Updates and Analysis on Ukraine Crisis - March 31, 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.
- According to NATO and U.S. military sources, 40,000 Russian troops have massed on Ukraine’s eastern borders and are engaged in activity that could be a prelude to an invasion.
- Originally called to Washington, D.C. to testify before Congress this week, NATO Supreme Allied Commander and Commander of U.S. European Command, General Philip Breedlove, was sent back to Europe on Saturday in the face of growing uncertainty in Ukraine.
- In a trip condemned by Ukraine, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev arrived in Crimea on Monday morning. In televised remarks, Medvedev announced that Crimea would be made a special economic zone.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin called President Obama on Friday to discuss a diplomatic resolution to the Ukrainian crisis.
- Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Paris on Sunday to discuss ways of de-escalating the crisis. Both sides have agreed that a political solution is necessary for .
- Kerry called on Russia to demobilize its troops deployed on the Ukrainian border and indicated that the U.S. continues to view Russian actions in Ukraine as illegal and illegitimate.
- Both sides agreed to a number of priorities, including: “the rights of national minorities; language rights; demobilization and disarmament of irregular forces and provocateurs; an inclusive constitutional reform process, and free and fair elections monitored by the international community”.
- Russia proposed that the Ukrainian government be federalized: power would be decentralized away from Kiev and the president and granted to provincial governors.
- In an interview on ABC’s This Week, Russian Ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, said that “Crimea is a part of [the] Russian Federation.”
- On CNN, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, conceded that the Crimea issue was “done” and that any future discussion would need to move beyond Crimea.
- NATO foreign ministers are scheduled to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to decide on additional steps in response to the Ukrainian crisis.
- According to Reuters, Russia threatened several countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa with reprisals if they voted in favor of the UN General Assembly resolution condemning the Crimea referendum.
John Kerry, “Press Availability – Paris, France,” U.S. Department of State, March 30, 2014
“Readout of the President’s Call with President Putin,” The White House, March 28, 2014
“General Assembly Adopts Resolution Calling Upon States not to Recognize Changes in Status of Crimea Region – 100 Votes in Favour, 11 Against, 58 Abstentions for Text on Ukraine,” United Nations General Assembly, March 27, 2014
Articles and Analysis
Paul Taylor, “Ten Ways the Ukraine Crisis May Change the World,” Reuters, March 31, 2014
Robert Spalding III, “America’s Secret Weapon to Stop Russia,” The National Interest, March 31, 2014
BBC, “Ukraine angered by Russia PM Medvedev’s visit to Crimea,” BBC News, March 31, 2014
Brad Knickerbocker, “Putin, Obama maneuver over crisis in Ukraine. Whose advantage?,” The Cristian Science Monitor, March 30, 2014
Anne Gearan, “Kerry, Russia’s Lavrov Fail to Reach Deal Over Ukraine, Say They Will Keep Talking,” The Washington Post, March 30, 2014
Nick Gass, “Russian Ambassador Says ‘Crimea is a Part’ of Russia,” Politico, March 30, 2014
Simon Tisdall and Rory Carroll, “Russia Sets Terms for Ukraine Deal as 40,000 Troops Mass on Border,” The Guardian, March 30, 2014
Andrew E. Kramer, “Ukraine’s Hopes Riding on Chocolatier,” The New York Times, March 29, 2014
Louis Charbonneau, “Russia Threatened Countries Ahead of UN Vote on Ukraine–Envoys,” Reuters, March 28, 2014
Jonathan Weisman, “Kremlin Finds a Defender in Congress,” The New York Times, March 28, 2014
Jonathan Marcus, “Analysis: Could Russia Absorb Eastern Ukraine?,” BBC News, March 28, 2014
James Traub, “The Enemy We’ve Been Waiting For,” Foreign Policy, March 27, 2014
Nate Jones, “Vladimir Channels the Gipper,” Foreign Policy, March 27, 2014
Clifford Krauss, “Potential Crackdown on Russia Risks Also Punishing Western Oil Companies,” The New York Times, March 27, 2014
BBC, "Vladimir Putin: The Rebuilding of ‘Soviet’ Russia,” BBC News, March 27, 2014