The Oakland Post

OPINION: Russia and Ukraine tensions are rising

Tim Kandow, Contributor

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Since World War II, the majority of the wars have been civil, usually consisting of a group of rebels against the standing government. However, since Ukraine’s independence in the 1990s, their relationship between Russia has been one of tension. This hit a climax late last year when Ukrainian boats were captured near Crimea by Russian forces along with 24 Ukranian sailors. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko issued martial law across his country in preparation what appeared to be an invasion.

The Sea of Azov is central to all the conflict. The small peninsula of Crimea sticks off Ukraine but is also near Russia. This area is vital to the Ukrainian economy as well as a key military space of defense. Tensions supposedly arose due to the lack of clarity between territorial water borders between to the two states. The three ships were simply sailing around the peninsula and were captured when they supposedly crossed in Russian waters. This hostile action by the Russia is something more than border confusion.

Vladimir Putin, president of Russia, simply disregarded the requests of the Ukraine government, ignoring the questions regarding the sailors and ships. He stated that the actions taken by the Ukranian president are simply ways in which to improve his polling results. President Trump took the hostile acts of Russia very seriously. The two leaders were expected to meet at the G20 Summit hosted in Buenos Aires, Argentina. When the Russian government would not release the sailors, however, President Trump canceled the meeting, saying that “based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin.” This tweet came as he was in Air Force One on his way to the summit.

This is a clear retaliation against President Putin and the Russian Government. President Donald Trump sent a clear message of his own: the Russian government must release the sailors and end its hostile actions. Though he and Putin have gotten along in the past, and we have close relations with the Russians, there needs to be changes if U.S. – Russia relations wish to improve. The Russians should understand that they cannot do this without retaliation from other countries.

God forbid, if this situation ever came to war, it would affect the whole world. Though they are not members of the U.N., Ukraine, (and Russia) know they have the support of the West and the United States. These hostile actions by Russia will be taken with all seriousness as threatening the sovereignty of Ukraine, hence, a threat to the sovereignty of each state.

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OPINION: Russia and Ukraine tensions are rising