Updates on the Situation in Ukraine


Eric Thorndyke, Writer

Yesterday, the White House released a statement that read, in part, “if any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that’s a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our Allies.” The clarification came after President Biden slipped up in his words, which caused a stir among diplomats and NATO allies.

The mess comes after Biden, on Wednesday, implied a “minor incursion” may not warrant a tough response. He later walked back the comments made at the news conference, saying, “I have been absolutely clear with President (Vladimir) Putin, he has no misunderstanding. If any, any assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border that is an invasion.” He continued, warning that any incursion would lead to a “severe and coordinated response, economic response, as discussed in details with our allies, as laid out very clearly with President Putin.”

The standoff is a result of Russian concerns over Ukraine’s NATO membership. Russian officials say that the defensive military pact’s expansion closer to Russia’s borders has degraded Russia’s security. To put an end to the military buildup around Ukraine, Russia demands that the country be denied entry into the organization, and that Russia be granted a veto over any future membership. As Russia is not a NATO member, it’s unlikely to get its wish.

The conflict of interest has also shown how capable NATO allies are of sticking together. If Russia knew it could get off easily for an invasion, it would have done it already. Additionally, Russian aggression in Europe has created a conversation around ever-closer military ties as a means of defense. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are former members of the USSR, but have since joined NATO and the EU. This week, they announced that they are sending anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to Ukraine. It’s also prompted discussion regarding the creation of a 5,000 troop rapid deployment force for the EU. The EU’s foreign policy chief put it nicely in saying, “Russia wanted to divide us. They failed.”


Associated Press

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Deutsche Welle