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Russia Is Promoting Terrorism To Enhance Russia’s Territorial Ambitions: What Should The US And The EU Do?

ArmchairPolitiicianRussia, July 25, 2017, by Brad Peery, WWW. ArmchairPolitician.US, ArmchairPolitician.US@gmail.com

Two areas where Russia has territorial ambitions are the Ukraine and the Balkans.
The Russian territorial ambitions became apparent when it acquired Crimea, and supports terrorists in the Eastern Ukraine trying to break off from the Ukraine. The European Union and the United States fully back Kiev’s claim that Russia started and supported the war in order to meddle and disrupt its Western neighbor’s affairs after its February 2014 ouster of a Kremlin-backed regime.

Ukraine’s subsequent embrace of the West was followed by Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the takeover of government buildings in the east in April by groups of armed men who swore allegiance to Moscow.

Kiev responded by launching a military offensive to win back the separatist region.
But, Russia denies any involvement in the war to this day despite its soldiers being repeatedly captured or killed in the war zone and tanks and other heavy weapons being spotted crossing the border into Ukraine.

The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Russia, as has the European Union, and other countries. Russia responded by putting in place a total ban on food imports from the U.S., Norway, Canada and Australia. The sanctions contributed to the substantial decline of the Russian Ruble, and a continuing financial crisis in Russia. They also caused economic damage to a number of EU countries, with the total losses estimated at €100 billion. According to Ukrainian officials, the sanctions forced Russia to change it approach toward Ukraine, and undermined military advances in the region. The sanctions will not be removed until Moscow fulfills the Minsk II agreements.

Russia controls two areas of Ukraine, the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “peoples republics”, which go by the acronyms DNR and LNR. These areas have a population of 3.5 million. Russia is accelerating the integration of Donbas into Russia. The DNR and LNR have been converting their economies to the Russian Ruble. Russia’s objective might not be to totally integrate these regions into Russia, but rather that Russia have control of these regions, not Ukraine. They are doing this in a variety of ways, including taking over companies, issuing Russian passports, and managing the economies or the DNR and the LNR.

ArmchairPolitician.US Opinion:
The Ukraine is applying for NATO membership, and attempting to align itself with the west. Relations between NATO and Ukraine date back to the early 1990s and have since developed into one of the most substantial of NATO’s partnerships. Since 2014, in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, cooperation has been intensified in critical areas. The U.S. needs to continue to support Ukraine, and oppose this and other efforts of Russia to expand its geographical influence, including in the Balkans.

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