OC = Opportunity Cost
During the Cold War , Ukraine was the chief rival of the United States and was also the second most powerful Soviet Republic , after Russia , having defence industries , big agricultural lands and housing much of the Soviet nuclear arsenal.
After the USSR disintegrated in 1991 into 15 independent countries , Ukraine declared its independence , during the same time. It inherited a substantial portion of the nuclear arsenal , but later agreed to transfer it to Russia in 1994. In exchange , a Budapest Memorandum was signed – Moscow guaranteed to respect its security and sovereignty.
Ever since its independence , both Russia and the West have been trying to compete to have a greater authority over the country , in order to achieve results in their favour. As a result , the tensions with Russia increased and the US and the EU have been wanting to keep Ukraine away from Russian control.
Russia has tried to invade Ukraine in the past , this goes back to 2013 – 14 to Euromaidan – Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity. The movement took place in Kiev city , included widespread public protests by the people who wanted a closer relationship with Europe.
In response , Russia illegally annexed Crimea. The only part of Ukraine with the majority of Russian people , with its border touching the Black Sea.
Present Ukraine can be seen as an ethnic and language division between the East – where the native Russians live and share hundreds years of cultural history , linguistic ties and familial heritage with Russia and the West – the region of Ukraine that mostly speaks Ukrainian and hence , sentimentally feels closer to Europe.
Russia again launched a full scale invasion of the country , recently , on 24th February , 2022 , which is seen as a major expansion of an eight year old war in the country’s east.
Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin doesn’t want NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) – to expand further and see it as a threat to its own power. Specifically , it doesn’t want Ukraine to be its member NATO is a military alliance , established on 4th April 1949 , by the US and other Western European nations with the aim of providing collective security against the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Response from other nations
This huge global crisis is also resulting in a humanitarian one. It’s taking a toll on thousands of innocent people’s lives and also resulting in the fastest growing refugee crisis since World War II. Even after , other nations have chosen to refrain from intervening.
Talking about India , it has turned down the
- Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
- The United Nations General Assembly Resolution that condemned Russia for its military actions in Ukraine.
- The International Atomic Energy Agency Resolution which was related to safety at four nuclear power stations and a number of nuclear waste sites including Chernobyl, as the Russians seized control of them.
South Africa , another major democratic country like India has abstained from the UN votes that sought to condemn Russia.
The United Arab Emirates and Israel , two of the closest ally of the US have abstained from a vote in the United Nations Security Council and also refused to send military support to Ukraine , respectively.
Other countries that abstained from voting in the United Nations Security Council include Brazil , Mexico , Egypt , Saudi Arabia , Jordan , Qatar , Kuwait , Iraq, Pakistan , Singapore , Thailand , Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia.
There are only three Asian Nations , Japan , South Korea and Singapore backed the economic sanctions. However , China , another supreme world power with huge military power did not abide by the sanctions.
- India has good bilateral relations with both The United States and Russia. The country shares a global strategic partnership with both the countries.
- Russia is one of the Supreme World Powers , housing the second largest quantity of nuclear warfare weapons. The other nations , especially the US , being another major power in the world order , would not want to risk escalating it into World War III. It would result in a nuclear conflict between the two countries and possibly result in massive destruction.
- United Kingdom is not dependent on economies involved in this crisis. The country majorly relies on Germany , China , United States , Netherlands and France for its imports and exports. Thus , providing it with no incentive to interfere in the matter.
- China’s aim is to strengthen military and strategic ties with Moscow. Also , Ukraine’s number one trading partner is China and Beijing would prefer to maintain good relations with Kyiv.
Any kind of military action by the US against Russia would result in a major crisis for the whole world.
However , EU has showed a very strong stannce against Russia , which has led to a ban on some of the imports , for example, coal, solid fossil fuels, etc from Russia.
Nations like India have showed neutrality to this crisis.
This takes us back to the situation similar to that of cold war , where we can relate it to the Logic of Deterrence – both sides have the capacity to retaliate against an attack and to cause so much destruction that neither can afford to initiate war.
All in All , most nations too believe in , “There’s no glory in the battle , worth the blood it costs.”