Crisis in Ukraine - March 18, 2014

Commentary | March 18, 2014

EWI offers a daily situation report on Ukraine's unfolding crisis, featuring key developments and links to analytical pieces from foreign policy experts around the world. 


Key Developments

  • President Vladimir Putin has signed a draft treaty that would incorporate Crimea into the Russian Federation. Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov and Speaker Vladimir Konstantinov of the Crimean Parliament were both present for the signing at the Kremlin.
  • In a conciliatory speech delivered in Russian, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk sought to reassure his country’s ethnic Russian population and Russia by pledging that Ukraine would not join NATO.
  • Speaking together with Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland, Vice President Biden characterized Russia’s moves as “nothing more than a land grab.”
  • Prime Minister Tusk declared that continued NATO solidarity enable “sufficient and strong reactions to Russia’s aggression.”
  • The leader of the Moldovan breakaway region of Transnistria has urged Russia to annex the region.  Responding to this appeal, President Nicolae Timofti of Moldova has warned Russia against any move to annex Transnistria.  Transnistria seceded from Moldova in 1990 on fears that Moldova would merge with Romania.  A brief war was fought in 1992, after which Transnistria declared itself an independent state, but remains unrecognized in the international community.  Russia maintains a force of “peacekeepers” in the region.  In a 2006 referendum, 97.2% of vote was in favor of joining Russia.


Government Statements

Barack Obama, “Statement by the President on Ukraine,” The White House, March 17, 2014

William Hague, “Foreign secretary condemns Russia’s recognition of Crimea as a ‘sovereign state’,” March 17, 2014

The White House, “Background Press Briefing by a Senior Administration Official on the Vice President’s Trip to Poland and Lithuania,” March 17, 2014

Council of the European Union, “Council conclusions on Ukraine,” March 17, 2014


Analytical Pieces

Daniel Woker, “Russia-Ukraine: Who can mediate?,” The Interpreter, March 18, 2014

Jan Techau, “Ukraine, the Birthplace of Strategic Europe?,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – Strategic Europe, March 18, 2014

Gordon Adams, “Don’t Poke the Russian Bear,” Foreign Policy, March 17, 2014

Steven Pifer, “Helping Ukraine is Punishing Russia,” Reuters, March 17, 2014

Michael Hirsh, “A New ‘Cool War’ With Russia Is About To Begin,” National Journal, March 17, 2014

Stewart M. Patrick, “Crimea: Stop Citing International Law and Start Condemning Russian Expansionism,” Council on Foreign Relations – The Internationalist, March 17, 2014

Jochen Bittner, “Is Crimea the Next Yugoslavia?,” The New York Times, March 17, 2014

Charlemagne, “Putin untouched,” The Economist, March 17, 2014

Dimiter Kenarov, “Watching Gogol in Simferopol,” Foreign Policy, March 17, 2014

Dan Lamothe, “Bad Romance: France’s $1.7 Billion Warship Deal with Russia Gets New Scrutiny,” Foreign Policy, March 17, 2014

Loren Thompson, “Ukraine Crisis: Poland’s Air Defense Become A Pressing Concern for Washington,” Forbes, March 17, 2014

Yong Kwon, “The IMF, Ukraine, and the Asian Financial Crisis Hangover,” The Diplomat, March 17, 2014

Pankaj Mishra, “Putin’s Eurasian Fantasy,” Bloomberg View, March 17, 2014

Peter Beinart, “America is Too Broke to Rescue Ukraine,” The Atlantic, March 17, 2014


Putin Announces Crimea Annexation,” The New York Times, March 18, 2014