Archives for : USA

Here’s What the West Can Do to Stop Russia

Here’s What the West Can Do to Stop Russia

What can the West actually do?

Russia has shattered the presumption that we can take European security for granted. In the past two weeks, President Vladimir Putin has committed outright acts of war by invading Crimea and threatening to invade eastern Ukraine. It now appears that Russia will annex Crimea and perhaps go further unless confronted with a stronger resolve than visible so far from the United States and Europe.

Clearly, Russia has acted because its leaders believe that the Obama administration and Western allies are irresolute, weak and need Russia more than it needs them. While economic sanctions are essential, stronger measures, including military ones, are also necessary if we are to preserve European peace and security – and they need to take place in concert with more concrete steps by NATO.

A regular NATO fleet should be maintained in the Black Sea and recently announced military exercises extended and increased.
These drills include a U.S.-Bulgarian-Romanian naval exercise in the Black Sea and a joint U.S.-Polish air exercise involving F-16s. Likewise, we could resume construction of missile defenses in Poland and the Baltic states. On the naval side, assets deployed into the Black Sea should be given adequate air cover and air defenses. Beyond these immediate steps, additional Partnership for Peace exercises with Ukraine and Georgia should be scheduled, and military contacts between Ukraine and NATO increased.

Concurrently, as President Barack Obama and U.S. national security leaders have stated, the new Ukrainian government should reinforce its international image as sole legitimate authority by reaffirming the protection of minorities and reiterating its adherence to all existing treaties—including the 2010 Russo-Ukrainian agreement providing Russia with long-term naval basing at Sevastopol. It should also finish its application to the IMF and EU for immediate relief and launch urgently needed economic reforms to strengthen the country’s rickety economy, ending energy subsidies while providing relief for the poor, recovering assets stolen by former President Viktor Yanukovych and his cronies, ending corruption in government contracts, and establishing transparency in the energy distribution sector (and in government contracts generally).

Such actions would preserve peace, communicate NATO and the EU’s unified resolve, encourage a Russian withdrawal of troops and deter a descent into violence.
But they would be just the start. Beyond Ukraine, Washington and NATO must realize that Putin’s Russia will not be integrated into Europe, and readjust their policies accordingly [such as the Pentagon’s three year-old wish that Russia would turn its missile defenses away from Europe and toward Tehran in a joint NATO radar net against the Iranian missile threat]. Ukraine may now be in the eye of the Russian hurricane, but a failure to defend Ukraine’s integrity and sovereignty only invites further Russian assaults on sovereignty throughout Eurasia.

Military measures are obviously not the only answer. Though they are urgent, the real payoff will come from long-lasting measures to invigorate Ukraine’s domestic structures. The West needs to strengthen Ukraine’s ability to govern itself in a truly democratic manner, as well as to reform its economy. Apart from the immediate “bridge” funding necessary to stave off crisis, the EU should tell Ukraine that if it follows the long-term course of reforms required by every member it will, in time, surely qualify for membership. This would surely be an enormous boost to the Ukrainian government, and would galvanize domestic reform efforts while strengthening the economy against Russian efforts to subvert, corrupt, and undermine it.

Today, the West’s capabilities far outstrip those of Russia. But it must find the will and intelligence to deploy them successfully. Putin, by his recklessness and arrogance, has placed both European and Russian security at risk. This point must be hammered home in a way that deters violence and further Russian adventurism. At the core of Western policy should be a simple concept: Ukrainian integrity and sovereignty are not negotiable, because European security is now indivisible. The sooner we hammer that message home to Moscow, the quicker we will secure peace in Eastern Europe—and beyond.

Stephen Blank March 14, 2014

Stephen Blank is Senior Fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, D.C

Stephen Blank is Senior Fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council in Washington, D.C

The West must do everything possible to maintain the world order providing security for Europe along with Ukraine against Russian imperialistic aggression.

US stakes in Ukraine tied to location, location

US stakes in Ukraine tied to location, location

Associated Press
Wednesday February 26, 2014, 4:46 PM

WASHINGTON — Ukraine isn’t typically a U.S. foreign policy priority, experts say. President Barack Obama is more occupied with Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and more. His administration rejects the notion that the situation in Ukraine represents some kind of epic East vs. West power struggle.

Still, there are reasons why Americans should care about what’s happening there, starting with location, location, location.

1. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Sure, it would be nice for Ukraine to have a stable, democratic government simply because that’s a good thing, and no one wants to see more bloodshed. But the U.S. is more concerned about Ukraine because of its location, perched between Russia and the rest of Europe, where the U.S. has lots of friends. “The U.S. has an interest in a wider, stable, secure Europe,” says Steven Pifer, a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who’s now at the Brookings Institution. “If Ukraine goes into chaos, that’s likely to pull those European countries in — and we may get involved later on, too.

2. BIG QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MARCH OF DEMOCRACY. The overthrow of Kiev’s democratically elected (but corrupt and repressive) government by protesters seeking a more just Ukraine raises unsettling questions. “Ukraine doesn’t fit this ideal model of how democratic change progresses,” says Olga Oliker, associate director of RAND Corp.’s international security and defense policy center. “What does it mean to try to create more democratic systems in nondemocratic ways?”

