At last week’s meeting, there seemed to be general agreement that the U.S. shouldn’t get actively involved…almost no matter what happened. The thought, I think, was that we should voice our support for democracy and democratic institutions and for the right of the people to select their government. But talk…and support in the UN, etc….was all that was on offer.
Now the situation appears to be getting more complicated (as it often does):
- Armed forces (some say Russian troops, but this isn’t confirmed) have stationed themselves at two Crimean airports and are, according to news reports, turning people away from the airport premises.
- At least one Crimean mayor has been “forced to resign” and replaced with a pro-Russian businessman.
- Most importantly (I think) from a US perspective, we apparently were party to a 1994 pact in which Russia made “guarantees to acknowledge” Ukraine’s territorial integrity in return for giving up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons.
This also harkens back to another issue we discussed a few weeks ago…people’s right to self-determination. Does it apply to the people of Ukraine? What about the Russian speakers in Ukraine? Crimea? Where should the line be drawn defining which groups get to “self-determine” and which do not?
Will these developments (and new information for those of us who don’t track Ukraine carefully) change the group’s views on more aggressive intervention?