David Kramer, the Bush Institute’s Managing Director, Global Policy, explains what’s happening on the Ukrainian-Russian border and why it matters to the United States and the world.
With the buildup of Russian military forces along the border of Ukraine, we are facing a major crisis when it comes to European security. But also a major threat to principles that Europe, the United States, and the NATO Alliance have held dear – and to which Russia itself has signed up to – which is the right of countries to choose their own future, to choose whether they want to join NATO or not. What we see now unfolding is a threat coming from Moscow, from Vladimir Putin, who despite saying he won’t invade Ukraine is in fact threatening to do [so].
It would be the second time he would invade the country, having done so in 2014, and if he were to do so, it would be the second time in which one country has forcibly changed the borders of another in Europe since World War II. Of course, Europe is the stage from which both world wars were launched in the last century, and the last thing I think anyone wants to see is greater instability and the possibility of a wider conflict erupting in in the European continent, particularly between Russia and Ukraine.
This is a matter of great importance to Europeans. It’s also a matter of great importance to Americans, as well. After all, Mr. Putin does pose a serious threat to us, to our way of living, and to democratic societies. He has hacked into our elections, interfered in our democratic processes, launched cyberattacks, and has posed threats to our allies and friends whether they’re in NATO or not. So it’s important that the United States stay engaged and get more involved, not to engage in a war with Russia – no one wants that – but to try to prevent one and to not see Ukraine become the victim of Mr. Putin once again.