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Brookings Now

Brookings Scholars on the Crisis in Ukraine, 4/18/14

Fred Dews

Since the last edition of this update on Wednesday, the foreign ministers of the United States, Ukraine, Russia and the European Union met in Geneva and agreed on a roadmap for de-escalating the crisis. However, armed pro-Russia separatists who took over Ukrainian government facilities in eastern Ukraine have said that none of the parties speak for them. Brookings experts continue to offer insightful commentary and recommendations on the continuing crisis.


Brookings President Strobe Talbott appeared on BBC HARDtalk with Boris Nemtsov to discuss the crisis and President Putin’s actions. Watch below:



During an event today on potential implications of U.S. response to the Ukraine situation for U.S. strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, Steven Pifer characterized Russia’s military occupation of Crimea as “probably the biggest East-West crisis of the post-cold war era.” Continuing, Pifer said:

Now yesterday you saw a meeting in Geneva which produced a statement which has the potential to defuse that crisis. But a big question is going to be implementation. And unfortunately at least the initial results today are not good. There is no evidence that the armed groups in eastern Ukraine have ether moved to disarm or to evacuate the buildings that they’ve occupied. So implementation is a big question mark.


Now given the scale of the crisis I think there is an expectation in Europe and also in Ukraine that there will be more American attention. And I think you see that happening in terms of American diplomacy, in terms of the time that Secretary Kerry is spending, and in terms of the time that the president is spending. Virtually every other day now he is making phone calls … so it’s consuming time, attention and resources.

Listen to audio from the event.


Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon wrote in Foreign Affairs on what NATO should prepare for after Crimea. He called NATO’s decision to step up air patrols in the Baltic States and conduct additional naval maneuvers in the area “wise” and a “reasonable and proportionate response to Russia’s own recent buzzing of a U.S. ship in the Black Sea.” He added:

NATO’s moves in the Baltics, however, do not solve the problem of how the organization should respond if Russia does, indeed, move into eastern Ukraine. Although that might once have been unthinkable, Putin has done a lot of unthinkable things in recent months. So it is worth planning for it now.

Author


Should Russia march into eastern Ukraine, the best way to respond would be to set up a permanent brigade of American light forces in the most acutely exposed NATO members, namely, the Baltics—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Read the complete article on foreignaffairs.com (free log in required).


Here is some of what Brookings scholars are saying on Twitter:


See our

research and commentary archive on Ukraine

.