|The Associated Press|
Only two hours after Russian President Vladmir Putin requested permission from the Russian Parliament to take military action if needed to secure and protect Russian interests in the “territory of Ukraine,” the Parliament granted him such permission in a unanimous decision on Saturday March 1, 2014.
In his formal request to Parliament, Putin stated “I’m submitting a request for using the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine pending the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country.”
Putin argued that the “extraordinary situation” in Ukraine was putting the lives of Russian citizens and military personnel at risk. Putin was referring to those individuals who are stationed at the Russian naval base in the Crimean peninsula that has been in operation since the early 1990s.
Although the decision itself was a major one with wide-ranging implications for the future state of Ukraine, Russia, and the rest of the world, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin attempted to lighten the concern held by many over the Parliamentary decision. Karasin stated that the recent decision does not mean that Russia is currently or immediately planning to send any additional troops to Ukraine. Karasin stated that “There is no talk about it yet.”
Vladmir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, spoke to Russian television station Rossiya 24 where he stated that “while the president ‘got the entire arsenal of means necessary for settling this situation,’ he hadn’t yet decided whether to use the Russian military in Ukraine or recall the ambassador from Washington.”
Peskov also stated “He will make these decisions depending on how the situation will develop. We would like to hope that the situation will not develop along the scenario it’s developing now — that is inciting tensions and making a threat for the Russians on the Crimean Peninsula.”
It is important to point out that the terminology of the resolution includes the phrase “territory of Ukraine,” leaving open the possibility of Russia’s insertion of troops beyond even the extremely pro-Russian Crimea. Much of the Eastern portion of Ukraine is also decidedly pro-Russian.
On the international stage, however, Putin’s recent request and the Russian Parliament’s granting of that request has caused a stir to say the least. The Russian decision comes only day after U.S. President Barack Obama warned that “there will be costs” if Russia takes military action in the Ukraine.
These statements were addressed by members of the Russian Parliament as the discussion over whether or not to grant Putin’s request. In fact, in an ironic turn echoing the Syrian crisis, a deputy house speaker stated that Obama had “crossed a red line” and stated that the upper house recommended that the Russian Ambassador to the United States be recalled.
In addition to the approval of the request to use military force, Russia is also pressuring the recent –foreign-backed Ukranian government from a different direction. State gas company Gazprom recently released a statement announcing that Ukraine owes $1.59 billion in past due bills for gas imported into the country. Sergei Kuprianov, the Gazprom Spokesman, stated that the unpaid bills would endanger a discount program given to Ukraine by Russia. The discount had lowered the price of gas from around $400 to about $268.50. The loss of such a discount will no doubt cause Ukraine’s poor financial situation to become even worse, particularly if it is successful in securing loans from the IMF and all of the austerity requirements that will inevitably come along with it.
To anyone who has a passing knowledge of the nature of color revolutions and destabilization efforts in years past, the recent protests in Ukraine were an obvious example of foreign meddling in the domestic affairs of yet another Eastern European nation.
Still, from the initial spates of violence coming largely from the direction of the protesters to the pro-EU and pro-IMF demands, it was clear from the very beginning that the Ukrainian people were being callously pulled back and forth between two world powers indifferent to any interests but their own.
These powers, the United States and Russia, have been covertly jockeying for more and more control over Ukraine, a strategic location for both countries, for the last several years. Yet, as the United States’ power and influence begins to wane and Russia’s begins to increase on the world stage, the risk of both powers clashing over Ukraine in a direct fashion becomes a bigger possibility by the day.
While tensions between the United States and Russia have escalated over the last three years due to the Syrian crisis, Ukraine is more than a simple sphere-of-influence region for Russia. It is a sphere-of-influence region that borders the homeland. For this reason alone, the level of importance attributed to Ukraine by Russia is obviously higher than that of Syria in the long run.
Interestingly enough, it is for this same reason that the United States considers Ukraine such a vital sphere-of-influence nation as well. That is, the fact that Ukraine lies on the doorstep of Russia.
Although the reasons for considering Ukraine an extremely important part of the world by both the United States and Russia cannot simply be boiled down to that of a border issue, the fact remains that the potential for a direct collision between two world nuclear powers is a possibility if the meddling continues. It is time for the American people and the rest of the world to stand up and demand that the meddling in the affairs of other end immediately.
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Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 275 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.