Dr. Ruth Deyermond
Lecturer & Co-Convener of Russian & Eurasian Security Research Group at King’s College London
Emphasizing on the severity and ever wider geo-political implications of this situation, Dr. Ruth Deyermond pointed out that one of the causes to the contemporary Ukrainian crisis laid in the history of Ukraine itself. She explained, before the demise of Soviet Union, its neighboring satellite states, especially Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia as well as Azerbaijan were not built upon their populations’ will. Rather it was the decisions of the Soviet leaders. One example to this, she added, was Nikita Khrushchev, former Soviet leader, who himself was a Ukrainian and thus gifted Crimea as a present to Ukraine. This is one of the reasons why this legacy of joining back into present Russia still stands among the people of these neighboring countries, and Ukraine is no different. She also said that Russia was already worried about the United States, EU and United Nations by-passing the laws laid down, for example, in the case of Iraq War as well as Kosovo Conflict. Hence, Putin felt necessary to reestablish Russia’s authority when it came to Ukrainian crisis to avoid such by-passing again. Moving on, Dr. Deyermond added that, “Although it’s a domestic crisis, originally is also a crisis that is produced by tensions between Russia & the US, and tensions between Russia & the EU. This means any solutions to the crisis is absolutely dependent upon Russia, the US and the EU being involved”, she said.In addition to what Mr. Shahnawaz said earlier about Crimea’s geo-strategic importance, Dr. Deyermond added “Crimea is the home of the Black Sea fleet, which was one of the major arms of the Soviet Navy and continuing to be one of the major arms of Russian Navy. This is important for Russia because it means in effect that Russia has control of the very large section of the Black Sea, and because of the way Crimea sticks out in the Black Sea, it makes the entire Ukrainian coast vulnerable to Russia.”Towards the end of her statement, Dr. Deyermond said that United States recognizes it has to work together with Russia in order to solve this conflict and vice versa. But problem is, she says “Everybody outside Ukraine wants to resolve this, the problem is the actors inside who are less responsive to this as there are some really extremists people on both sides.” As a solution, she proposed “All the parties will have to try to control and contain their partners inside Ukraine if this is going to work.” She stressed that the Ukrainian crisis are on a very serious stage and thus need to be resolved as soon as possible. She advises that a united Europe response is very important for a solution to the Ukrainian crisis, a united Europe response, she thinks however is very challenging at the moment.