Ukraine

Saber Rattling Along the Frontiers of Ukraine

Photo by  jorono in Pixabay

By Rene Wadlow.

16 Apr 2021 – The meeting today in Paris of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and the French President Emmanuel Macron highlights the tensions between Ukraine, the separatist regions of Donbass and Luhansk and the Russian Federation.  France and Germany are the lead mediators in what is called the “Normandy Initiative” for resolution of the Ukraine-Donbass-Russia conflict.

Tensions have grown recently with increased violence along the lines of contact between Ukraine and Donbass and the increased number of Russian troops along the frontier. It is likely that the change in presidential administration in the U.S.A. is one aspect of this increase in tensions.  Both the U.S.A. and Russia want to remind each other that they are there. In the background is the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO which obviously Russia wants to avoid. Also in the background is the Ukrainian government’s recent approval of a “Strategy for Deoccupation and Reintegration of Crimea” and its Black Sea port of Sevastopol.

While it is unlikely that there will be an escalation of violence with an entry of Russian troops into Ukraine or the reverse, an attack on Russian soil, saber rattling can get out of hand and lead to unforeseen consequences.

The question which faces us as peace-builders is “What can we do?” to help reduce these tensions. The Association of World Citizens sent this past week an Appeal for increased mediation efforts to the authorities of the Normandy Initiative, France and Germany. It is certain that the French and German diplomats are already aware of the dangers of the situation, but it is useful that non-governmental voices be heard.  Are there avenues for Track II exchanges or non-governmental mediation efforts?  Related areas of tension are also in flux: Syria, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh.  We need to see what doors might open, and what we can usefully propose.

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 19 Apr 2021.

René Wadlow is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. He is President of the Association of World Citizens, an international peace organization with consultative status with ECOSOC, the United Nations organ facilitating international cooperation and problem-solving in economic and social issues, and editor of Transnational Perspectives.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

New Efforts for Land Renewal.

Featured Image: Photo by Marcelo Bermudez on Unsplash. The States Parties to the United Nations sponsored Treaty on Desertification have been meeting in Abidjan; Cote d’Ivoire from 9 to 20…

Dangers and Conflict Resolution Efforts in Moldova.

Featured Image: Official visit of the President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu to Kyiv, January 12, 2021. Meeting with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi. By President.gov.ua, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>,…

Renewed Violence in Darfur: An Unstable Sudan.

Featured Image: Pro-government militia in Darfur. By Henry Ridgwell, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. 24 April 2022; saw renewed violence in the Darfur Provence of Sudan between Arab militias and…

Leave a Comment