addition to the international diplomatic crises between Russia and the rest of the world.
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