| by Victor Cherubim
( March 4, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) The situation after the Parliament in Ukraine with unanimous Opposition support ousted President Viktor Yanukovych on 22 February 2014 in Kiev (Kyiv), the new Interim Government was overwhelmingly confronted with challenges to its authority.
“The concerns over the role of nationalist and rightist elements in government, an economic crisis and the threat of separation in East, including the pro Russian forces occupying Government buildings and the two main airports in Crimea, is leading Kiev to accuse Russia of armed invasion.” This is according to Crisis Watch, in its Monthly Conflict Situation Report 1 March 2014,”
Crisis Watch further warns authorities in Kiev and Crimea to urgently need to tone down rhetoric and all sides including Russia need to avoid provocative action to prevent further escalation.
On the other side, some observers maintain from Kabul to Kiev meddling by the U.S. and a policy to isolate Russia ahead of the G8 Sochi Summit in June 2014, is wreaking havoc. It is threatening to isolate Russia economically.
Volatility of markets
Whilst all this sabre rattling goes on, interest rates in Russia has been raised from 5 to 7.5 % today. Russia is growing weary of Ukraine’s political instability. Ukraine has a $30 billion debt burden and could default, if either the Russians or the West pull the plug. Gasprom, Russian gas to Europe through Ukraine, is under threat. Ukraine imports 3/4th of its oil and natural gas usage and all of its nuclear fuel from Russia.
The US and NATO also have the threat of economic sanctions against Russia. There are a number of wild cards looming? Shuttle diplomacy or diplomatic shuffle is the name of the game taking place.
Crimea’s pro Russian Government announced, that it had taken control of all security forces and appealed to Russia to ensure stability. Russian Border Guards, we are reliably informed are on standby, but have yet to be supplied with ammunition. Ukraine too has been cautioned to exercise caution. Besides, Ukraine is a critical conduit for Russia as well as for the West.
Why this Gear Change in US/Russia policy?
The Cold War ended many years ago. The West elevated Russia to G8 Status. On 28 February 2014, U.S. opened a new military base in Romania’s Black Sea, to transfer nearly 20 -30,000 U.S, troop withdrawals from Afghanistan to be stationed here. President Putin agreed on Sunday March 1,’14 with German Chancellor Merkel,”to form a fact finding mission to calm tensions with the Ukrainians.” Rep. Mike Rogers, Chairman, US. House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News: “I think Putin is playing chess, and I think we’re playing marbles, it’s not even close.”
It’s all about the inviolability of borders. International law or the breach of international law is the latest crime. There is a chess game being played. It could take months, if not years. It certainly is no marbles.