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Ukraine faces large-scale intervention

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, November 13
Neither the West’s sanctions nor statements made against Russia were able to budge the Kremlin from undertaking its annexation of Ukrainian territory. Moreover, the Kremlin is hinting at the possibility of more large-scale aggression against Ukraine. These developments are alarming for Georgia, as we are taking a path that irritates Russia.

The situation in Ukraine creates serious challenges for the West, which is unable to control Russia. NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg made a statement on November 5 saying that Russian forces moved onto the Ukrainian borders. Officials in Kiev announced on November 7 that Russia introduced a significant number of soldiers and heavy weapons in eastern Ukraine.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that this information was false, lacking any real grounds. However, OSCE video and audio footage confirm the mass rotation of Russian armed forces. The OSCE monitoring mission also detected a similar action near Donetsk, where 43 military vehicles, without any plate numbers and identification signs were moving to the separatist controlled region.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to the EU Yuri Sergeev claims that Russia is preparing for a large-scale intervention in Ukraine.

“The EU should urgently be informed of this threat. This recent information leaves no room for doubts,” he says.

NATO General Philip Breedlove asked for additional forces and equipment from the Pentagon. He requested that the American military contingent in the Baltic States, Poland and Romania be reinforced. Breedlove warned NATO and Moscow that they are moving towards a critical mark. He admitted that the situation concerns the demarcation of Russian-Ukrainian borders and there is a threat of yet another frozen conflict.

In the case of new aggression in Ukraine, the West might tighten its sanctions against Russia. Of course, the sanctions create some problems for Russia. However, they are not enough to force Russia to give up its plans.

For the Post-Soviet countries the Ukrainian developments are very concerning. The developments increase fear over the security of the countries. The Ukraine example shows just how easy it is for Russia to undertake aggression against its neighbors, and that the aggression has no real deterrents.

The fact is very noteworthy for Georgia, a country that is striving towards the Euro-Atlantic space and sees the EU as its partner. The Georgian government knows that this irritates Russia. It also knows that in the case of some confrontation, neither NATO nor the EU will come to the rescue.

The Georgian Dream government has been careful not to unnecessarily provoke Russia and this policy was the target of constant criticism from the opposition. If Russia takes more aggressive steps towards Georgia, the opposition will accuse the government even more, blaming it in the failure of providing sufficient information to the international community.

Based on the November developments in Ukraine, we can say that the main priority of Russia is to “resolve” the conflict in favor of its own interests. Fulfilling this aim requires many resources and it will result in even more strained relations between Russia and the international community. The Russian government’s actions towards Georgia will be largely dependent on the future developments in Ukraine.