The Ukraine crisis divides the geopolitical chessboard





The threat of an invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Army has divided into two blocks the worldwith the United States and its usual allies defending Kiev and Moscow capturing the backing of some of the former republics of the Soviet Union and from China.

There are nations that find themselves in a peculiar situation, such as Hungary, a member of the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance and which has good relations with Russia. “This does not mean that it will translate into military support, but it does mean a certain trojan horse paper against NATO or against the European Union”, José Ángel López, professor of International Law and International Relations at the Comillas Pontifical University, stresses to RTVE.es.

At the same time, a significant number of countries have opted for not to speak out because they did not need to do so and they have placed themselves in profile waiting to see how the crisis evolves.

Explicit and tacit support for Russia

Russia’s most faithful ally at the moment is Belarus, which is part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the post-Soviet military alliance led by Moscow, to which Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan also belong. Belarus shares border with Ukraine. “In the case of Belarus there is also a treaty of union between the two republics dating back to 1999 that includes military support,” explains López.

Moscow also has a bilateral military agreement with Armenia outside the organization.

The United States will send additional troops to Eastern Europe

For the main researcher for Security and Defense at the Elcano Royal Institute, Félix Arteaga, Moscow “does not need direct participation from these countries because it has military diplomatic and economic capacity to make decisions on your own.” “Russia acts outside the organization (CSTO). It has not even needed to mobilize it to summon them in defense of what they consider to be a Ukrainian and NATO aggression towards Russian borders”, he asserts.

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Another of Russia’s support that is not explicit, but that “can be deduced”, according to López, is that of China, which has said that it wants all the parties involved in the Ukraine crisis avoid stress build-upbut has warned that Russia’s security concerns must be “taken seriously”.

“The great support of China is an important support because it is the one that supports Russia in the UN Security Council in its hostile policy towards the West”, details Arteaga. “It is a support, not only in this conflict, but they are fellow travelers in this adventure against western stability“, Add.

USA and NATO: the majority, on the side of Ukraine

The United States and its allies have become the main supporters of Ukraine under the threat of an invasion by Russian troops. According to Arteaga, “Ukraine has found itself in the middle of a confrontation between the United States and Russia and, therefore, the United States has found an opportunity in Ukraine in the US assistance to Russia.

US President Joe Biden this week approved the deployment of nearly 3,000 soldiers to Eastern Europe to “defend your allies”. For the professor of International Relations at the European University of Valencia, Frédéric Mertens de Wilmars, this deployment is “a message to Russia to say: ‘We we will not lower our guard‘”. “It is like a classic game when we are in moments of diplomatic tensions that can have military incidences, but it is enough that there is an incident to move from the verbal or diplomatic escalation to one with military consequences”, he explains to RTVE.es.

The US refuses to give in to Russia with NATO but opts for diplomacy to resolve the crisis in Ukraine

The European Union has announced economic aid to Ukraine and threatens to respond with sanctions against Russia in the event of an invasion. However, cracks may appear in the EU’s position. “On the need to support Ukraine and reject Russian coercion there is unanimity. the hard part is later translate that unanimity into certain decisions”, says Arteaga, who highlights that “it is something that Russia is also trying to play with”.

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Germany has expressed its support for Kiev, but will not provide you with weapons. The Government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz has suspended the Russian state channel broadcast RT in the country, an action to which the Russian authorities have responded banning the broadcast of the german chain german wave.

“It is one of the States that is most at stake in this crisis. It has a dependency on gas supply from almost 50% of its needs that come from Russia”explains José Ángel López. “If Russia uses the energy resource, as it has done in other cases, Germany could have a serious supply problem or brutal increase in price of gas”, he stresses.

For his part, López stresses that France has “notable interests in ensuring that a conflict with Russia over Ukraine does not detonate.” In this sense, in recent days, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, has held two telephone conversations with Putin with the aim of reducing tensions.

The Trojan horse and the “endearing enemy”

Most Eastern European countries have supported the military deployment of the Atlantic Alliance in the Black Sea region, but Hungary, which belongs to the European Union and NATO and has good relations with Russia, He has threatened to stay out of it.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán met with Putin in Moscow on Tuesday to strengthen bilateral relations. For López, these good ties “do not mean that they will translate into military support for Russia.” “But yes in certain media support, certain role of Trojan horse against NATO or against the European Union”, he details.

For its part, Turkey -also a member of the Atlantic Alliance- is in a peculiar situation. “Turkey is Russia’s endearing enemy, because they always have very complex diplomatic relations. They are two important regional powers and there are with some frequency diplomatic-type friction over aircraft raids in Turkish airspace, Russian planes…”, explains the professor of International Law and International Relations at Comillas Pontifical University, who adds that “Turkey’s membership in NATO could give rise to an unsuspected derivative in the event that there were a conflict”.

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In this sense, Félix Arteaga affirms that Turkey “is among the possible candidates to break the unit”. “As long as the situation allows him to live in the equidistance, he will be able to continue playing these bands, but when the time comes will have to make a decision“, Add.

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, offered this Thursday, after meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, to mediate between Russia and Ukraine and has proposed his country as the venue for possible negotiations.

Countries that are profiled

Several countries, both from the European Union and NATO they have not clearly positioned themselves in the crisis of Ukraine neither on one side nor the other, as is the case of Italy, which has “notable interests,” according to López. “It is obvious that I would not support a Russian aggression against Ukraine, but is a little profile“, Explain.

Italy has stated that it would fulfill its commitments to NATO in the Ukraine crisis, but has underlined the need for a peaceful solution.

Some Nordic states, despite being relatively close to the conflict zone, have not taken a direct position until now, such as Sweden. “Nobody wants to be pictured as a potential enemy of Russia and they are at the expectation of what might happenLopez adds.


www.rtve.es

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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