by AMBER KELLY Photographer
Europe is in a very tenuous situation due to the chaos surrounding Ukraine. For months, reports have been circling, talking about the protests occurring in the Ukraine and the country’s desire to join the European Union. Now, the tension in Europe has reached its breaking point with threats and ultimatums being made by Russia to Ukraine.
Many people fear that war may be looming as Russia, under President Putin’s rule, is getting closer and closer to Ukrainian borders. Military force has been threatened and troops, as well as naval ships, have already been placed in the Crimean peninsula. Russia claims that such military action is to protect the Russian citizens living in Crimea; however, Ukrainians believe the troops are just a form of invasion on the Russian’s part.
Poland has mobilized troops near the border, as the country feels threatened by Russia’s proximity and own mobilization of forces. Poland stands strong, saying that if Russia attacks Ukraine, Polish forces will respond against such actions.
“It’s crazy to think that an all out war can break out in Europe. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but it doesn’t look like Ukraine or Russia will cooperate with each other anytime soon. Hopefully the European Union or NATO can do something to prevent actual fighting; there is a big difference between just protests and a full blown war,” says senior Megan Synarski.
The European Union is in a very difficult position. The countries that make up the union do not want Russia conquering and overtaking Ukraine, but at the same time, relations need to remain stable with Russia since that is where their gas comes from. If Russia decides to cut off trade because of the European Union’s support of Ukraine, then these countries are in big trouble when it comes to natural resources.
Countries like Poland are imploring NATO to take action against Russia, and meetings have been scheduled to discuss Ukraine and Russia. NATO leaders have also come out and said that a stable Ukraine is vital for Europe.
President Barack Obama has criticized Putin for his actions in Europe and warns him that there will be consequences for any military actions on Russia’s part. America, as displayed by John Kerry’s visit to Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, supports Ukraine’s interim government against Russian forces.
Although warnings have been given on America’s part, some people worry about Obama’s strength with foreign affairs. Many believe that foreign policy is not one of Obama’s strengths, so although he has spoken out against Russia and Putin, it has yet to be seen if such warnings will be acknowledged by Putin.
“Foreign policy definitely isn’t where President Obama is the strongest, but hopefully because the European Union and NATO are also against Russia, such a united stance will force Russia to stand down,” says senior Vincent Grassi.
The problems in Europe can only end in two ways – war or compromise. As of now, it has yet to be seen which of these endings will take place.
Do you think the situation between Russia and Ukraine will end in war?