The arrival of John Kerry as U.S. Secretary of state in the world stage marks a hopeful sign that US would remain in Europe and deal with Russia together with European allies and that Obama administration is prepared to revisit familiar, if intractable, problems.
Kerry´s predecessor, Hillary Clinton, made her maiden voyage as secretary of state to Japan, China, Indonesia, and South Korea, underlining the Obama administration´s intended pivot to Asia, where America´s greaterst challenges and opportunities were widely believed to lie. Where China is going politically in the world order is a key question, but we don’t yet know the answer to that. There is no guarantee that one gets, a strong sustainable diplomatic relationship in trade and investment with China unless we see further reform, opening up of the market, particularly in financial services and services in general [and] further progress on the rule of law.
At first stop of Kerry´s first foreign trip in London 2013 followed by the ritual invocation “the special relationship” between the US and UK, and a joint declaration of intent on Middle East peace, Iran nuclear challenge, Syria, and the familiar challenge to maintain solidarity between the west and its Gulf allies.
The London visit had also a familiar 20th-century feel, reflecting the enduring hold of old alliances and areas of vital US interests, such as the Iranian nuclear programme challenge and to take a more activist stance on Syria.
Washington has found it impossible to extricate itself from the Middle East, and that in turn has reminded Washington of its dependence on tradition allies, the UK foremost, in the bid to prevail on the world stage. For a British foreign secretary, at the time William Hague, who had bet heavily on Kerry, there was no higher policy goal for the UK and Europe than staying close with Washington. Ukraine events in 2014 and Russia, however, complicated this overarching global strategy, and the old neighbourhoods in Europe have proved hard to escape.
To be sure, there are issues on which the interests of the United States and the West, on the one hand, and Russia, on the other, coincide. These include preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear arms, avoiding a return of the Taliban or chaos in Afghanistan, the broader counterterrorism struggle, and controlling nuclear weapons and materials. But these interests should not outweigh the West’s interest in blocking Russian aggression that poses a threat not just to Ukraine, but also to the security of broader Europe and the transatlantic community.
The big challenge now lay in what to do with this immensely destructive Russian power, which seem eminently capable of exceeding any reasonable political boundaries. Russia now appears to be sending in “volunteers” to train a separatist army that could ultimately go on the offensive. Of course, from Ukraine’s perspective, a one-on-one military confrontation with Russia is not a viable option and we need a strategy. We are clearly reaching a point when further diplomatic efforts will be fruitless unless credibly backed up by further action.
Last year, when separatist forces in the Donbas region appeared to be crumbling under the weight of Ukraine’s counter-offensive, it seemed possible that Ukraine would be able to reassert its sovereignty over the area. But the Kremlin quickly deployed battalion-size tactical groups from the Russian army to support the rebels. Ukraine’s relatively weak forces did not stand a chance.
The American leadership is indispensable in Europe and Putin does not take seriously ministrations by European leaders. The US, Russia´s equal from cold war days, is the only diplomatic interlocutor Moscow takes seriously. European leaders and allies also expect deeper US engagement. When Nato expanded, encompassing the Baltic states and other countries in 2008, Nato declared that Ukraine and Georgia will become members. ‘wen Georgia tested that commitment in 2008, Putin struck back, sending troops into Georgian territory. The lessons Putin learnt then might go some way to explaining what he has done in Ukraine. The alliance has promised to protect certain countries, notably Poland and the tree Baltic republics, but it has not such obligation to Ukraine. Yet, Ukraine deserve and need more help to improve its defensive capabilities.
Recently, a year ago the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, when support for the Ukrainian´s European Association turned into fight for human dignity. The West has found itself on the right side of history in Ukraine. The many visit of President Obama to Europe and request of Vice President Biden to de-escalate the situation, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Secretary of State Kerry’s strong statements, and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs won the hearts of many Ukrainians for the West.
The most important outcome of the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine is that Ukrainians are not afraid of the oppressing regime any more, and are taking responsibility for their country into their own hands. The adolescent expectation that a new leader will come and produce a miracle is replaced by the sober knowledge that no one but Ukrainians can build Ukraine as they want it to be.
Ukraine must be allowed to follow the path chosen democratically by its citizens. U.S and its European partners should support Ukrainians efforts. Defending Ukraine improving the prospects for stability, peace and democratic futures for millions of others in Russia´s neighborhood. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others are clearly right when they say that there is no purely military solution to the conflict in Ukraine. But, as Russia continues on its path violations of the Minsk I ceasefire and self-destruction in Ukraine. we are reaching a point when further diplomatic efforts will be fruitless unless credibly backed up by further action.
Today, the developments in and around Ukraine are seen to constitute a threat to neighboring Allied countries and having direct and serious implications for the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic area. The second ceasefire struck in Minsk last week was at best the end of the begining. People are still dying. Strong defence and deterrence have ensured peace and stability in Europe for almost 70 years. The political, economic and military bonds between Europe and North America remain as important as ever in the defence of our common values shared by the United States and Europe.
