Crisis in Ukraine - March 13, 2014
EWI offers a daily situation report on Ukraine's unfolding crisis, featuring key developments and links to number of analytical pieces from foregin policy experts around the world.
- In a phone call on March 12, Didier Burkhalter, Swiss Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to cooperate with the OSCE in sending observers to Crimea and called for a long-term perspective of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The conversation between the two also focused on the possibility and conditions needed to establish an “international contact group” on the current Ukrainian crisis.
- 1,500 Russian paratroops have landed in the Rostov region of Russia that borders Ukraine to conduct military exercises, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. Troops will also be assembled in Belgorod and Kursk near Russia’s Ukrainian border.
- Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk held a Q&A at the Atlantic Council on March 12 after his talks with President Obama and will hold an open meeting with the UN Security Council today in New York City.
- In joint remarks delivered following a private meeting between President Obama and Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Obama declared that “the most pressing challenge that Ukraine faces at the moment …is the threat to its territorial integrity and its sovereignty.” Obama also declared that the U.S. sees Russia’s actions in Crimea to be against international law. Yatsenyuk stated that the Ukrainian government is willing to consider bilateral talks with Russia but will not surrender its freedom or right to its territorial integrity.
- The Ukrainian Parliament has adopted a bill creating a Ukrainian National Guard comprising 60,000 troops. The force’s duty is to counteract “military aggression against Ukraine and liquidation of a military conflict by conducting military operations and fulfilling the tasks of territorial defense.”
- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 14-3 in support of a bill that includes a $1 billion loan guarantee to Ukraine. The bill now goes to the full Senate for a vote. If it passes, it would then go to the House of Representatives for approval before becoming law. However, a passage of the bill could be delayed, as several Republicans, including Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, have already expressed opposition to the bill because of its linkage with broader IMF reforms.
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Statement on National Guards – March 13, 2014
OSCE – A briefing will be held in Vienna to discuss a recent visit to Ukraine – March 13, 2014
Thomas De Waal, “Toward a Scottish Solution for Crimea,” The Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2014
Wojciech Konończuk, “Russia’s Real Aims in Crimea,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 13, 2014
Geoff Dyer, “In the Battle for Crimea, China Wins: How Beijing stands to gain from Russia's invasion of Ukraine,” Foreign Policy, March 13, 2014
Daniel F. Runde, and Conor M. Savoy “Providing Aid to Ukraine is in the National Interest,” Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 12, 2014
Meghan L. O'Sullivan, “A Better Energy Weapon to Stop Putin,” Bloomberg View, March 11, 2014