The world is once again teetering on the verge of yet another military stand-off. However, this time it is between Russia and the West. Ever since the public demonstrations in Ukraine which resulted in the ouster of the elected president, the region has been plunged into chaos despite diplomatic overtures. While the Russian president is adamant that the move to seize Crimea was done to protect the minority Russian population, however, his strategic manoeuvring has driven a wedge in the relationship between Russia and EU/USA relations. The move by the Russian president has been denounced by many world governments and also triggered the debate as to whether Russia has a sinister ploy to annex other countries which were once part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). It can be argued that this stratagem by Russia was long coming ever since the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to include states which were once included in the (USSR). Realistically, other than going to war with Russia which is very unlikely there is not much the USA/Europe can do to punish Russia for this aggressive move. In fact the symbolic sanctions which the USA/Europe have placed on Russia will do very little to quench Putin’s Czar-like desires and ambition to recapture Russia’s glorious past. The ongoing tension is perhaps the most serious crisis since the end of the Cold War, we should therefore all pay attention to this crisis because of the potential to push the world into another recession should it escalate much further. Russia supplies a significant amount of gas to Europe especially to Germany the so called workhorse of Europe. I am sure Europe will not want to risk their stable gas supply and economic recovery especially over a non-NATO member in Ukraine.

Nonetheless, the Russian president needs to be reminded that the Cold War is over and that no matter what he does and says Russia will not be a mighty as the former (USSR). There is no room in a post- Cold War world for nations to use their military might to bully weaker nations. All nations need to respect and observe International Law. Every effort should be made to give diplomacy a chance to work to solve this crisis.

Wayne Campbell