Crisis in Ukraine - March 21, 2014

News | March 21, 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

  • Ukraine has signed parts of the EU Association Agreement, which was rejected by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in November of last year. The signed sections call for stronger political dialogue and security cooperation, but leave out measures dealing with trade, law enforcement, anticorruption and macroeconomics. The EU remains committed to the remainder of the package, which is likely to be signed by Ukraine after the presidential elections in May.
    • The EU has also announced that it will move up the deadlines for similar agreements with Georgia and Moldova, a move that will likely inflame tensions with Russia.
  • The European Union has increased pressure on Russia over its actions in Ukraine:
  • The Council of the European Union has imposed sanctions and travel bans on 12 additional individuals as a response to “actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.”
  • European leaders have canceled an EU-Russia summit planned for June and announced that meetings between Russia and individual countries will also be canceled.
  • EU leaders have warned that a separate EU monitoring mission will be sent to Ukraine if Russia continues to block the mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE);
  • Germany will suspend approval of all defense-related exports to Russia;
  • France has suspended "the majority of its military cooperation with Russia,” according to Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
  • Following unanimous passage in Russia’s upper house of Parliament, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation to complete the annexation of Crimea.
  • Russia retaliated against further sanctions announced on Thursday by banning nine U.S. lawmakers from entering Russia, including Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and three top Obama aides. A statement published on Russia’s Foreign Ministry website read: “We have warned repeatedly that using sanctions is a double-edged sword and will hit the United States back.”
  • Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov stated that there is a “real threat of invasion” from Russia, following interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s warning on Thursday that any move to claim further Ukrainian territory would trigger an “appropriate response,” including from the Ukrainian military.
  • Next week, President Obama will travel to Europe to meet with allies in the forums of the European Union, NATO, and Group of Seven industrialized nations (the G8 is no longer recognized, due to the exclusion of Russia from the group).
  • Ukraine will appeal to the United Nations to declare Crimea a demilitarized zone and take measures to remove Russian forces.


Government Statements

Official Journal of the European Union, implementing Decision 2014/145/CFSP concerning restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine

Statement by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy at the occasion of the signing ceremony of the political provisions of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, March 21, 2014

Conclusions on Ukraine, Approved by the European Council, March 20, 2014

Letter -- Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine, From President Obama, March 20, 2014

Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, March 19, 2014


News Articles

Matthew Dalton, Laurence Norman, and Naftali Bendavid, “EU, Ukraine Sign Part of Economic Deal,” The Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2014

Carol E. Lee, Gregory L. White, Jared A. Favole, “U.S., Russia Trade Sanctions Over Crimea,” The Wall Street Journal, March 21, 2014

Jake Rudnitsky and Volodymyr Verbyany, “Putin’s Words No Solace as East Ukraine Braces for Storm,” BloombergBusinessweek, March 21, 2014

Timothy Heritage and Vladimir Soldatkin, “Putin looks to Asia as West threatens to isolate Russia,” Reuters, March 21, 2014

Andrew E. Kramer, “Ukraine Sets Deadline for Militias to Surrender Illegal Guns,” The New York Times, March 20, 2014

Alec Luhn, “Trade war over Crimea looms as Russia closes Ukrainian-owned sweet factory,” The Guardian, March 20, 2014

Roger Runningen, James G. Neuger and Gregory Viscusi, “Russia Pressed on Ukraine as EU Joins U.S. on Sanctions,” Bloomberg, March 21, 2014

Brett Wolf, “Banks must brace for Russia sanctions row, warn US industry officials,” Reuters, March 20, 2014

Shaun Walker, Alec Luhn, “Crimea crisis: US sanction list is who's who of Vladimir Putin's inner circle,” The Guardian, March 20, 2014

Steven Lee Meyers, Alan Cowell, and Andrew Higgins, “Putin Cool to Idea of Further Retaliation Over Sanctions,” The New York Times, March 21, 2014

Rick Gladstone, “Russia Hints at Using Iran Talks as Leverage,” The New York Times, March 20, 2014