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Russia and the West Must Allow Ukraine to Resolve Crisis

February 20, 2014

VADUZ, Liechtenstein, February 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –

http://www.worldreview.info

THE CRISIS in Ukraine has entered a new and dangerous phase. Although Ukraine is still
some way from outright civil war, the absence of any sign of willingness on either side to
step back and compromise is worrying, writes Professor Stefan Hedlund, Research Director
at the Centre of Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden in World
Review [http://www.worldreview.info ].

Moscow is bent on ensuring Kiev does not sign any form of agreement with Brussels,
which would mark the end of its own ambitions of restored status as a regional great
power. The West in contrast is bent on precluding precisely this from happening.

‘The real paradox of this game is that neither side appears to have any desire at all
of actually integrating Ukraine,’ says Professor Hedlund. ‘The Ukrainian economy is now in
such a terrible state, and Ukrainian politics so ridden with corruption and infighting,
that neither of the two outside powers want anything to do with it.’

The impact on Ukrainian politics of this internally inconsistent tug of war has been
devastating. Successive governments have realised that playing Russia and Europe against
each other is a winning strategy.

‘The track record of broken promises and soured relations has now reached a point
where outside interest in the future of the hapless country is just the overriding desire
to prevent the other side from gaining the upper hand,’ he says.

Only days before the bloodshed, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned of
disaster and called on both sides to effectively step back and allow Kiev to sort out its
own mess.

‘There is wisdom in this,’ says Professor Hedlund. ‘Outside involvement has been part
of the problem, not the solution.’

Meanwhile, the situation in Kiev is marked by what is best viewed as the last stand of
the Yanukovych regime.

Read the full World Review report here
[http://www.worldreview.info/content/ukraine-crisis-time-russia-and-west-step-back ]

About the Author

World Review [http://www.worldreview.info ] author Professor Stefan Hedlund is
Research Director at the Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, at Uppsala University,
Sweden.

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SOURCE World Review


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