Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Russia Wanted and Still Wants Ukraine As a Buffer Zone; Don't You Get This Simple Fact?

Since couple of years ago, (at least i can say) Russia has tried to use Ukraine as a buffer zone between itself and the EU. In other words, Russia has not had any intention to invade Ukraine or annex part of this country. The case of Crimea is something completely different. What we have observed recently in the Crimean peninsula was a sharp reaction of Russia in response to the direct and indirect intervention of the USA and EU in Ukraine particularly during the recent months. Leaving aside this part, there are some other evidences, which show that president Putin did not have any such plan for Ukraine. Among these evidences the construction of new Russian pipelines could be mentioned. Here is the story.

As we know, following the repeatedly gas disputes between Russia and Ukraine in 2006, and again in 2009, Russia decided to find a new and safe way to export its gas and oil to the EU. In doing so, Russia was constructed two different pipelines of North Stream and South Stream. If we look at the routes of these two pipelines, we see that none of these huge and important projects passes the Ukrainian territory. The North Stream pipeline passes under the Baltic Sea and goes directly from Russia to Germany. The South Stream pipeline passes under the Black Sea and inters in the EU territory.

These two projects indicate the fact, that Russia did not have any plan or intention to directly invade or annex Ukraine; otherwise, Russia might have built some parts of these pipelines within Ukrainian territory, at least the South Stream pipeline, for example. From this, we can deduce that Russia did not want to annex Ukraine, but at the same time it did not/ and still does not want that Ukraine would become a member of the EU or NATO mainly based on the security measure. In fact, Russia wanted and still wants that Ukraine would be a neutral country and function as a buffer zone between the EU and Russia. Such a position for Ukraine is equally beneficial for the EU and Russia in terms of security. I,m wondering why and how the policy makers in the USA and EU do not pay attention to such a clear evidence.

In short, the policy makers in Norway and Germany should pay attention to these small details and do not fall in the trap of other states with regard to the current dispute in Ukraine. Let Ukraine function as a buffer zone between the EU and Russia; do not attempt for broader and deeper EEAS program further (The European Community / European Union Association Agreements) among the Central Asian countries; and consequently, do not minimize your security.

M. Sirani                                  18.03.2014