Russia’s demand to withdraw its large troops from the border with Ukraine is a confirmation that an invasion of the neighboring country is planned. Putin’s demands are unacceptable for Ukraine, NATO and Norway.
There are several requirements, including that Ukraine should never become a member of NATO together with Georgia. Russia also demands that all military aid to Ukraine be stopped. Furthermore, NATO and the United States are required to withdraw their forces from all countries bordering Russia. This has a direct impact on Norway. A large part of Norway’s defense is built around our membership in NATO and the assurance of help if a situation arises. The requirements also mean that NATO is withdrawing its forces to member countries such as Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
The demands made by Russia are proof that the Russian build – up of forces along Ukraine’s borders is to put pressure behind its demands and that an invasion is probably planned. Whether the plans involve the whole of Ukraine or just the eastern parts such as the city of Kharkiv, we know little about.
The idea of a sphere is an imperialist thought
The idea that a great power has a kind of right to have some friendly countries around it is a thought that should have been dead with the Cold War. Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt says a few wise words to ABC News. She says:
And they must abandon the idea of a sphere of interest in Europe. It is up to each individual country to choose its security policy affiliation. The international order that we defend means that all countries have the right to choose their orientation.
To think that it is okay to be able to control the politics of another country is like going back a few years in time when the Soviet Union had its sphere of interest in Eastern Europe. Such a policy is, of course, completely unacceptable to NATO and all countries in Western Europe. Putin should have shown that, and he probably knows that too. Therefore, it may be that these unrealistic demands are used as a pretext for Russian annexation of all or further parts of Ukraine.
Russian invasion also in 2014
Also in 2014, there was a Russian invasion of parts of Ukraine. At that time, Crimea was annexed and parts of the Donba area in eastern Ukraine were, in effect, immigrated. Since then, Russian forces have stood in the Donbas and supported the rebels there. At the time, Russia tried to take larger parts of Ukraine, including the city of Kharkiv, but the resistance was greater than expected and the costs higher, so it was with a smaller area in the Donbas. The conflict in the Donbas has since been Europe’s forgotten war, something I mentioned in a previous blog .
The areas Russia probably tried to gain control of at the time were areas east of the Dnieper River that divides Ukraine in two. What the plans are this time we can only speculate, maybe the whole of Ukraine?
Russia has no right to immigrate to another country. They also have no right to decide over any part of the policy of neighboring countries. Whether it is security policy, foreign policy or economic policy. Russia must abandon this imperialist idea.