AFTER THE Soviet Union collapsed, Richard Nixon observed that the United States had won the Cold War, but had not yet won the peace. Since then, three American presidents—representing both political parties—have not yet accomplished that task. On the contrary, peace seems increasingly out of reach as threats to U.S. security and prosperity multiply both at the systemic level, where dissatisfied major powers are increasingly challenging the international order, and at the state and substate level, where dissatisfied ethnic, tribal, religious and other groups are destabilizing key countries and even entire regions.
According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine.
My activities are in two locations: Brussels, the capital of the European Institutions – EU Commission, Parliament and European Council – and Berlin, which exercises the preponderant political will within those Institutions.
The activities themselves are of two kinds:
- Fact-finding, through face to face meetings with representatives of all political parties, right, left and center, in order to determine on the ground the voting calculus in the European Parliament/German Bundestag on Russia and Ukraine related issues
- Seeking co-sponsors and jointly organizing panels and debates before mixed audiences of parliamentarians, journalists, think tank officers, academics and the general public devoted to the Ukraine crisis and East-West relations.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Both warring sides in eastern Ukraine are perpetrating war crimes almost daily, including torturing prisoners and summarily killing them, the Amnesty International rights group said in a report Friday.