Years of mutually beneficial progress that brought 140 million Russians into the orbit of global economic governance are now in doubt. Businesses without political protection will see atrophied sales, no access to finance and an indefinite postponement of investment. Those enterprises that put the greatest store on Russia’s integration with the European Union, many of them Swedish and other companies the United States, are being hit hardest.
Today, all nations, including Russia, depend on a rules-based international system. For those rules to remain credible there must be costs attached to breaking international agreements. After the Soviet empire collapsed, the hope was to have a Europe whole and free and for Russia to be a part of it. President George HW Bush sought to avoid Russia a repetition of Germany´s humiliation after the first world war. President Bill Clinton continued in the same vein. The Nato-Russia founding act, negotiated when Robert Hunter was US ambassador to Nato, accepted limits on force deployments to central Europe.
Expectedly, the loudest voices concernig Rassia-Ukraine crisis have been raised by the Baltic states, (and other member stats see thier own history being repeated, such as Prague Spring in 1968) with Estonia calling upon the other Baltie states to increise thier defence spending. If the United States and NATO do not adequately support Ukraine, Moscow may well conclude that the kinds of tactics it has employed over the past year can be applied elsewhere. Of particular concern would be Russian actions to destabilize Estonia or Latvia, each of which has a significant ethnic Russian minority and both of which are NATO members to whom the United States and allies have an Article 5 commitment. The Kremlin has already demonstrated aggressive intent in the Baltics by kidnapping an Estonian security official the day the NATO Wales summit ended. In recent months, Russia has crossed into Sweden’s maritime territory and its airspace. Sweden and Russia border the Baltic Sea.
Today, we are united with Ukraine. Former Swedish Foreign minister Carl Bildt – strongly suggest that It is time to consider which actions powers like the US and Europe could take to improve Ukraine’s defensive capabilities. Such strategy cannot be ignored. Because it deals with an event posing the greatest challenge to the international system and its key units. Also new report, authored by eight former senior U.S. diplomatic and military officials, urges the United States and NATO to bolster Ukraine’s defense. The report, says “The United States and NATO should seek to create a situation in which the Kremlin considers the option of further military action in or against Ukraine too costly to pursue. The combination of closing off that option plus the cumulative impact of Western economic sanctions could produce conditions in which Moscow decides to negotiate a genuine settlement that allows Ukraine to reestablish full sovereignty over Donetsk and Luhansk.”
America and Europe have done extraordinary things together before. Then, as now,what is at stake now are the core values of “democracy, the rule of law, freedom of religion and speech and human rights,” those “shared values”. After 1991 and the fall of the Soviet Union, these nations, particularly the Europe-facing border states of Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova have established themselves as independent states, with entrenched democratic institutions. Their independence can only be preserved by counterpressure against Russia. We must not stop increasing sanctions nor withhold military support for these states, even if EU diplomacy and political dialogue should always be the essential tool to reach peace and security in the region.
Speaking to reporters today in London, with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Kerry said he expected that the United States and its European allies would impose some “very serious” sanctions and other steps to punish Moscow after repeated cease-fire violations by Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists. And I am confident that the United States and the United Kingdom and others are prepared to stand up and take the measures necessary to add to the cost of these Russian actions.
Never before have the EU and the U.S collaborated on such global issues, not only related to EU-US bilateral economic TTIP agenda, but about sanctions against Russia, combating violent extremism both at home and abroad, seeking to limit Iran´s nuclear program, and responding to Ebola, dealing with numerous refugee crises and many other crises. Ever since President John Kennedy, the United States has been a supporter of European integration. A strong US conviction that a united Europe can be a strong partner of the united states in the world stage.
NATO was created to counter fears of Soviet expansion– and to United States and Great Britain at that moment to prevent yet another war in Europe. Indeed, NATO was the first peacetime military alliance forming a European-American alliance (The grand Alliance). In the worlds of Winston Churchill, “The safety of the world requires a new unity in Europe, from which no nation should be permanently outcast”.
The correct response to Putin´s seizure of Crimea, his attempt to destabilise all of Ukraine his intimidation of other countries on Russia´s periphery and the huge increase in Russian defence spending is to establish Nato permanent bases in Poland and to challenge the European members of the alliance to meet the agreed norm for defence spending of 2 per cent of GDB. And if we are to have a robust political relationship between our own neighbours and us then it is In the EU’s own interests to develop peace, stability and prosperity defined by partnership and ideological suasion. In a globalised, interconnected world, the EU has a vital interest in building strong partnerships with its neighbours and special relationship with U.S. Ukraine would benefit from wester co-operation, but its status would not be finalised until an effort had been made to create a constructive place for Russia within the European security system.
The Special Relationship – a phrase famously coined by Churchill in his Iron Curtain speech 69 years ago in march 5, 2015. The United States and the United Kingdom are evoking the spirit of that mission. The ‘special relationship’ was the key to Britain’s continued status and role as a world power, and American military commitment to Europe was the linchpin of a viable defence against the perceived Soviet menace. The two nations continue to stand shoulder to shoulder in the face of emerging threats, including ISIL and resurgent Russian aggression, threatening new allies in Europe, so NATO’s reassurance role is still vital.