Ukraine crisis is not America’s problem

Robert Mullen, Sports Editor

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While most Americans had their eyes on the Sochi Winter Olympics these last few weeks, I was watching – well, reading actually – about the crisis that has been developing in the Ukraine, not for any particularly intelligent reason, but because I find the Winter Olympics insufferably boring.
Some may recall that these troubles began way back in November 2013, after then-President Viktor Yanukovych backed out on an economic deal with the European Union to snuggle up with Russia. Riots ensued and built up during late February and almost 100 people were casualties.
Currently the country is split between pro-western and pro-Russian sympathizers and the issue continues to ferment, as both Britain and Russia have offered financial-aid packages to the country, which has been gripped by economic instability since the global recession.
Ukraine now has an interim president, Oleksandr Turchynov, who seems to be in a mutually supportive relationship with the United Nations, while in Russia, Putin’s administration claims that this new government is illegitimate and has sent its military into the Crimean.
But is this America’s problem? The long and the short answer is no, not right now.
It’s clear that Putin wants to establish a new Russian bloc, and absorbing Ukraine is the keystone that such a plan would rest on. However, Russia can never again gain its former Soviet Union level of power or influence. Its chief rivals now are the other Eurasian regional powers, the European Union, China, and India.
Russia won’t be a world superpower, but it can certainly dominate in Europe. While it lacks the population and rapid growth of China or India, Russia does have the capability to mobilize its military industry and resources to stand toe-to-toe with the EU.
The Ukraine issue may very well decide which of these two powers will become the main player in European politics.
If Americans want to get huffy and demand that we intercede, then maybe we should realize that between the EU and Russia, there isn’t much of a difference.
Neither are bedfellows with us, and neither truly follows the same ideologies that we do.
Ukraine is certainly a European issue.
Its fate may tip the balance and geopolitical map of Europe, but the days of the world being a satellite to that continent are over.
America should be far more interested in our own economic issues and those of our most powerful trade partners in Asia.
We needn’t worry over what is rapidly becoming a backwater region of the world.

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