The weak response by the U.S. and Europe to Russia’s illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea and continued machinations against the rest of Ukraine have invited continued aggression, which is coming to fruition.
Today, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen revealed that Russia is building troops up again along the Ukrainian border:
We now see a new Russian military buildup—at least a few thousand more Russian troops deployed to the Ukrainian border, and we see troop maneuvers in the neighborhood of Ukraine.
Earlier this week, NATO and the U.S. confirmed that Russian tanks and heavy artillery had crossed the border into eastern Ukraine, undermining Russia’s claims it is not actively fomenting unrest. Meanwhile, fighting on the ground in Ukraine continues. Last weekend, separatists shot down a Ukrainian military transport plane, killing all 49 people on board. On Monday, Russian state energy giant Gazprom cut off gas supplies to Ukraine. On Wednesday, British fighter jets that are part of a NATO air policing mission scrambled to intercept seven Russian military planes that flew near the airspace of NATO countries in the Baltics.
Yet despite Moscow’s continued aggressive actions, the Administration has failed to develop a comprehensive strategy for dealing with Russia following the collapse of the “Russian reset.” Despite a recently announced “European reassurance initiative,” the Administration continues to play catch-up in Europe and has yet to hold Russia accountable for its actions in Ukraine. Aside from enacting a series of largely symbolic sanctions and giving a few speeches, the U.S. response to Russian aggression has been anemic.
Despite hopes that the situation was de-escalating, Russia continues its aggression against its neighbor to the west. Meanwhile, American NATO allies continue to aid the Russian military, the U.S. dithers on enacting biting sanctions against Russia, and the trans-Atlantic alliance remains an afterthought for the President. As the summer months approach, the situation in Ukraine is unlikely to cool down.