The Ukrainian crisis in the context of Russian-American relations (security dimension)
Material posted: Publication date: 15-07-2014

In the past few months, the Ukrainian crisis is the main topic on the foreign policy agenda and widely discussed in all world media. The situation in Ukraine once again showed how diametrically opposite Russia and the U.S. look at the policy issues and security.

We cannot say that the events in Ukraine have opened something new frankly in views of the above two subjects of international relations, but in Ukraine, the split in foreign policy approaches and issues of ensuring regional security is seen most clearly.

In the last twenty-five years we were able to observe how juggling the principles of international law, and often neglected, decided the fate of entire peoples and States. In this vein, we can recall the events in Yugoslavia in 1999, when member States of NATO without authorization from the UN Security Council made a decision about bombing a sovereign state in order to "protect" human rights against the Yugoslav army. Later, the Saddam Hussein regime was accused of developing WMD and aiding al-Qaeda. And, despite the return of evidence the CIA and the US state Department [1, 2], the United States decided to send troops to Iraq, bypassing UNSC resolution.

Later still, we have seen the effects of the Arab spring and civil war in Libya, which actively intervened NATO, despite the fact that the nature of events in Libya was strictly political in nature and, finally, Syria, where only the intersection of the set of military-political interests stopped by regular intervention of the Alliance.

But Ukraine is different. After the collapse of the USSR the "new" Russia was convinced that for her now, better times will come associated with political democratization and liberalization of economic systems, and the issues of confrontation, which in the period of the Union was of strategic importance, are gone. In other words, the cold war ended.

The euphoria of freedom liberal-minded representatives of the Russian authorities in the early 1990s, totally reckless forced them to forget that national security and its interests are the Foundation of its existence. Despite the fact that the first Clinton administration actually set the priority in relations with Russia in the post-Soviet space, U.S. strategic interests in Central Asia, the Baltics and the Caucasus were formed during this period.

In August 1993 he was appointed special coordinator from the US for the settlement of conflicts in CIS (J. Collins), and the Department of state was formed by the corresponding unit [3]. In addition, States are beginning to take an interest in human rights and democratization in the Central Asian republics. So, in August 1992, Karimov criticized the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent for contacts with the political opposition and "tendentious" assessment of the internal political life of the country [4].

Such a revitalization of the U.S. in the post-Soviet space was connected with several reasons:

  • first, in the early 1990s was the revision of U.S. foreign policy strategy associated primarily with the collapse of the USSR. On the one hand, supporters of strengthening and developing the economic component of the United States by Yale Professor P. Kennedy argued that in the absence of a global confrontation is necessary to reduce military spending. Some members of neoisolationism (primarily P. Buchanan) went further and proposed to disband NATO because of the inappropriateness of the existence of this organization after the collapse of the USSR. On the other hand, were the supporters of strengthening of US hegemony, called for military-strategic strengthening of the state. So in the draft "defense policy Guidance", prepared in 1992 under the leadership of Secretary of defense Cheney and Deputy defense Minister P. Wolfowitz, said that important is to prevent the emergence of a new global and even regional competitor. Among the main means of achieving the objectives the authors defined, first of all, the strengthening of the military superiority and systems military / political alliances, and the use of methods of pre-emption by means of military force.
  • secondly, the US knew perfectly well that after the collapse of the USSR in Central Asia, Transcaucasia and Eastern Europe from the point of view of safety the vacuum, to fill which it was difficult to come up with a better time.

The question here was, in what format will the filling of the military-political space. The expansion of NATO to the East was popular in the NSC and the state Department, however, the Pentagon initially reacted to the idea with skepticism, fearing the alienation of Russia. In this way in the military, a programme of military cooperation "Partnership for peace", which was invited and Russia, whose actual participation in the case was a formal one. The program was developed with the aim of creating a platform for the republics of CEE in the system of military-political influence of the United States.Now back to Ukraine. Trends and developments in this country indicate that since the early 1990s and until today it is difficult to trace fundamental changes in Russian-American relations in the field of security.

Since the maturing of the crisis, Russia and the United States took a different view of the events taking place in Ukraine. In fact, Ukraine became the territory, which crossed both economic and military-political spheres of interests of Russia and the USA.In the times of tsarist Russia, during the existence of the USSR and after its collapse, Ukraine was important to Russia for a number of reasons. From the safety point of view the territory of Ukraine to Russia is one of the buffer zones in the West direction. Thus, the ongoing expansion of NATO to the East in the last twenty-five years have been an opportunity to weaken the military and political importance of Russia in the modern system of European security at the cost of its buffer zones. The inclusion of the Alliance in a number of countries that were part of the USSR or come into the sphere of its influence, and merely meant that modern Russia is deprived of its "security zone" security.

So, for example, occurred on a North-westerly direction, when the composition of NATO's expansion into the Baltic countries and where in recent years one can observe active development of the military infrastructure of NATO: since the construction of roads, communications and ending with the modernization of military airfields and ports [5].But the main goal of the United States still has not been achieved. At the time, Zbigniew Brzezinski rightly pointed out that "without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be Empire, with Ukraine, bought and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an Empire" [6].Phobias West are the place to be, because if Ukraine is in the Russian sphere of influence (fully or partially), then Moscow will actually retain the airbag in the South-West and heavily and more actively to influence the European security system, and this in plans of the USA and NATO is not included.

Destabilization of the political situation in Ukraine is hardly considered in the West from the perspective of the ideological and territorial division. To change the political regime more acceptable to the West in the Ukraine quietly failed.Obviously, the political condition and in the traditional administrative-territorial borders of Ukraine has no chances for full integration with either the EU or NATO, but it does not mean that the U.S. and the Alliance lost strategic interest to the territory, even without Crimea. Assurances that the Alliance Ukraine does not need have a place to be, but Russia ceased to believe these assurances and promises, because something similar has already heard in 1990-ies [7].

At the present stage the question is. Civil war in Ukraine showed an open dependency in the security of Europe from the United States and how much is Europe willing to tolerate this state of Affairs is not entirely clear. The introduction of political and economic sanctions the US and EU (under U.S. pressure) that were in many respects absurd, were actually directed against the Western allies: the US President rating fell below 41%, the European society is not quite neither sanctions against Russia nor blatant support of Nazis in Ukraine, American and European businesses have publicly opposed sanctions against Russia [8].

In addition, regular exposure of German intelligence agent, the CIA poured oil on the fire and ended with the expulsion of an American resident of Berlin, which was unprecedented.In this context it is important to understand that the U.S. never learned to talk with other States on equal terms, ignoring the principles of international law, putting its own interests above all else and trying to prove their "uniqueness" and "greatness", though we would support the Nazis in Ukraine or the genocide of the population. This means that global and regional security in its modern state is not secure for every individual subject of international relations.

A list of sources and references

  1. Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction,
  2. A Question of Trust. Time,
  3. U.S. policy in Central Asia: realities and prospects,
  4. Trankov A. A. Relations between Uzbekistan and the USA // Uzbekistan: the acquisition of a new image: in 2 T. M., 1998. Vol. 2. 226 S. M. V. bratersky USA and the distressed countries in Asia: rationale, policy development and implementation in 1990-2005 M.: Moscow public science Foundation, the claim of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 2005. P. 179.
  5. Military analysts: NATO creates a foothold near the borders of the Baltic States and the Russian Federation,
  6. "Battle for love" Ukraine is not over,
  7. NATO: Ukraine does not need us ,
  8. Media: Americans no longer believe in the promises of Obama


Tags: assessment , Russia , USA , Ukraina