3. LOOKING OUT FOR A FRIEND. Ukraine’s actually been a good friend to the U.S. since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. It was once home to the world’s third-largest nuclear weapons arsenal, and voluntarily surrendered the stockpile to Russia. It sent troops to help out in Iraq in 2003-05 and dispatched peacekeepers to Kosovo and Lebanon. It agreed to cancel a planned $45 million nuclear deal with Iran in 1992. “On a lot of foreign policy issues, they’ve been fairly helpful, and I would argue that that is one reason why we ought to care about what is going on,” Pifer says.

4. RUSSIA. The unrest in Ukraine could complicate U.S.-Russian relations. The Obama administration dismisses the idea of competing spheres of influence as wildly outmoded and deliberately has tried not to insert itself too deeply in the situation. But Russian President Vladimir Putin very much want,”s to tilt Ukraine his direction. “The U.S.-Russian relationship has been very combative lately and scratchy” says Andrew Weiss, a Clinton administration expert on Ukraine and Russia who’s now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Ukraine adds one more layer on top of the problems that already exist.”

5. PEOPLE. BUSINESS. MONEY. People: There’s obvious concern among the estimated 1 million to 1.5 million people of Ukrainian descent in the U.S., with large concentrations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Sacramento, Calif., and the New York City area. Business: Ukraine, an economic mess, is not a big U.S. trading partner. But there’s plenty of commercial potential in a country of 46 million people. Money: Ukraine is in dire need of billions of dollars in financial assistance. The main lender is likely to be the International Monetary Fund. But Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday the U.S. plans to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine and will consider additional direct assistance.
– See more at:

A democratic and Free Ukraine will influence the democratization of Russia- a Russia without Putin. The West needs a free and democratic Russia for economic development and for geopolitical balance towards China and global militant Islamism.

Ukraine: The Budapest Memorandum of 1994

Ukraine: The Budapest
Memorandum of 1994

The following is the text of the Memorandum on Security Assurances, known as the Budapest Memorandum,
in connection with Ukraine’s accession to the Treaty on
the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, signed Dec.
5, 1994.
The United States of America, the Russian Federa
tion, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland,
Welcoming the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty
on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-
nuclear-weapon State,
Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to
eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a
specified period of time,
Noting the changes in the world-wide security situ
ation, including the end of the Cold War, which have
brought about conditions for deep reductions in nuclear
Confirm the following:
1. The United States of America, the Russian Fed
eration, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to
Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE
[Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe]
Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty
and the existing borders of Ukraine.
2. The United States of America, the Russian Fed
eration, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland, reaffirm their obligation to refrain
from the threat or use of force against the territorial in
tegrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that
none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine
except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with
the Charter of the United Nations.
3. The United States of America, the Russian Fed
eration, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to
Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE

Budapest Accord Doesn’t Give Russia Right to Intervene in Ukraine But Kremlin May Think Otherwise, Illarionov Says
So Kremlin deceived the world for Ukraine to give up its Nuclear Arsenal with this agreement lest to break it at its conveniance.

United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership

We pray that The 1994 – Budapest Agreement Treaty will not be betrayed by the USA, United Kngdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with impeding aggression from Russia ala Georgia!!!!!!! The 20 Million Ukrainian Diaspora must act on behalf of Ukraine demanding th world leaders to keep their words once given.

February 23, 2014


The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and Great Britain are signatories of the 1994-Budapest Memorandum ensuring the territorial integrity, security, and sovereignty of Ukraine and security from economic coercion.

Russia has previously violated its obligations under this agreement with only deafening silence from the other signatory countries. Recent reports in the press have indicated that Russia intends to continue its economic and military coercion of Ukraine with the aim of splitting the country. It is time for the United States and the European Union to finally stand up and defend their own principles and fulfill the commitments they made to Ukraine. If they do not, the risk of overall conflagration in Europe is real, with not only regional but global instability resulting. If they do not, their credibility will vaporize, fueling even further dangers.

Towards this end, the following actions must be immediately taken by the US and the EU.

• Issue forthright public statements to Russia – without delay and without mincing words – that it must stop advocating violence against Ukraine or agitating for its division or separatism.

If such actions by Russia should continue in any form, then the United States and the EU must forthwith:

• The US must act upon its obligations under the “United States – Ukraine Charter On Strategic Partnership Agreement” of December 19, 2008 and the various Ukraine – NATO Cooperation agreements.

• Freeze Russia’s application to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

• Expel Russia from all G-8 conferences and other international economic forums.

• Bring punitive actions against Russia within the rules of World Trade Organization [WTO] for Russia’s repeated violations of WTO rules by its aggressive economic behavior towards Ukraine.

• The EU should intensify its scrutiny of Gazprom’s behavior in the European gas market and strongly pursue a pending antitrust complaint.

• Expand Magnitsky sanctions on Russian government officials and their assets in the US. The EU should also freeze Russian government officials’ assets and reject the pending Russian request for visa-free travel for holders of “official” passports.

• Use the forum of the United Nations to condemn any aggressive Russian behavior vis-à-vis Ukraine. If there are signs of military intervention by Russian forces in Ukraine, to immediately call upon the UN to send UN observers and/or a UN peacekeeping force to prevent and rollback any Russian military incursion into Ukraine.

Myroslaw Smorodsky, Esq.
Counsellor at Law
Communications Director of the Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA)
Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Governors of the UABA, Former Public Member of the United States Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) Madrid, 1980

Ukrainians all over the world must speak up for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, security and territorial integrity by having this Budapest Agreement adhered to 100%.