Why the West is Responsible for Russia-Ukraine Conundrum

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Muhammad Sharif Otho
It is mind boggling that a statesman who eagerly asked for NATO membership has become its arch-rival ; Putin , when came in power , had asked for NATO membership; so did Gorbachev when the Soviet Union was disbanded. Moreover , Putin was quick to contact Bush after 9/11 happened offering him troops and access to Central Asian countries for any counter terrorism campaign. It further raises eyebrows to see Russian attitude and the aggresive response from West ; from 1992 to 2007 – Kremlin remained Pacific , was responded by West – led by US – with Bombing of Yugoslavia , Recognition of kosovo , two estward tranches of NATO , contineous arming of the Russian Neighbours and diplomatic isolation. West’s policy of bringing Ukraine into its sphere of influence was the last nail in the coffin. The bear has been pushed and terrified so much so that it has become fierce and desperte , and the culprit for the ongoing catastrophe is not Putin but the West . The conventional wisdom in the West and liberal world is that Putin is aggressive and bent upon rebuilding the Soviet Union. Henry Clinton even compared him with Hitler.The advocates of this claim give Crimean annexation and Ukraine invasion as the evidence for Moscow’s desire to march eastward. This is a false claim. Why? Because Russia is a ” super power in decline” seeing its economy and other factors and cant march eastward even if it wishes to. Second , it is a lesson from Afghanistan , Iraq and other invasions of the century that an imperial power can not oppress the power of nationalism for long and is bound to flee. Third , the Kremlin has only been responsive in her actions , particularly after the Bucharest Summit of NATO in 2008 where they proclaimed that Ukraine would soon become part of NATO , it was further confirmed by the coup against President Viktor Yanokovych which made Moscow even more insecure. Russia couldnt let the strategically important port of Sevastapol in Black Sea to become a NATO Naval base – additionally, the 2013 Bill passed in Ukraine limited autonomy and suppressed longuistic freedom of Russian Speaking Ukrainians paving way for involvement of Russia into crimea .After annexation of crimea , there was a breif pause in hostilites between Russia and the West untill Trump Adminstration started militarizng Ukraine and Bombing Siberia through Ulraine and Georgia. This can be understood by an assumption that, if Russia or China gets into military alliance with Mexico or Canada , would it not anger the West? The Cuban missile Crisis is the practical epitome of the assumption. US has Monroe doctrine which says that no eastern Nation can form a military alliance with any state in the western Hemisphere. Hence, it is not Russia which marched to the West rather the West which walked to the doors of the Kremlin , hence a response was obvious. It is also held that the rule no.1 of the book of war is never invade Moscow. In a mess created by the Liberal Hegemon – The US and its allies , their solutions also seem unrealistic at this point of time. Dialogues would hardly work since there is no trust left. There have been dialogues since the fall of the Soviet Union but everytime , the Kremlin has felt deceived . Secretary of State of the USA , Mr Baker promised that Nato would not expand an inch, promises were repeated after each expansion in 1999 and 2004 , vows were made at Minsk 1 and 2 but went unimplemented . They neither provided security assurance to Russia , nor they protected the rights of the minority groups in Ukraine. Ukraine’s absurd forign policy supported by the US and built upon libral morals deprived of realpolitik made matters worse. Zelensky was right when he said NATO would not come for his help. It is very obvious because Russia is not a pure competitor for the US and Washington would not let the Bear befriend the Dragon. Therefore, Dialogue or NATO’s help for Ukraine is a distant reality. The pertinent way forward is to use Ukraine as a buffer between Russia and the West which was there before 2014 . Furthermore, NATOs eastward march has no justification and should cease. Lastly , the enthic groups should be given freedom to practice their own culture and use their own language. This has been repeated in dialogues at Minsk . It is high time that the West must embrace realities and responsibilities of the crisis created by its Liberal hegemonic ambitions. It has to learn that Liberalism abroad is Illiberalism .

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