New Cold War brewing as NATO cuts ties with Russia
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/1/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The European community decided to step up its condemnation of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, which most United Nations officials decry as illegal, by suspending nearly all civilian and military joint activities with Russia.
Ukraine's military has evacuated the Crimean peninsula in March, effectively giving up control of the region.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This issue has been called the most divisive conflict between Western powers and Moscow since the end of the Cold War. This step by NATO is in response to an estimated 35,000-80,000 Russian military forces that currently sit the border with eastern Ukraine.
The 28 members of NATO gathered together for the first time since the annexation of Crimea, and in an April 1 statement issued by NATO's Foreign Ministers, the organization said that they "are united in our condemnation of Russia's illegal military intervention in Ukraine and Russia's violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We do not recognize Russia's illegal and illegitimate attempt to annex Crimea. We urge Russia to take immediate steps, as set out in the statement by the NATO-Ukraine Commission, to return to compliance with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities, and to engage immediately in a genuine dialogue towards a political and diplomatic solution that respects international law and Ukraine's internationally recognized borders."
Earlier this week Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he had ordered the withdrawal of a battalion of Russian forces back into Russia, but sources form NATO and the US said that they have seen no evidence of even a partial military withdrawal.
NATO has decided to increase its military presence in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states in an effort to reassure the organizations allies. Aircraft have recently upped patrols in the region and the US and several other countries including the UK and France have offered more. Other options include settling new bases in former Soviet Union countries like the Latvia or Lithuania.
Within March, the government in Kiev ordered the removal of Ukrainian military personal in the Crimea, and is currently attempting an overhaul of their military.
Putin has warned the Ukraine that joining NATO would lead to a freeze in Russo-Ukrainian relations, while already gas prices have risen due to Russia cutting discounts and increasing the price it charges for natural gas.
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