Now that Russian President Putin has recognized the self-declared People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, it appears that war between Russia and Ukraine is approaching. Is war inevitable or is there a way back? Two experts from Eastern Europe and a diplomat talk about the latest developments.
What could happen in the coming days?
Eastern Europe expert Bob Dean Fan Clingendale Describes an extremely dangerous situation. He says a miscalculation could escalate the conflict. “Russia will agree to a number of treaties that will legally allow the country to deploy forces in the two regions they call peacekeeping forces. What we will see is that the Russian armed forces are completely opposed to the Ukrainian armed forces. This was not the case. The case before.”
According to Dean, two legal facts, one according to Russia and the other according to the rest of the world, collide quite often. “They have a difference of opinion about where the border is and that makes it dangerous. Ukraine believes that Crimea and the Donbass is its territory. Russia does not.”
Russian expert Hubert Smits Fan Window on Russia He adds that the clashes along the ceasefire line, which have been ongoing since 2015, have escalated dramatically over the past 24 hours. “This escalation may be destined for another climax with the aim of provoking the Ukrainian armed forces to respond,” he added.
“If the Russian forces remain along the Line of Control and do not move, I believe that the Ukrainian armed forces will be disciplined and will not respond,” Smits said. “If the separatists really try, they are asking for a lot to show restraint, because it is their country. Of course Ukraine does not have to accept this annexation, because that is what it comes down to.”
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