Via Ukraine, a broader struggle for influence
- Mr. Putin complains about the West moving unilaterally to reorder continental balance of power through promoting Western capitalism and democracy, depicted by it’s courting of Ukraine, a step too far, prompting Putin to risk sanctions and assert himself.
- “The future of Ukraine and the broader region, mainly Moldova and Georgia, although courted by Europe, will not be allowed by the West alone to decide“, asserted Russia & stressed that it can’t be treated as defeated in the Cold War for 23 yrs after 1991.
- Russia denounced this mentality & asserted that it is like separate sovereign nations of India and China.
- It is part of a wider tug-of-war as the West dominated since the fall of Soviet Union, drawing into Europe’s fold the former Eastern bloc nations like Poland and Bulgaria & ex-Soviet republics — Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — in the Baltics.
- The Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev believed NATO alliance will not extend beyond a reunited Germany. But were betrayed as NATO now includes the Baltics, reaching Russia’s borders.
- Mr. Putin views this as U.S. unilateralism in global affairs. In the Syria case, Mr. Putin outmanoeuvred Obama with a proposal to disarm President Al-Assad’s chemical weapons.
- Mr. Putin battled to prevent Mr. Yanukovych from signing accords with the EU, wielding a mix of threatened trade sanctions and the enticements of fiscal aid and economic tools, the same tools preferred & used by the West to conduct geopolitical combat in 21st century.
- Putin offered Ukraine $15 billion in credit with discounts on Russian natural gas, after protests broke out in Nov 2013, when the West tried to revive political & trade agreements.
- Ukraine Crisis
- Baltic Nations
- Soviet Union
- Cold War