By Wellington C. Ramos
Prior to the United States and Russia signing an agreement to end the Cold War under President George Bush Sr., the whole world was divided between the East and the West. India started the Non-Aligned Movement to encourage some nations to stay away from Russia and the United States but they did not have too many members.
Born in Dangriga Town, the cultural capital of Belize, Wellington Ramos has BAs in Political Science and History from Hunter College, NY, and an MA in Urban Studies from Long Island University. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science and History
The East was comprised of Russia, China, East Germany, Poland, Cuba and some countries in Eastern Europe that were forcefully incorporated into the Warsaw Pact Nations by the Russians through the use of force. The West was comprised of the United States, France, Great Britain, Canada, West Germany, Italy, Spain, other countries in Western Europe and former colonies to these European countries.
This division started after World War 2 ended, in which Russia was an ally with the United States of America to defeat the most powerful country at the time, Germany. Japan and Italy joined forces with Germany, and later on Italy withdrew, leaving Japan as the only main ally.
The accumulation of nuclear weapons by the countries of Russia, the United States, China, Great Britain, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Pakistan and possibly other countries has made the world more unsafe. Nations who do not possess nuclear weapons believe that the nations with nuclear weapons will use brute force against them to take over their countries.
Russia has many of its weapons in the other 13 republics like Ukraine and these countries, despite their breakaway and independence, were still interdependent on them. They cannot fight Russia and still do not trust them. If a country has another country’s military inside of their country that they do not trust or like, what sense does it make? The former republics of the USSR should have signed an agreement with Russia outlining for how many years they were going to allow them to stay in their countries and under what conditions.
Since the Ukraine crisis started, I have been listening to the news almost every day. I have never heard any of them saying why the Russians are still in Ukraine for all these years after they broke away from the USSR and became independent. This is what the news should be explaining to the general public. Russia cannot invade a country if they were given permission to remain in the country with their military bases.
If the Russians are in violation of the agreement they made with the Ukrainians to maintain their bases in their country, all they have to do is tell the Russians to leave for violating the terms of the agreement. The Russians can say that they are not going to leave but that will be in violation of international law and all the countries of the world are obligated to come together to put pressure on Russia to leave. In this 21st century the countries of the world should not allow current nations to be acting like European colonial countries in the past.
The European Union countries should not only give Ukraine money to solve their problems. They should also make a military commitment to Ukraine because this is the only way they can get back their money. They should say to the Russians that they intend to establish a multinational force to go to Ukraine for defensive purposes only because the people feel threatened by the Russian forces that are there currently. That force should be allowed to stay in Ukraine until the people and government of Ukraine say they no longer need their services.
The Russians’ continued presence in a country without their consent and approval is an invasion in itself. Just like how the Russians have interest in Ukraine, other European countries, the United States and the entire world also have a vested interest in what is happening there. Why? Because they are willing to commit billions of dollars to their cause. Russia cannot match the wealth of the United States and its allies financially to assist Ukraine.
The people in Ukraine seem to want two things which the United States and its allies can provide and those are economic opportunities and freedom.
The nations of the world who are weak and cherish their; sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence are watching this situation as well. There are many countries in the world who have unresolved territorial disputes with their neighbouring countries, like my country of Belize with Guatemala. Signaling to these countries that we are just going to stand by and watch while Ukraine is being invaded by a powerful neighbouring country grants them no assurance whatsoever.
The United Nations needs to call a meeting of the General Assembly to have the nations of the world discuss this crisis in Ukraine. Russia has a veto vote in the United Nations Security Council that it can exercise. However, this should not deter the nations of the world from bringing this matter before the UN General Assembly as soon as possible. Russia will not engage in the use of nuclear weapons because all the nations of the world who possess them are not ready to destroy this planet through their use.