West Looks Divided in Tackling Russian Invasion In Ukraine

By @diplomatist10 on
Ukrainian army tanks move past a checkpoint as they patrol the area near eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve
Ukrainian army tanks move past a checkpoint as they patrol the area near eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltseve, Aug. 3, 2014. Reuters

Even as the UN Security Council is holding an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the reported entry of Russian troops in Ukraine, the immediate reactions from the West points to an absence of a concerted approach.

Currently, Britain is holding the presidency of the Security Council. According to British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, Russia has to explain why it has its troops inside Ukraine, reported AsiaOne.

The Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, confirmed that Russian troops entered his country and is helping separatists. The Russian troops took over the border town of Novoazovsk.

Ukraine Seeks Support

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine said, it needed serious support from its international partners to sharpen EU sanctions against Russia and also to access military and technical support to deter the Russian aggression.

NATO thinks that thousands of Russian troops are on the ground, supporting the pro-Russia separatists. NATO also released satellite images supporting its contention, showing the movement of Russian armoured vehicles and artillery into Ukraine.

Western Reaction

Western leaders reacted sharply to the movement of Russian troops into Ukraine. In general, they all warned Russian president Vladimir Putin of consequences, but a synergy for deterrence was missing.  Some of the leading reactions are here, as reported in The .Guardian,

Ukraine President Poroshenko: It is an act of invasion by Russia. The meeting of Ukraine's National Security Council will discuss the situation in Donetsk region where Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo areas under invasion.  But Ukrainians need not panic as the situation in the east is controllable though difficult.

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor: The EU would discuss sanctions at a summit this weekend about the fresh incursion and funnelling of troops and hardware into Ukraine.  We have made clear that any further escalation will invite more sanctions on Russia.

US State Department:  According to the spokeswoman Jen Psaki, the US would force more sanctions and use it as the most effective tool.  A military solution is not the appropriate approach. The US will use every tool to reach a solution through diplomatic channels.

David Cameron, UK:  Russia should not think that there will be no consequences. The mounting evidence of Russian troops making large-scale incursions into south-eastern Ukraine, disregarding the sovereignty of a neighbor, is deplorable.

Join the Discussion