President Obama made an official state visit to India this weekend and while there he spoke to reporters about the current situation in the Ukraine and the position of the United States regarding Russia, stating that any military options would not be considered.
As the cease fire between Ukrainian separatists an the Ukrainian government breaks down, President Obama laid the blame squarely at the feet of Russia and made his feelings towards the nation clear in his official statement. “We are deeply concerned about the latest break in the ceasefire with Russia”. President Obama also went on to say at the news conference in New Delhi, India that “it would not be effective to engage in a military conflict with Russia”.
President Obama also went on to use the usual American rhetoric to paint Russia as a bully while, ironically, also defending many of the actions of the United States, including the use of drones against groups such as al quaeda in Yemen and other actions that have been a cause of tension between the United States and parts of the international community. Such actions have created a rift between the US and caused many nations to see the United States as a bully as well.
In defense of the President’s position, he stated, “We have no interest in seeing Russia weakened or its economy in shambles. We have a profound interest, as I believe every country does, in promoting a core principle, which is: Large countries don’t bully smaller countries.”
The conflict in the Ukraine lies mainly with a portion of the nation controlled by the Donetsk People’s Republic who wish to separate from the Ukraine and return their former homeland ties with Russia. The area has an extremely strong historical and cultural connection that was forged long before the nations split following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Crimean region, arguably the center point of much of the tension between Russia and the Ukraine, has, while changing hands many times throughout the centuries, been a part of Russia since the late 18th century, and the Ukraine has a sizable Russian minority. Because those seeking independence from the Ukraine are strongly pro-Russian, Russia to has stake in the conflict and has openly supported the separatist move, something that has angered the United States and others.
The Ukrainian conflict first began in the spring of last year and has resulted in thousands of lives lost, yet the question remains how can a nation that once was itself considered a rebellion, deny the right of self determination to others.