The Russian foreign policy that facilitated its annexation of Crimea has raised controversy in the global society (Weiss 4). The scholar also notes that the decision of this government to intervene in the ongoing Ukrainian crisis has also earned it criticism. While some people feel that Russia acted contrary to the well-laid international laws and regulations concerning the sovereignty of Ukraine, another section believes that Russia had all the rights to act in the manner it did.
According to the report by Taylor (11), the Russian government has been sending large troops into the volatile region of Eastern Ukraine. Some reports even claim that the Russian forces are fighting alongside the rebels against the Ukrainian military. The Concept of National Security of the Russian Federation which was validated by Decree Number 24 gave the president unprecedented powers in deciding when it is appropriate to use the military forces in the international intervention, the fact that has largely contributed to the current problems (Mankoff 67).
In this argument of evaluation paper, the researcher seeks to demonstrate the inappropriateness of this foreign policy, by analyzing the recent case where it was open to abuse. The paper seeks to prove that despite the existence of some arguments that support this policy and its effects, the fact is that it threatens the world’s peace.
Justification of Current Russian Foreign Policies
Some sections of the international community, most of whom are Russians, believe that the current foreign policies of this country are justified. They believe that the current activities in Eastern Ukraine are justified under the international law. According to Kirit (9), Crimea was once part of Russia, and the circumstances that it was lost to Ukraine was unfortunate.
The Russian government was forced by the West to give up this territory to Ukraine in 1991. It is, therefore, a historical justice if the territory is claimed back by Russia. Some of these people believe that Crimea has been part of Russia, and that Ukraine had no mandate over it. To them, Russia was only claiming its property from Ukraine at a time that it had the best capacity to do so.
Crimea did hold a referendum in order to determine if the people in this region wanted to remain in Ukraine or not. There was an overwhelming support for the decision to move to Russia. After the election, Taylor (11) says that there was no form of protest from the people about a possible manipulation of votes.
It was apparent that the outcome of the referendum was their actual view about on whether or not they should remain in Ukraine. They were more comfortable being Russians than being Ukrainians. This makes the policy implemented by the Russian government legally acceptable as per the international law.
Some of the proponents of this policy argue that most of the people living in Crimea and parts of Eastern Ukraine that is currently riddled with violent protests are Russians. They found themselves in Ukraine after the country gained independence in 1991 (Taylor 11). The Ukrainian government has been unfair to the people in this region in terms of resource allocation and many other policy issues.
The Ukrainian government has the moral obligation to defend its citizens who live in other countries. To them, this justifies the policy implemented by the Russian government to annex Crimea and to support the militants in Eastern Ukraine.
Arguments against Current Russian Foreign Policies
There has been a massive condemnation of the current Russian foreign policies, especially following the recent cases witnessed in Ukraine. They believe that the policy gives the president excessive power that can be easily abused. The decision to send troops to Crimea was made by a few people who failed to take into account the consequences of such actions (Weiss 4). This has led to a widely condemned outcome, especially the massive deaths that have been witnessed in Eastern Ukraine.
According to Weiss (4), it is not easy to justify the decision of Russia to support the uprising in Eastern Ukraine. If Russia feels that people who stay in Eastern Ukraine are Russians, it has the liberty to airlift them to Russia and offer them citizenship, albeit those who are willing. The policy that facilitated the annexation of Crimea was not only immoral, but also ill intentioned.
The Russian government, because it has nuclear weapons and a stronger military as compared to that of Ukraine, believes that it has the power to reclaim what it refers to as lost territories without following due processes as outlined in the international laws.
Russia has been a sovereign state since 1991, and Crimea has been part of it. If Russia felt that the territory should be handed back, then the noble thing would be to raise the issue through a well-laid structure within the United Nations in order to find a solution to the problem. However, Russia believed in its military strength to make unilateral decisions without engaging the relevant stakeholders.
The presence of Russian military officers at its border with Ukraine clearly confirms the ill motives that define this Russian policy. In fact, the report by Taylor (11) confirms the claim that the Russian soldiers have been fighting along the rebels in this volatile region. This explains why groups of rebels who lack proper military trainings have been able to frustrate the Ukrainian’s security apparatus.
This report indicates that at one moment, the Ukrainian officers had to hand over their weapons, including tanks and other heavy artilleries, because they found themselves surrounded by the youths in a manner that they could not use their weapons. This was done without firing even a single bullet, and the youths went away with these weapons.
The manner in which the attack was planned and executed is way beyond a simple rebel without any military training. Those involved in the planning and execution of this ambush were definitely the forces from the Russian army. However, the Russian government has denied any involvement in the ongoing conflicts, claiming that it had only offered a humanitarian aid to the people of this region because of the fear that they may starve to death.
According to Taylor (11), a number of Russians soldiers who were stationed at the border with Ukraine have died and hastily buried by the government under very unclear circumstances. These deaths were more prevalent in occasions when the Ukrainian forces had fierce exchange with the rebels. The soldiers who perished had gun wounds. Russia is not currently at war with any country as per its official records. It is therefore, very controversial to have cases where several soldiers perish because of bullet wounds.
Russia has no business in Eastern Ukraine. This sovereign state has the responsibility to protect and provide for all its citizens. The government has claimed that the policy was meant to protect the interest of Russian speakers who are living in Eastern Ukraine. However, this is not the truth of the matter.
Russia is using these people for its own selfish interests. Before the invasion, these people were living peacefully working in various industries. The region was one of the safest in Eastern Europe. However, since the time Russia started direct involvements into the discord that was developing in the region, several lives of the people in this region have been lost. It has never been the intention of the Ukrainian government to use its security apparatus against its people.
However, their activities, especially planning and executing attacks, have forced the government to deploy these apparatus against its own people. The Russian government has done very little in protecting these innocent lives. Its decision to send its troops has only aggravated the issue. Moreover, the international law also prohibits such barbaric acts. Currently, this issue is threatening to cause a major global nuclear war among the world powers.
The Russian policy that allowed it to support the rebels in Eastern Ukraine fails to meet the legal and moral standards. It has completely destabilized Eastern Ukraine and the normal activities in this country. The issue has raised massive attention that has forced NATO to redesign its military system in order to respond to any form of military attack. This is a major threat to the existence of humanity on this planet.
Kirit Radia, “Russian Tanks in Ukraine but US Won’t Say Invasion.” ABC News. 2014: 9. Print.
Mankoff, Jeffrey. Russia’s Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity in National Identity. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2013. Print.
Taylor, Adam. “Has Russia invaded Ukraine: Here’s what we know.” Washington Post. 2014: 11. Print.
Weiss, Michael. “Putin Sends His Leopard to the Battlefield of Eastern Ukraine.” FP Newspapers. 2014: 4. Print.