Russia has found itself on the front pages of every other newspaper again as the generational chimes of geopolitical instability gather around us once again. In all fairness, we have been stuck in a period wherein the world has found itself in numerous such deadlocks all across the world.

The rivalry between Russia and its allies versus the United States of America and the NATO nations has been quantifiably drawn out. Does that imply another world war?

It is strange to note that generally historians and politicians alike, refer to the early ’90s as the point where the Soviet Union broke down and the Cold War ended. However, the further we move into the chasms of the 21st century, it only becomes glaringly apparent that the Cold War never ended.

On the contrary, it is engulfing us in numerous spheres of our lives. The countries are possibly not stockpiling nuclear weapons but the threat of warfare still looms along the horizon and with the new development, war is only a heartbeat away.

What Led Russia To Initiate Discussions With NATO?

To actually lay ground on the factors that have led to such a situation, we would have to refer to our history books and analyze the squabble between the countries of Russia and Ukraine. When the entirety of the Russian diaspora was composed of an entire landmass worth of countries in the form of the Soviet Union, Ukraine formed a fair part of the nation.

However, as the Soviet Union broke down into its present status, Ukraine effectively formed its own niche. Unfortunately, the Russian government could never be pleased with the Ukrainians getting their own country.

Inadvertently, they craved for the Ukraine government to cede with the Russians owing to their high deposits of natural resources. Furthermore, the fact that the Russian government felt that they had primary dibs on Ukraine’s resources was enough a cause for concern. It was through a series of such strongarming that the Russian lines furthered into Ukrainian lines of defense through a wide period of time.

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Russia reportedly has 90,000 troops posted along Ukraine’s borders

As of now, the ongoing tensions have already marked the situation as one of the many wars that have engulfed global polity at large. The Russo-Ukrainian War has almost always been an explicit show of Russian security personnel plunging into Ukraine’s lands for the final acquisition of land.

Until very recently, in 2014, the Crimean Crisis or the Russian Annexation of Crimea was the catalyst that lit up the flames for an astronomical change in the geopolitical sphere. The overarching narrative dictated that the territorial difference between Russia and Ukraine became ever narrower.

Owing to the fact that the Ukrainian borders lie on the brink of the Crimean state, it has only made Ukraine be wary of any and all actions that the Russian government takes.

The annexation of Crimea with the incorporation of a pro-Russia government and a successive referendum ceding the Crimean state with Russia had already become a diplomatic win for them.

However, it also meant that they would get more leeway when it came to scouting the Ukrainian borders with the region turning into a military training ground. Furthermore, numerous drone scouting missions had been observed along the lines of Ukraine’s defenses. 

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Treaty of accession being signed between the governments of Russia and Crimea

These instances had drawn up a significant amount of concerns amongst the international polity alongside the Ukrainian government. However, the final nail came in the form of the very recent Russian troop advancement into Ukrainian land. This, inadvertently, led to the NATO nations alongside Ukraine taking to the table to discuss with Russia the way forward into the future.

Also Read: Is There A Potential World War 3 In The Near Future?

What Did The Discussions Result In?

As of now, the entirety of the discussions has mostly resulted in absolute zilch. Coupled with it, one wrong move at the table may lead to a war at the slightest drop of a hat. Both sides are fairly trigger-happy when it comes to exacting what they want and how they want it.

Usage of force by the American government alongside its NATO allies is not unknown, for all one would have to do is open a history book to chapters concerning the Cold War. On the other hand, the same can be said about the Russian Federation for, in a similar fashion, they have taken to their armaments whenever the need arose. 

US diplomats had intimated with the media that they had observed the deployment and movement of Russian heavy artillery and advanced weaponry along the border. This observation has caused the entire world to take note of the scenario, much more than protecting Ukraine, the solutions that are being drawn at the moment are mostly to prevent any clarion for war.

Thus, with the possibility of war looming around the corner, Vienna bore witness to a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) discussing an agreement to satisfy both NATO and Russia. However, as luck would have it, or the lack of it, both sides wanted to exact the absolute denominations of the entire conflict.

Russia put forward a draft agreement document containing numerous clauses, however, as dictated they were never up for discussion. Consequently, they were made public by Moscow which, in effect, also contained a potential settlement treaty with the United States of America.

Yet, the fact still stands that the agreement was never going to pass through the thirty-member organization, and it, unfortunately, didn’t. These demands had been made public and put forward towards the NATO allies in December itself. 

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Scenes from the OSCE as Russia and NATO countries initiated discussions

The Russian government demanded that NATO would not involve or inculcate any further member state into their fold while retracting forces from their East European allies. Coupled with it, they demanded that Ukraine not be allowed to join the alliance owing to increased chances of paranoia from the Russian government and its masses.

They also demanded that Ukraine halt building naval bases in Ochakiv and Berdyansk. If the USA alongside its NATO allies would accept these clauses then the Russian Federation would keep their end of the bargain by limiting “its war games, as well as ending aircraft buzzing incidents and other low-level hostilities.”

Julianne Smith, the US Ambassador to NATO, elucidated that there had been ample reason for the said alliance to not cede to Russia’s demands.

The acceptance of the demands would deem Article 10 of the Washington Treaty null and avoid which stated that the organization could “invite in any willing European country that can contribute to security in the North Atlantic area and fulfill the obligations of membership.”

She said;

“It has become crystal clear that not a single ally inside the NATO alliance is willing to budge or negotiate anything as it relates to NATO’s open-door policy. I cannot imagine any scenario where that is up for discussion.”

Suffice to say that the failure of these talks only point towards one direction;


Will There Really Be A World War?

The basic groundwork for the commencement of war has already been laid, however, certainty is a privilege that few can afford. To be certain about a war to ensue is as damning a thought for the parties in question as it is for the entire world.

It must be stated that if a battle does ensue it will not be relegated to the European front as almost all such states will be called up to fight to establish where their loyalties lie. 

Although the Putin-led Russian administration has declared that it does not plan on annexing or capturing Ukraine, the preparations ahead of it almost sound too similar to the instances of the Cold War.

To state that it is only Russia that is at the end of being the culprit in establishing such defence lines along another country’s defence lines would be a disservice to them. In similar fashion, the American government has used international crises to demarcate territory with their defence personnel.

The concerns of having Ukraine become a part of NATO are fairly valid because that would enable the USA to become an inch closer to the Russian line of defence.

However, as the impasse still stands, both Russian and NATO officials have deemed it to be the need of the hour to schedule further diplomatic talks between the two parties in the near future. As NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg said;

“Allies made clear that they will not renounce their ability to protect and defend each other. Including with presence of troops in the eastern part of the Alliance. At the same time, both Russia and NATO allies expressed the need to resume dialogue and to explore a schedule of future meetings. NATO Allies are ready to meet again with Russia to have discussions in greater detail, to put concrete proposals on the table, and to seek constructive outcomes.”

Hopefully, we won’t have to see a major war, let alone a world war,  break out in our generation, and at this point, hope counts for everything.

Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked

Image Sources: Google Images

Sources: Al Jazeera, The Indian Express, The Hindu, CNBC

Connect with the blogger: @kushan257

This post is tagged under: russia, nato, USA, united states of America, putin, valdimir putin, joe biden, joe biden vladimir putin, war, ukraine, crimean crisis, 2014 crimean crisis, drone, military, military personnel, Poland, kyiv, borders, osce, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, united nations, security council, unsc, human rights, annexation, world war 3

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