Ukraine reacts to Russian "peacekeeping" Posted by: McQ
on Sunday, August 17, 2008
Apparently the Ukraine has decided it doesn't want to be Belarus or Georgia.
Ukraine yesterday offered to create a joint missile defence network with the West amid fears that its port city of Sebastopol, home of the Russian Black Sea fleet, could become the next flashpoint between Russia and its former satellites.
The Ukrainian offer, which means its early warning radar stations could become part of the West’s civil defence system, will further damage poor relations between Kiev and Moscow.
Ukraine, which to the fury of Russia is looking towards Europe and membership of Nato, announced last week that it would require the Russian fleet to seek permission whenever ships entered its territorial waters.
That, as I see it, is a bit of calculated Bear baiting.
Russia has made its move in a place where it knew the West couldn't really react.
That has allowed both Poland and now the Ukraine to react in a manner they believe is in their national best interest. Both Poland and Ukraine are quite a bit larger than Georgia.
Prior to the Russian move into Georgia, both the move by Poland to agree to the US anti-missile defense shield or the Ukraine's offer to network its radars into the West's "civil defense system" (I think they mean early warning system) would have been viewed as provocative moves.
Now, with Russia's invasion of Georgia, the agreements are more easily explained as prudent moves made in self-defense in the face of aggression, albeit elsewhere, by a neighboring state.
Both of those agreements are important counter-moves which Moscow may or may not have foreseen. Neither, of course, are viewed by the Russians as positive steps. So before we all go patting Putin on the back for a masterful move, let's wait until all the repercussions are in and understood.