The crisis in Eastern Europe…is now entering its 10th month. What began with the collapse of an association agreement between the European Union and Ukraine can now be called a war.
All Ukraine wanted was to be free. Free from Russia; free to chart its own course; free to begin to escape its own history of governmental corruption; free to align itself with, learn from the association, and perhaps to prosper in its freedom. The EU implied, with that agreed association, that it would help Ukraine work toward those goals, using that association and EU’s vasty trade market.
When the collapse of the agreement occurred, the Ukrainian people tossed the mendacious government that had collapsed it—and those people—in favor of returning to the Russian sphere; in retaliation against the Ukrainians’ making their wishes, their demands, their very sovereignty over government known, Russia invaded Ukraine. First, the Russians occupied Crimea and then partitioned Ukraine, incorporating Crimea into itself. Then the Russians invaded eastern Ukraine, initially by supplying arms and ammunition to Russian “separatists” already present in the region, then by supplying Russian soldiers “on holiday,” and now openly, driving a Russian held corridor through southern Ukraine stretching along Ukraine’s erstwhile Sea of Azov coast from Russia to Crimea.
What is Europe doing about this? They’re talking. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin 25-35 times, to engage in idle chit-chat. The EU has applied pinprick “economic sanctions.” They do not supply arms and ammunition. The openly say they will not supply troops—which Ukraine already has said they do not want, but still….
What is the value of Europe’s agreements when they dishonor the implications of an association agreement? Even the one that was signed by the government which the Ukrainian people put in place a couple short months ago?